The Wet Nurses

Porcelain is about to turn 1 year old on Christmas, and since birth she has only ever had breastmilk. At first it was mine, but as she got older and didn’t gain enough — she gained about 3oz/week and most IBCLCs want to see a baby gain 6oz/week — she got others’. This is just the first in a series of THANK YOU blogs for the women who made sure my baby only ever had breastmilk.

**Note: most women make adequate amounts of breastmilk — and just because your baby cries, it’s not a sign that you don’t have enough milk. I personally don’t make enough because I had a breast reduction and I also had weight-loss surgery. I knew that Porcelain didn’t get enough milk because she hardly had any wet or poopy diapers, and also because she wouldn’t go into a deep sleep. As soon as I started supplementing her with more milk, she started sleeping.**

The Wet Nurses

1. Mary F. Poppins, Nice-Nice, The Happy Mathlete and Lady Beaver of the Syllables

Of course, my Jugs nursed Porcelain! They were thrilled (at least, Mary F. Poppins was thrilled) and Nice-Nice even tandemed nursed — which probably prepared her for when her new baby is born and she’ll tandem. The other Jugs all would have nursed Porcelain, except they were no longer lactating.

Mary F. Poppins nurses Porcelain and tries to prevent a let-down on the other side.

Nice-Nice tandem nursed her baby and my baby into drunken stupors.

2. MPSS

My Car-Seat Obsessed Kohls-and-Costco-shopping Buddy. She came over and nursed Porcelained and watched all five of my kids while I did a research study for Britax and received a car seat for it. (She also did the research study on a different day and got a car seat.)

3. Heather from It’s Twinsanity

Was there ever any doubt that a woman who nursed two sets of twins — concurrently; she was nursing FOUR CHILDREN for two years straight — would nurse Porcelain? She also had a HBAC of twins and her husband was deployed for two years and she has six kids in eight years — she’s the awesomest. When Porcelain was born, she sent a beautiful blanket that she made. Because she has so much free time!

Heather just strapped her on and nursed while we walked through the zoo.

Nursing while pushing a stroller and handing out snacks to ELEVEN children.

4. SW

I received a really interesting email from SW: “Hi. I just had a baby and I’m engorged with milk. I hear your baby needs some extra milk. I think this could be a mutually beneficial situation.” Why, yes, SW, I think we can work that out! Interestingly, I knew SW a little bit and she didn’t strike me as THE TYPE who would offer to nurse another baby. I was very surprised — and pleased — that she so generously offered to nurse my baby. Thank you, SW!

5. CMC

It took me a while to become proficient at traveling with enough breastmilk, and occasionally I would be out somewhere and Porcelain would be hungry, and I wouldn’t have enough milk to satisfy her and we’d both cry. Such a situation happened one day when I was at a homeschool event at least 30 minutes from home, in another county. I called Little Miss Popular to ask who she knew nearby that was lactating . She gave me CMC’s phone number — we don’t call her Little Miss Popular for nothing! — and I called her like, “Hey, can you nurse my baby?” I knew CMC but hadn’t seen her in years — the last time we’d seen each other, The Informant had been a baby, and her third child had been a baby (now she had four and I had five). She tried to nurse Porcelain, but she wasn’t having much of it. Around that time Porcelain started to get picky about who she nursed from.

Part Two will continue with THE PUMPERS!

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12 Responses

  1. What a menagerie!! I LOVE this post!! So cool. And I LOVE the addition of photos; who knew it would make such a big difference?!!! It really does! I’m your prolific commenter today and yesterday. With me, it is feast or famine. =)

  2. Goosebumps!! I loved this post!

  3. I love this post! It is awesome to make this more normal for moms. We will take milk from an animal, but not from other humans? I add my thanks to the moms who wet nursed and pumped for you!

    • I know, right? It’s funny, when I talk to more mainstream moms about using donor milk sometimes I’ll see a lightbulb over their head. My neighbor actually asked said, “Why didn’t I think of that???” But back in the day, before I was crunchy, I thought the only options were nursing or giving formula.

  4. If you want I can send you the picture of me tandeming Zesty and David for your collection (I only did it once), but I don’t mind if it doesn’t make the blog.

  5. It is true that sharing milk makes the lightbulb go on for so many people!! I donate(d)–we JUST finished–for my friend’s baby for four months, and suddenly in her exercise group and her hypnobabies reunion group and her LLL group, all these moms are sharing milk because they heard her story. SO COOL! And we did it because I had heard of other mommas (you included) doing it. I love that it is so simple and requires no expert, scientist, or medical person to facilitate. Just smart parents. =)

  6. How does that work? Do the moms promise to stay abstinent?…. because who knows what their DH’s are doing in their free time???

    Just wondering

    • I did not ask any of the moms to stay abstinent — all were nursing their own children, so I assume(d) they were not putting their own children at risk. Most of the moms asked me about things like coffee or Zoloft, which was fine with me. I suppose with the pumped milk I could have boiled it if I was concerned but I never did. Some people do not feel comfortable with milk that doesn’t come from a milk bank for that reason, but I took the chances, I guess.

  7. […] birth work, postpartum work, prenatal work, breastfeeding — have you nursed in public? Have you nursed MY BABY in public? Have you donated breastmilk, consumed breastmilk or cried over sp…Have you seen my breasts? (Jugs say they’re both attractive AND functional!) Have you worked […]

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