prepared I took her to the couch. My boys gathered around excited to help feed her. I tried the bottle and she wasn't interested. I was told that she had been taking a bottle like a champ lately, but she just wasn't having it. Leo, my still nursing 3 year old told me "I know! She needs your mommy milks!" I was hesitant because we had tried nursing when I babysat before, with her mothers permission of course, but she was not at all interested. But Leo insisted.. so I tried again and she nursed! She happily nursed for several minutes and then she was content and went back to playing. That was it. She needed some familiar comfort and milk and she was ready to play again. Later on she nursed some more. She even fell asleep nursing. She was so much happier than the last couple times I babysat for her.
This isn't the first time I have "wet nursed" someone's baby. I used to nurse a baby boy I babysat for also. He would get so sad when I nursed Leo and he wasn't nursing too. His mom and I talked about it and she told me to go for it. The next time he was upset I offered to nurse him along side Leo and he was just the happiest boy! The boys would hold hands while the nursed and got a kick out of having a nursing buddy.
So why isn't this normal?! Why is comforting a baby in the way their mother would comfort or nourish them not the usual way to comfort? I'm not talking about having everybody under the sun nurse your baby. It's understandable that you would approach something like this with caution. But a few close friends? Someone you trust who happens to be nursing their own child. It goes against our instincts to have a baby cry and not take care of them the best way we can. Sometimes, as lots of tired new mamas know... that means nursing! How much easier would it be to leave our children when we had to knowing they would be comforted in their most favorite way.
Wet nursing is the original formula! It doesn't take away from mother and baby bonding. It's just a temporary fix until Mama returns. Obviously you have to do what you and your daycare providers or babysitters are comfortable with. But think about it as an option. Amelia returned to her mama totally ready to nurse and bond with her as usual. Let's bring wet nursing back!
Have you wet nursed? Would you? Would you let someone else nurse your baby?
Photographer, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Intactivist, Seamstress, Partner to my long time boyfriend, and Mindful Mama.