In Moms And Boobs We Trust. Or Not.

January 3, 2011

Remember that one time, when I breastfed another woman’s baby? And somebody saw me do it, and thought it was disgusting, and blogged about it, and then everybody argued? Those were some good times. So good, that it seemed a really awesome idea to kick off the new year by looking back at that experience.

It was good, actually, to reconsider the whole experience from the vantage point of a year and some months later, which is about how long it took, give or take some weeks, for my indignation at having my morals questioned and my boobs scrutinized to wane. I revisited the controversy with some of the ladies at Momversation (where I’ve just hopped on board as a panelist), and we talked about what happened, and about why it is that the whole thing made – makes – people so uncomfortable. Here’s the video:

Our initial discussion was actually prompted by the question, do you trust other moms more than you do other people? That is, would you be more likely to trust a stranger or near-stranger who’s a mom than you would one who’s not a mom? The woman whose baby I nursed trusted me, obviously, but a big part of the controversy that erupted was the assertion, by some, that she shouldn’t have trusted me just because I’m a mom. After all, the fact of my motherhood doesn’t necessarily make me a better or more trustworthy person. It just makes me a mom, and just because we bonded over our shared mom-ness doesn’t mean that we developed – or that we should have developed – a bond of trust. Or does it? Doesn’t the intimacy that can sometimes develop very quickly between two mothers sharing unexpected moments of trial or tribulation with their children – the shit-disasters in restaurant washrooms, the toddler meltdowns in grocery store line-ups, the boo-boos at the playground, the engorged boobs at social media events – provide a very real basis for some measure of trust? Shouldn’t it?

So there are two questions here, really: one, would you nurse another woman’s child or let another woman nurse your own child, and two, questions of nursing aside, are you more or less inclined to trust other mothers more than other strangers? You can join the conversation about the first question over at Momversation, but I’m also interested in hearing your responses to the second. Do you trust other moms more than you do other people? Why or why not? And why don’t they sell breast pumps at hotel gift shops, anyway?

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    Donna January 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Once, when I was living in China, a neighbor-mom breastfed my baby without my knowledge or consent. I am still fuming over it. Totally wrong of her. That said, when we’re in the States for a visit, and I’m trying to chase my four kids around in a public place, I always tell them if they get lost, they should ask a mom with a stroller to help them. I figure moms of young kids can be trusted to do the right thing in those kinds of situations.

    Her Bad Mother January 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I would fume, too, if it were done without my consent. That, though, has everything to do with a violation of trust, I think.

    Rainyday January 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I wouldn’t hesitate to nurse another baby, or share pumped milk if either were needed. But I probably only would have let someone else nurse one of my boys if it had been my sister or close friend. An odd double standard, huh?
    .-= Rainyday´s last blog ..2010 Memories =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    @Rainyday, It’s an understandable double standard, though. Because it’s so intimate (which is another post entirely ;) )

    Sara D January 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I think as long as it is consensual, it is OK. I don’t know if I could personally let another woman breastfeed my child, because it is such an intimate act. I think that I could breastfeed another baby but it would be a very strange feeling. The other baby would feel differently than my own, I think it might feel similar to sleeping with someone besides your spouse, you know? That being said, depending on circumstances, I would be OK with either one, as long as I knew it was going on.
    It’s funny because I was thinking about this not long ago, my friend had a hard time nursing and I played a scenario out in my head, if I breastfed her baby, without her knowing. The scene ended badly. I asked myself how I would feel if I found out someone was doing that without my knowledge, and I would be irate. But if I was in a place of mutual trust and we were comfortable with each other, I could see myself being alright!
    As to the second question, I am a pretty trusting person generally, though I am more inclined to trust a strange woman over a strange man. While that may not be totally logical, I don’t know whether it matters whether that woman is a mother or not. I think that meeting other moms out in the world is alot of fun, and having that thing in common helps break down the awkward social walls that we have up, and it gives us something to talk about.. but honestly I am that strange woman who talks to you in the bathroom, or the hallway, or the bus. Whether I have a baby with me or not. So I would say, in my experience, I do not trust other mothers more than anyone else.
    But I might change my mind on that as the babe grows older :)

    Her Bad Mother January 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    That it be consensual is important, yes. And it IS intimate, and it DOES feel strange. But not bad strange. More like hugging another person’s child. Sharing affection.

    sharah January 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    This reminds me of another blogger saying that she would rather use formula than donated breastmilk because she couldn’t believe that another woman’s milk would be “as good” for her child. I still don’t know why she would think that — especially given the prevalence of milk banks for nicu babies.

    As for me, I would definitely be okay with donating milk, and probably okay with bf someone else’s child (although it would prob be weird). But someone else bf my boy? I’d have to know them really well. Accepting donated milk would be easier; it’s just the physical release of my baby to another woman that really bothers my hypothetical self.

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    @sharah, it was definitely weird. not bad weird, but weird for sure. I really should write about that.

    suzie January 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Snap-decisions are a little different than trust. The only times I would think about saying “trust a mom over a non-mom” are true emergency situations where my young child was forced to fend for themselves because of my sudden incapacitation. I’ve seen so many moms behave horribly – both in stress situations and over the long haul – I would not be able to state flat-out that moms are trustworthy as a group.

    Shannon January 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I would have no problem nursing someone else’s baby or having someone else nurse mine in an urgent situation. So long as I was confident they had no illnesses transmitted by breastmilk. You have to have faith in people some time and while I would likely not hand my infant over to a complete stranger, if it were enough of an emergency of course I would! But I do identify with the person who said the physical reality of handing your infant, whom you nurse, over to have that intimacy with another person would be a little difficult. But that’s an emotional reality, not a physical one. I do not think my baby would bond to that person because of one (or many) feedings. I don’t honestly think it’s such a big deal.

    The thing about moms being more trustworthy than non-moms…well that’s a hard one. I’ve noticed that a lot of books about kid-safety recommend you tell your child that if they are lost they should look for a woman with children to ask for help (or obviously an authority like a police officer, or someone who works at a store). I’m not sure. I’ve spent some time weighing this out and wondering if it is or isn’t an accurate thing to tell kids. On the one hand it gives them someone specific to look for, rather than just the first stranger they meet who may be a sketchy looking, not so ‘safe” kind of person. Moms tend to know how to handle kids and have sympathy for young children and can imagine how they would want someone to treat their own child if they went missing. Yes, some moms are not good moms. But I really think there are not that many truly bad moms. Moms who parent differently than I do? Yes. Moms who have issues with anger or in my opinion dont’ treat their kids well? Yes. Whatever. Most moms, when faced with a little child alone and lost, even if they aren’t necessarily in line with my parenting style, are not going to be unkind to that child.

    But are moms generally more trustworthy than non-moms? That is a very very broad brush. I would trust some people with my deepest secrets, I would trust others to take care of my kids. I would trust some to fill my car up with gas. There are very different levels of trust and I don’t think being a mom plays into it. I guess if you’re making a snap decision you’ll trust someone you identify with and if you are a mom that may be one way you identify with someone. But there are a lot of other factors involved. That’s my 50 cents. :)
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Thankful =-.

    Tabatha January 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    There’s a playspace in my local mall, the one where I worked my first job in high school at BabyGap. I can’t tell you how many time as a 16-17-18 year old girl (one from a large extended family who babysat small children often) I was handed babies while mothers shopped or I deflected running toddlers from leaving the store into the greater mall. I never hesitated to grab another woman’s child then, probably because I was young and naive, and usually the moms were grateful, if not taken aback by the girl with purple hair.
    Before Christmas, I took my 22 month old son to that playspace, and sure enough when I was dealing with my 4 month old daughter he took off. A young pregnant woman grabbed him by the arm, spun him around back into the play area, smiling and making eye contact with me as I yelled his name. I was grateful and impressed with her speed.
    As I left, I redirected a crawler back into the space as his grandfather looked on from a bench, letting me do the work of corralling a strange child. I was kind of angry at him that he didn’t acknowledge the favor I’d just done for him.
    I think it’s safe to say that in some situations it’s a communal expectation of safety and trust when children are involved. So would I arbitrarily trust another woman just because she’s a mom? In specific situations, I guess I do. That whole village concept, when necessary, works non-verbally and that’s kind of awesome. But would I trust a mom to change my oil just because she’s a mom? Probably not.
    I can’t talk on breastfeeding though. I have great issues with being able to and my kids are both breast and formula fed and it’s taken me a long time to be okay with that choice. To each their own, as long as the kid is fed and happy.
    .-= Tabatha´s last blog ..Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginnings End =-.

    Erin January 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Yes, I would cross-nurse. I believe in breast milk sharing (formally through the milk bank and informally, both of which I’ve participated in). I would also nurse someone else’s baby and allow someone to nurse my own if it were urgent for some reason. If I dropped dead for example I would be deeply grateful (if the dead can feel) to a woman who stepped in to nurse my baby. He loves being nursed so. If my milk dried up and I couldn’t nurse it would be harder for me to let someone else nurse him because I would be jealous, because I love nursing him so much.

    As for moms, I think generally I trust moms more than non-moms, even though I’m not sure it’s rational (my current child care provider is a mom and that makes me feel better about leaving my kids with her). But generally I’m pretty trusting, and think in the States people can be way too mistrustful. I know people who won’t let anyone hold their babies and look at everyone like a serial killer. Yes, I have let perfect strangers hold my child.

    Kyla S January 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    While I have to say I could never breastfeed another woman’s baby, or let another breastfeed mine, I am not opposed to the idea. Seems a bit contradicting, eh?

    If others want to do it and it’s mutual, cool, but I remember the bonding over breastfeeding with my daughter. It was something she and I shared. It was ours and ours alone. While others could make her laugh and change her diaper, nursing was a need only I could fulfill. It was our time and selfishly, I would never want another to share that experience with my daughter. It felt like such an intimate bonding moment between mom and child, the way she would stare up at me with her big blue eyes. I felt like she was studying me, memorizing my face. And I will NEVER forget the day I put her to my breast and she smiled for the first time. Those are our memories, and ours alone.

    Her Bad Mother January 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I don’t know that it’s contradictory. It’s such a loaded, complicated issue. Breastfeeding is natural and ordinary but also intimate and special. It’s not an easy thing to categorize or compartmentalize neatly.

    Megan January 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    If a situation arose where there was a choice between feeding my child formula or another woman’s breastmilk, I would definitely choose the breastmilk.
    I almost breastfed my niece once, then realised my sister wouldn’t be into that, ha ha!

    Emily WK January 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I honestly don’t know the science – are there diseases that can be passed through breastmilk? Can AIDS or HIV be passed that way? Serious question – and I hope not a terminally stupid one.

    Her Bad Mother January 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    HIV can be transmitted, yes, although usually not under this kind of circumstance (a single, brief nursing session). And ordinarily, an HIV-positive mother in a so-called developed country would be taking medication to prevent transmission to her own children.

    Not a stupid question – excellent question, actually :)

    Cindy R January 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    @Her Bad Mother,

    I think a concern would be that you had recently been tatooed. I can’t give blood for a period of time after tatooing, I wouldn’t breastfeed a child for that same period.

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    @Cindy R, I actually did a lot of research into the risks of tattooing, because I was BF’ing Jasper (obvz) at the time. I actually wrote a post about it – the research, and what it indicated (that the risks are very, very low) – at BlogHer. (Giving blood and nursing don’t involve the same risks; this actually guides some treatment involved in preventing mother to child transmission of HIV, where the child would benefit from being, or poverty demands that she be, breastfed.)

    In any case, the core question still comes down to trust: I was a nursing mother, and my new friend trusted that if I nurse my own baby (as I must have been to have gotten engorged in his absence) safely, it would be safe for me to nurse her baby.
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..You Say You Want A Resolution =-.

    Emily WK January 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Ok, I looked it up:

    “HIV and other serious infectious diseases can be transmitted through breast milk. However, the risk of infection from a single bottle of breast milk, even if the mother is HIV positive, is extremely small. For women who do not have HIV or other serious infectious diseases, there is little risk to the child who receives her breast milk. See Diseases and Conditions for more information.”


    I don’t know what I think about this, for my own choices, but I certainly don’t think it was wrong or bad – both of you agreed to it. Not my business at that point, right?

    Her Bad Mother January 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Ah, yes. As I said :)

    Celticlass9 January 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Would I nurse another woman’s baby with her consent? It would depend on the circumstances, but given the fact that I didn’t breastfeed my own (wasn’t able) it’s kind of moot. Would I want another woman breastfeeding my child? Nope. Why? I’ve seen people I know that are die hard bf’ers and they drink, have questionable diets and frankly-I just find that too intimate of a bond between Mother and child. I just don’t know that I could do that.

    As to trusting other Moms more than other people? Again, nope. I’ve witnessed some stellar Moms out there that I don’t trust with their OWN kids, let alone mine. I don’t think bearing a child qualifies us as “good” Moms. Some are just women with children.

    Hmm. Maybe I’m just a cynical, untrusting person in general. lol

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    @Celticlass9, there are worse things ;)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..You Say You Want A Resolution =-.

    Schweeney January 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I would breast feed another child in a heart beat if it relieved pain of the mother (ouch I remember!)or hunger of the child.
    I had zero physical problems with the mechanics of breastfeeding and both of my children nursed for 6+ months. It’s practical in the extreme but was not transforming for me in any way whatsoever (actually rather parasitic but thankfully my memory of the suckle is fading). Perhaps that’s why I could not care less if my child fed at another women’s breast or if I were to feed some other child at mine. It’s nothing sacred for Pete’s sake it’s a teat. And if the teat fails, the bottle is fine too. People drink milk from animal teats without issue!!! Many take this stuff much too seriously.
    As to trusting parents in general I told my kids, who are now adults, (sigh) to find a parent if they were lost. Thankfully we never had to deal with that. Thanks for the Momversation Catherine.

    Suzanne January 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    There has been quite a bit of cross-nursing and milk-sharing among my group of friends – but they’re all friends I’ve met through a breastfeeding support group at a natural/organic/hippie-dippie baby store so, hey, actually, they’re probably eating a better, healthier diet than I am on any given day. Although as far as I know no one has ever actually nursed my babies besides me.

    But yes, I think I trust moms more, if only just because no matter how you choose to parent there is so much about child raising that is a shared, connected experience. And I love Donna’s comment above about teaching her kids a mom with a stroller is a good person to turn to in case of trouble.
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog ..Sweet Caroline =-.

    eliza January 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    i cannot speak on the breastfeeding issue, simply because i dont know. Never been in that situation, can’t imagine being there, wont know until i am.

    On the do you trust other moms more thing, probably. I’m actually rather ashamed to say that i actually probably trust any person toting a baby or kids around more than someone whos not. Its a bit of a double standard though, because at least for me personally it also depends alot on how they are treating their kids/ what they themselves look like. I have unfortunately been around some truly bad moms, drugged out moms for example. It all really makes my head spin, but yah when i think about it, i always ask the lady with the diaper bag what time it is.

    daysgoby January 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I couldn’t breastfeed either of mine and honestly if some other woman had come up to me and offered to feed my first child I felt so guilty and sad that I couldn’t that I probably would have shouted at her. That being said, I wouldn’t be squeamish about using another woman’s breastmilk to bottle-feed my two. Since I doubt that either one of them would have accepted another woman’s breast (or my own) once they began using the bottle, I can’t imagine a scenario where I would give my child to another woman to prevent her engorgement. As far as disgusting or whatever, c’mon! Wetnurses were common for YEARS. A lot of cultures would leave the kids with two or three lactating women while the rest would go off and find food for everyone. It’s not a new thing, and shouldn’t be a controversy.

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @daysgoby, that hypothetical guilt and sadness are totally understandable, which is why extending such an offer could be very loaded (in my case, my boobs were bursting, and my need was obvious, so.)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..You Say You Want A Resolution =-.

    Natalie @YMCbuzz January 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    What an interesting topic!

    I hadn’t heard about this controversy when it first happened, and I have to admit, I opened this blog post with mouth-agape… but only to feel a bit sheepish by mid-first-paragraph for being blinded by the sensationalism of it. Because when I use my real brain, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with consentfully nursing someone else’s child in the right circumstances.

    That being said, to answer your other question, I do trust moms before non-moms, when it comes to child-related or parental issues (if in a situation wherein I wasn’t given the proper time to get to know them).

    It’s the added experience and perspective they’ve acquired – they know what it feels like to love so much the feeling borders on anguish.

    Her Bad Mother January 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    @Natalie @YMCbuzz, “It’s the added experience and perspective they’ve acquired – they know what it feels like to love so much the feeling borders on anguish.”

    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..You Say You Want A Resolution =-.

    Another Suburban Mom January 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I really do not see the issue with this. This was consesnsual sharing, and everyone was happy at the end of the day. And yes, hotel gift shops should stock pumps, especially if they are hosting a big mom event.

    I rememeber seeing Salma Hayek breastfeed a child when she was out doing work for Unicef. I thought that was a lovely gesture.

    And if I was nursing again, I would definetly either feed another child or try to produce a little extra for the milk bank.
    .-= Another Suburban Mom´s last blog ..Back In The Saddle =-.

    Tina C. January 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    yes to the 1st question. in fact, it is my one regret of breastfeeding that i wasn’t able to do it with another woman’s baby, just to see what it was like.

    to the 2nd question: it depends on the subject, but leaning towards probably no. some moms, like my mom, regarding child-rearing and infant-hood, she just doesn’t remember so i’m not always trusting her. and some strangers, like Dr & Mrs Sears, not trusting them either despite their memory and experience. now, if it were a lactating mom, i’d say yes if she wanted to breastfeed my baby or if she wanted to let me breastfeed hers!!

    Lisa January 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Do I automatically trust another mom with my finances? No. Or secrets? No.

    With my child? Yes.

    All sorts of switches get flipped when you become a parent. All this dormant hard-wiring springs to life. It doesn’t make us better people, it merely insures that we won’t leave our baby in a ditch somewhere, which any sane person would want to do, and Nature, in her infinite wisdom, assured would never happen by installing all of that maternal instinct that makes us put all our own needs on hold to put a baby’s needs first.

    It’s just the freaking way of the world. Why does this have to be such a judgment issue? It’s just the way it works, for the survival of the species. All humans are subject to it – to this melting of defenses at the sight of a baby – but mothers to an unfathomable degree.

    Amy January 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    It just never ceases to blow me away that we get all creeped out about giving human babies human milk, but then we routinely give those same human babies cow’s milk and think nothing of it.

    It’s like going to the zoo and freaking out over a panda nursing a baby panda, then later seeing a hyena nurse a panther and thinking that’s more normal. Does not compute.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Wow! =-.

    Karen Sugarpants January 4, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Knowing I do not have any diseases, I would nurse another woman’s baby in the same circumstances. I would not hand over my baby to be nursed by someone else, however. You cannot see what is in the bloodstream of another woman.
    Brave topic, lady.

    Her Bad Mother January 4, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Brave, or incautious ;)

    Emma January 4, 2011 at 7:43 am

    On whether I trust another mum more than a non-mum this, from Natalie @YMCbuzz, sums it up “they know what it feels like to love so much the feeling borders on anguish.” as well as all of Lisa’s post.

    On breastfeeding another child… definately, although I imagine it would feel a little ‘odd’ like stolen intimacy (borrowed intimacy?) but I fully intend to donate to the milkbank when/if I have another bub.

    On allowing someone else to breastfeed my baby… of course, if I werent unable I would far rather he had someones elses human milk than artificial or cows milk. Or if he was hungry and I was not there and I was aware/had consented etc etc but if I was there, and capable of feeding him, as in your case, I still hope I would allow it. I see it as a gift to the other mother and I hope I would be so unselfish as to offer but I so treasured that intimacy of feeding. But I like to believe I would have offered.

    MLB January 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I think it’s really interesting that this discussion has not included the other parent’s perspective on this. I can’t think about this issue, at least letting one of our children nurse from another woman, without considering what my partner’s views on this would be. And I don’t think that he would be supportive unless it was someone who we knew extremely well. When you cross-nurse you are making a very important parenting decision that both parents should have input into. And while I would be willing to nurse another woman’s child if that’s what the child’s parents felt was needed, I don’t think one parent can unilaterally make that decision for their own child.

    Karyn Climans January 4, 2011 at 9:56 am

    If the baby was hungry and it was a choice between food or no food, I would definitely breast feed the baby.

    Mistie January 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I read your older post, and I loved it! I love the sentiment of trust and bonding. I love the wonderful feeling of release it gave me because I can remember that absurd feeling of engorgement. I remember thinking I was going to die if I didn’t express some milk. I also remember feeling guilty and shameful when people expressed disgust over and about the mechanics of breastfeeding. I know she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but my sister-in-law, when she found out that some times I had to hand express in the shower, was horrified. She said with disgust, “LIKE MILKING A COW OR SOMETHING!?” I loved my husband more when he responded, “of course like a cow or any other mammal, what do you think those things are for?” She didn’t understand, and he did, that breastfeeding or bottle feeding was a beautiful experience. Hugging my child to my chest and giving her nourishment was marvelous; it was also the most ordinary routine. Thank you for capturing that.

    I’m not sure I would have let my daughter breastfeed from someone else, but that’s my decision based on the fact, more than anything else, that I never needed or was presented with this situation. The shock and outrage is something that I don’t understand. And this is coming from someone who does not trust other mom more than non-moms. I would like to believe that I can, but I think more often than not people are just people. I don’t feel like I have any more ability to help a lost child now than I did before I had my baby, and I definitely am not more/less likely to hurt them. I would never have hurt a child, not because I am a mother, but because I am not a bad person. I try, although I know I fail, to trust others within a reasonable extent and to not judge unnecessarily.

    Barnmaven January 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I would absolutely let another mom breastfeed my child, if it was a friend who needed help with engorgement any I had a nursing baby, or if I wasn’t available to feed my child and formula was the only other alternative. While I realize that all practices that existed before modernity aren’t healthy or sound, the practice of a woman nursing other women’s children was common, and not that long ago. Formula didn’t always exist, how do people think babies ate before? Cross-nursing is a normal practice in some cultures today.

    Kathykate January 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I’d let Catherine Connors nurse my 11 year old. Maybe some of her genius would rub off. Seriously!

    And do I trust moms more than others? You betcha (except that mom…). Taught my kids young, if they were lost, go to a mom/dad pushing a stroller and ask for help.
    .-= Kathykate´s last blog ..2011 Will be Delayed =-.

    Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Very interesting conversation. I think I wish the Momversation convo had focused more on the trust issue than the breastfeeding issue. I would let another woman breastfeed my child, insofar as I’d let another woman hold/watch/feed my child. I don’t think I do trust another woman more just because she is a mother (parenting is the one thing I’m unabashedly opinionated about, and I’m probably even MORE likely to see the wrong in another mom than in humanity in general, though I know that’s my quirk), but once I get past that initial trust threshhold, yeah. No biggie.

    I guess I think the whole “ick factor” issue is beyond silly. I don’t have an ick factor impulse. Breastfeeding, pooping, nudity, sex, talking about any of the above. Yawn. It’s life, people.

    I don’t know how I missed this hoo-ha before, but yes, very interesting. I’m really glad you’re on board at Momversation, too!

    Renee January 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I absolutely do have a higher-level of trust for other women who are moms, though not sure that is a logically thought-out sentiment, more based on emotion. As to the breastfeeding thing, I am pretty sure I would never let another woman breastfeed my baby unless he were about to starve. (Again, not totally based on logic, it just skeeves me out.) I’d be more likely to breastfeed somebody else’s kid b/c I know I’m healthy and don’t have any diseases that can be transmitted via breastmilk. But I wouldn’t be too keen on that either.
    Regardless, I don’t think you did anything wrong as both you and the mom were fine with it. People should mind their own business more!

    Theresa January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    As for why they don’t sell breast pumps in gift shops, its because the horrid nurses in the maternity wards won’t let them. Of all the breastfeeding experiences, judgments, issues, my dealings with the nurses in hospital was by far the worst. When I was in the same hospital having my second child the nurses didn’t come anywhere near me, except to check my incision and administer meds.

    They must know that any mother who already has some experience would tell them to shove their “the baby is fine, she doesn’t need anything for the first few days” or the “you can’t give her formula” or my favourite “breast pumps and nipple shields are useless and ruin the breastfeeding experience” where the sun don’t shine.

    Love your blog!
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..My little girl turns 5… =-.

    Elizabeth Esther January 5, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Maybe it’s because I’m a mother of 5 and have handled so much poop, pee, breastmilk, blood and other bodily fluids that nothing grosses me out? but I guess I just think: if da baby is hungry, feed da baby! If my baby was hungry and crying and my boobs were dried up or otherwise incapacitated, I’d gladly hand my baby to another momma willing to nurse her. Not a TOTAL STRANGER, per se. But I do believe mamas can develop kindred bonds fairly quickly and b/c i’m a good judge of character, I’d make my decision based on that. I guess my point is—what’s the controversy? Boob and boob alike. FEED DA HUNGEE BABAY!

    Her Bad Mother January 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Totally. Nothing grosses me out anymore. NOTHING. (well, mostly nothing.)

    kelly @kellynaturally January 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    >>one, would you nurse another woman’s child

    Yes, providing she was okay with it. Nothing even remotely wrong or weird about it. A hungry baby is a hungry baby and a breast is there to feed her.

    >>or let another woman nurse your own child

    Yes, if I knew her & was comfortable with her eating & medication choices. Were it an emergency situation, might forgo the concern over most food/medications because I believe breastmilk to be better in quality to formula, regardless of nutritional choices of the mother.

    >>two, questions of nursing aside, are you more or less inclined to trust other mothers more than other strangers?

    Yes. Like directing lost children to find a mother – with children. Mothers mother, no matter the details, a mother seeing a lost child will help said child.
    .-= kelly @kellynaturally´s last blog ..Hearty Vegetarian Bean &amp Mushroom Soup =-.

    Sheri Bheri January 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    For the nursing thing – I think it depends SO MUCH on the circumstances that it’s almost a pointless question. To me it’s almost up there with abortion, you can think what your answer might be, but you can’t know your ACTUAL answer until you’re IN the situation. And just like abortion, I don’t think anybody else is allowed to have an opinion on YOUR situation.

    As for trusting Moms – in general yes, but specifically, “it depends”. I too tell my DD to find a Mom for help if she’s ever lost. But that’s because a Mom is easily recognizable (a lady with kids) and (apparently) studies have shown that a Mom is more likely to drop EVERYTHING to help a lost child.

    I agree with trusting Moms more in dire circumstances, because the Mom I would trust to “find” my lost child, may not be trusted to have my child for a sleep over.

    Rachel January 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    What an interesting article. When my grandson’s mother wasn’t able to nurse him anymore, my son called me to ask how he could find a wetnurse. Was it even possible. Unfortunately, the answer was no. It was only a 100 years or so ago that there was such a possibility.

    Elly January 10, 2011 at 3:14 am

    My two cents:

    If I were engorged and my baby wasn’t within arms reach, I would be volunteering my boobs for service. Any takers?

    Disease and content of milk (drugs/alcohol) aside, I wouldn’t have a problem with someone nursing my baby, nor would I feel the least bit of discomfort returning the favor. No hungry babies, no painful boobies, everyone is happy!

    Lisa January 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    As a nonbreastfeeder, I’ll leave the bf’ing questions alone. BUT I don’t think I generally trust someone JUST because they are a mother. I think probably more trust than is deserved can come from a few moments of watching a mom interact with her child in a favorable way or with a bonding convo over a shared experience. But just meeting someone who is a mom doesn’t get them any extra trust in my book at all. Probably because I know some pretty crappy moms.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Monster Jam is coming to Allstate Arena =-.

    Melissa Ann January 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I started to write a post explaining my opinion about cross-breastfeeding… but I’m just too tired and it was getting too long and it still didn’t make sense! So let me just say this: I’ve done it and would do it again. I let my daughter do it and will let the next baby do it. Only me and the other mom need to be comfortable with it :)

    To each their own, yes?

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