Written by Girl Birthday Gift
|| A throwback of our breastfeeding days on Luke's 4 month birthday ||
If that title didn't scare you away, I am proud of you for making it this far.
Quite a few moons ago, my friend... let's name her Jane for the sake of anonymity... and I were talking about the subject of cross-nursing, AKA breastfeeding other people's babies. It was moreso in the context of nursing friend's babies -- boob swapping, if you will, so your babies could be milk siblings and all that jazz. Jane's friend had approached her and suggested that they cross-nurse their brand new babies. My immediate reaction to her story was one of horror and disbelief...
"Wait! Whhhaaaat?! That's a thing? She was being completely serious?"
Jane replied with partially raised eyebrows and a simple,
Mystified. I was absolutely mystified. It's like I had been living under a rock in the world of motherhood. There were so many avenues and corners of breastfeeding I never even knew about! Cross-nursing being the biggest of them all.
So, was this cross-nursing thing a big trend? Was it actually as strange and bizarre as it made me feel inside? I understood the notion of wet-nursing in a situation or culture where it was necessary for the baby to simply be fed, but for the elective thrill of it? I needed to know more. And I needed to know if Jane was actually going to go through with the insane suggestion.
Turns out she slammed her friend's dreams of a cross-nursing kinship as soon as it was mentioned, but it left me realizing that there were mothers out there doing it.
Thanks to my trustiest of friends, Google, the La Leche League gave me the lowdown on the cross-nursing situation. And I guess my astonished mother's intuition kicked in for good reason. As common sense would tell, it is not recommended mostly for the fact that each mama's milk supply contains vital antibodies and nutrients specific to their baby, and the risk for transmitting disease is high. Other crazy facts include that it can decrease the amount and quality of your own milk supply, and it can cause psychological repercussions since each mother's body nurses differently (let-down time, milk flow, etc... we all know how those babies like routine!).
Let's not forget the argument for cross-nursing, though. What about those mamas that so desperately want their babies to be breastfed but just don't produce enough milk? Is foreign breast milk still better than formula? You know what they say... breast is best, people. Then I got to thinking about sibling cross-nursing. Are the implications the same? Technically you have similar genetic makeup (and the very same if you're a twin!) and would inherently have a closer bond with the babies. Hmmm.
So, what say ye? Would you, could you, do you cross-nurse?
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