Feeding Babies

      • This runs kinda long but if I don’t explain I doubt anyone would answer. -
      • I stopped by a friend’s house today. His wife (S.) was breastfeeding their 6 week old and making feeding jokes with another couple there, that wife (J.) being due in a few months, and expecting to nurse. I made an off-the cuff joke aout how they should have planned it better, because if they were both nursing at the same time they could take turns and one could babysit (nurse) for the other when they wanted a break from it all. They all three looked at me like I was nuts and anyone who would try this should be locked up.
  • Which I’m used to; but I got to wondering whyt they reacted like they did - both women had this sort of look of revulsion on their faces. They move in a rather informal, very familiar circle of people where everybody has slept with most everybody else at one time or another, usually many times. Some coupled up and got married while others stayed single. And sometimes when the liquer starts flowing, they occasionally revert to their old ways. So considering they shared guys not too long ago (and still do sometimes), I thought it was odd they reacted the way they did but I’m not really that much a part of the circle so I just kept quiet.
  • So later I told a lady (K.) at work about it, and asked what she thought about sharing nursing duties. (She has a 1 yr old she breastfed) And she told me then that you can’t, because the babies will only take their mother’s milk - or, really, the first mother’s milk they get. Which I didn’t know, but guys are kept in the dark about much of pregnancy/childbirth until they actually get involved themselves and stay next to their lady through it all. I haven’t burned that bridge yet, so there’s lots of little tidbits I probably don’t know. And you’re welcome.
  • K. did tell me that she tried it just to see if it was true, and that among very close friends, many women do. She and her sister who had delivered a couple months prior, switched babies and neither baby would take the other mother’s nipple. And K. said that her sister also tried it with two other ladies on separate occasions, and also both times, the babies wouldn’t take the other mother’s nipple. In this small group, it holds true, but I’m now wondering, , ,
  • How many moms have tried switching babies? Did your baby take the other mom’s? Did her baby take yours? If it worked (either way), would you/did you take advantage of the situation if it was convenient, or would you think it was “wrong”? -(this is assuming you only did it occasionally, not six days a week)- And on a macabre note, what do they do if a nursing mother is suddenly unable to nurse - say, she is killed in a car accident. Do they just keep trying to bottle feed the baby regular formula until it starves enough to take it? If a baby will only feed from one lady’s breast, why will babies use different bottles? - Is it the milk, or the nipple the babies are particular about? - MC

There was a thread on wet nurses a while back you may want to read.

Well I can’t give a comprehensive answer, but my anectodal experience is thus. In the pediatric hosp I work in we routinely alternate between formula, breast feeding, and breast milk. That is, a mother may breast feed while she’s there, pump and store milk for later bottle feeding, and when that’s gone we give formula. I’ve seen lot’s of babies go back and forth without serious problems. I’m sure a breast fed baby would like to stay a breast fed baby, but I doubt it would have to get very hungry before reprioritizing. I’ve never heard that babies refuse to take a different nipple, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they hesitated. Lastly, I’ve always thought that the expression “wet nurse” came from servants nursing the babies of the aristocracy; although I suppose that might have been their first nipple, I still can’t see a baby going hungry for long,

It might have been a territorial thing…
I would have gone nuts if someone else nursed my baby…I cant really explain it except the idea makes me feel violated.

Picture the scene in “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” where the nut steals the baby’s affections through nursing…chilling!

From the point of view of the baby, it doesn’t matter all that much where the milk/formula is coming from. Some will easily switch from breast to bottle, though others may prefer one to another (I’ve heard that once they’ve tried a bottle, the prefer it – less work – but our daughter moved from breast to bottle without any trouble).

I’m sure it would bother the mother, but there’s no physiological reason why it can’t be done.

I’ve bottle-fed my kids. I can understand a kid rejecting a strange breast, though. Every mother is different, and the baby gets used to the shape, smell, and taste of his own mom. But no, they won’t starve. If the car accident scenario did happen, the baby could pretty easily be switched to formula. I’ve also been told that bottle feeding is in fact less work for the baby.

Babies are creatures of habit and they don’t like change, it upsets them. Remeber they went through a huge change from a warm, dark, liquid existance to a cold, dry, open one no too long ago. Once it’s used to it’s mother’s breast, it won’t want to change. It’s whole world is in about 18 inches, that’s how far they can see in the first couple of months, so they rely on scent and taste. It too a little coaxing to get my kid to try his first bottle after 5 months of nursing, but he’d switch back and forth for a while after that eventually choosing the easier bottle.
Plus most mothers probably won’t want to switch off babies since a lot of a baby’s immunities come from the breast milk straight from the mom to help build up the kid’s whose system is pretty weak to start.

Hmm, my best friend and I had our babies within three weeks of each other – twice! Eldest Son and her daughter are three weeks apart, and Middle Son and her son are three weeks apart.

I had problems nursing – never had enough milk – whereas Kathy was overflowing. She would often nurse my sons when she was finished nursing her children. It was good for her, because you are supposed to totally empty out your breasts in order to avoid blockage and to stimulate milk production, and I felt that it was good for my babies because they got breast milk which was good for them and, besides whatever immunities they got from the little milk I had for them, they got immunities from her, too. We didn’t do this all the time, but we certainly did it on several occasions.


I don’t get it. Are you saying then that another mother wouldn’t provide the right kind of immunities?


“Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!” Exceptions? None!
-Doc Bronner

Im a guy but if I did have a baby, I would not want anyone else to wet nurse my kid because I don’t know what diseases, Etc, she has & I wouldn’t want to put my baby at risk.

They actually have breast milk banks where nursing mothers donate extra milk to be given to babies whose mothers can’t nurse them. I believe it is mostly given to the preemies who can’t suck yet, and their mothers haven’t been able to pump out enough milk to feed them. Of course, they screen the donor for any diseases before accepting the milk.

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Albert Einstein

I had an experience with this once. My aunt had her son while I was pregnant with my older daughter. She left him with me one afternoon, and didn’t return until he was good and hungry! I tried soothing him with my knuckle (sometimes good in an emergency), the soother, a fake nipple, you name it… and nothing would settle him down.

I finally put him to my breast and let him suck for all he was worth, just to calm the poor little guy till Mom got back. Her baby was trying like hell to get milk out of me when she walked in, and I felt really odd, really embarassed actually. The “territorial” analogy is well-placed, I felt like I was invading her most personal space.

She reacted, however, with much gratitude for me having cared enough about her son to have done this for him, and in fact had tears in her eyes as we laughed about how oddly tender and personal this was for both of us.

I’ve never had another woman breastfeed either of my girls, and doubt that I would feel at all comfortable with it, except in a similar “emergency” situation, and only with someone very close to me.

You can’t save your face and your ass at the same time.

Here’s the link to the “Wet Nurse” thread:


[[I’ve bottle-fed my kids. I can understand a kid rejecting a strange breast, though. Every mother is different, and the baby gets used to the shape, smell, and taste of his own mom. But no, they won’t starve. If the car accident scenario did happen, the baby could pretty easily be switched to formula. I’ve also been told that bottle feeding is in fact less work for the baby.]]

My baby absolutely refused a bottle. She acted like I was trying to choke her to death when I offered it, even with breast milk in it and every new high-tech bottle nipple I could find. When I went back to work parttime, she did indeed prefer to starve until I could get there to feed her. Never more than four hours, anyway. Man, that seems like a long time ago.