Cross-nursing

Cross-nursing means nursing someone else’s baby once in a while — wet-nursing is nursing someone else’s baby full time, usually for pay. Both of these used to be common. Good Morning America just did a short segment on cross-nursing. Here’s La Leche League International’s official statement that notes the need to be careful to avoid sharing infectious diseases or leaving one of the babies hungry. The thing that surprises me is that so many people see this as strange. Historically (and still world-wide) it is just what you had to do to feed babies when their mothers are away. Remember the recent story of the Chinese police woman that breastfed several babies in addition to her own after the earthquake? She was called a heroine for cross-nursing!

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