Wet Nurses Are Good News for Babies & Bad News for Formula Companies

breastfeedingWhen you’re pregnant, deciding to breastfeed your baby is one of the most important decisions a mother can make. But here’s another decision to add to the mix – do you do the breastfeeding yourself or hire someone else to do it for you?

I admit that my first reaction to an article titled “The Return of the Wet Nurse” on AOL was a bit of outrage. A wet nurse may be the only good choice for a mom who for some medical reason can’t breastfeed but wants to give her baby breast milk, but when they started talking about busy career women and Hollywood celebrities who just don’t have time to do it themselves, I admit I started feeling a bit judgey.

The more I think about it, however, the more I think it could be a great option. We outsource everything else these days, why not breastfeeding?


Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful bonding experiences between a mother and a child ... when it works. But even for those with the best of intentions, sometimes it just doesn't. A job, other children, and plenty of other obstacles can get in the way to a child being breastfed. It's nice in theory to say nothing is more important than giving your child breast milk, but reality doesn't always cooperate with that ideal. So if someone has the means to overcome those obstacles and get that vitally important breast milk for their child via a wet nurse, then good for them.

That said, it's not something I would ever do. The money aside, I just can't imagine anyone other than myself giving my child that special gift. It would be too intimate and, frankly, just too weird for me. I'd rather give my child formula than let someone else breastfeed her. I understand if you're feeling judgey now, but I'm being honest.

In general, however, I think this "trend" is a boon for the whole "breast is best" movement. It certainly is a good sign that the importance of breast milk is being realized if people are willing to go to such extreme lengths to get it for their children anyway they can. So regardless of how you feel about people outsourcing breastfeeding on an individual basis, that's at least something we can all celebrate.

What do you think about people hiring wet nurses?

Image via Daquella manera/Flickr

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