Is shared breastfeeding wrong?

In the 17th century, when a mother could not produce milk and there were no handy formula bottles to be made, employing a wetnurse was not a strange occurrence. Having someone in your home who could provide sustenance to your newborn baby was necessary if you wanted your child to grow up strong and healthy.

In 2007 a small community of women picked up the tradition of using wetnurses and cross-nursing (or the act of moms nursing each other's babies). Time Magazine reported that the group of women were mostly young moms who had problems nursing on their own due to work or having undergone breast surgeries.

Despite the benefits of breastfeeding, cross-nursing or using a wetnurse can have it's problems too. Viruses, such as HIV, can be passed from mom to baby when breastfeeding. If you're not 100% sure that your co-breastfeeder or wetnurse is healthy, then you could have a problem.

The Kardashians want to cross-nurse?

In this recent interview with Kourtney and Kim Kardashian on the Today Show, the sisters candidly chat about sharing the breastfeeding responsibilities when one of them needs a day off.

Kim, who's due in July 2013, started off by saying, "You know what she [Kourtney] said to me on the way over here? She said that in the old days - and maybe we should try this, like one sister should babysit all the kids so I can go out, and vice versa, and then whichever sister's babysitting should just breastfeed all the kids."

Kourtney insisted, "I didn't say 'let's try this.' But [Kim] did say, 'Does that not freak you out?' and I said, 'No, it doesn't.'"

With breast pumps and formula so readily available, would you consider a wet nurse or cross-nursing?
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24