Boobies…To Share, or Not to Share?

Disclaimer: I am going to be discussing breasts in this post, which I will be referring to as boobies, because honestly, I feel more comfortable writing the word boobies than I do breasts.

A friend of mine, who is mother to a six month old beautiful girl, took a trip to visit her friend Sue, who just had a baby.

My friend flew the entire length of the country to spend three nights with her friend and to visit her precious newborn. This meant that she had to leave her own little bundle of love home for a few days. Since my friend was nursing her daughter she brought her handy-dandy breast pump along on the trip. Now, for those of you who have nursed, you understand that despite pumping, a woman does not always get the relief she needs. A pump does not work the same as a baby. By the third day my friend found herself sleeping with heating pads on her boobies and counting down the seconds till she was able to see her cute little lady and latch her on for some real relief and let down.

When my friend returned home she was telling me all about her trip, how awesome it was spending time with her friend and the new baby. She loved the visit, but mentioned how uncomfortable it was to be so engorged. So, I responded, “Why didn’t you just ask Sue to let you nurse her baby?” My friend looked at me like I had just suggested that she light her underpants on fire!

Seriously though, we are talking about two women who have known each for years, been friends, roommates, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings, would it really be that weird to let another woman nurse your baby? My friend is healthy, recently gave birth and is currently nursing her own baby.  Why, for the sake of comfort and her health, couldn’t she nurse her friend’s baby?

Please, someone correct me if I am really off my rocker, but doesn’t it seem like a perfectly logical thing to do? If a friend of mine flew across the country to visit me and was experiencing discomfort, I would let her nurse my baby. I would also nurse a friend’s baby if they needed me to. My feelings toward nursing and breast milk are similar to my feelings about money; you need some, you take some, you have some, you give some.

This topic reminded me of the time in 2009 when Selma Hayek went on a trip to Sierra Leone and was caught on film breastfeeding another woman’s baby. People freaked out! People were disgusted! The whole incident caused quite a stir. Is it really that outrageous to think that one woman might be able to help out another woman by sharing her boobies? I do understand that there are sanitary and health issues to consider, so please do not misconstrue my message and try to nurse random strange babies you see in the supermarket.

Think about it…would you nurse another woman’s baby? Have you nursed another woman’s baby? Would you let your baby nurse from another woman?

6 thoughts on “Boobies…To Share, or Not to Share?

  1. I LOVE this post! I needed donor breastmilk to get through a rough patch (latch/supply issues) and am so grateful for the women who were willing to help me feed my son. If I were ever in a situation where i had extra milk or was engorged I’d be happy to share. But I do understand why people think it’s weird – unfortunately we never see it in practice and it’s rarely discussed. Seriously though we drink cow’s milk with no problem – to me it’s a LOT weirder that we drink milk that comes from the boobies of a big hairy animal without question yet we think it’s odd to share human breastmilk (for human babies!!)

    There are still milk banks but they are very expensive. Many women share their milk through Human Milk for Human Babies. I was lucky to have a step-sister with an oversupply and 2 other friends who pumped for me.

  2. If you think about human history, it’s kind of weirder that we DON’T do this now! We drink milk from cows…COWS! Isn’t that a LOT weirder?! I will admit, my gut reaction was “I wouldn’t do this…” but I had no real reason to think that. Why not, really?

  3. In the late 80’s when my mom had my sister, she breast fed both my sister and a friend’s baby because the other mom could not do it. There were breast milk banks, do they still exist or are they all closed down? I see nothing wrong with it especially if the two mothers know each other.

  4. LOVE THIS! Wet nursing used to be the norm in some societies; not suggesting we go back to that because I believe there is some issue with one mama’s milk not being quite tailor-made for another’s baby. But in general I love the concept. It seems odd at first because you don’t see it or hear about it in most places today, but if it’s someone you know and trust, there is nothing all that weird about it once you think it through!

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