Month 11: You Wanna Share What?!

these are not my boobsThe other day on the Today show, there was a segment on “breast sharing.” My first thought was: do they think that since we have two, we should share one with others? Fortunately Meredith Vieira clarified: the term refers to breastfeeding someone else’s baby. Okaaaaayyy …

I thought wet nurses went out of style with petticoats, but apparently I was wrong. There are actually women today who donate or rent their breastfeeding services to new moms. These new moms, for whatever reason, can’t breastfeed their own babies but still want them to get the benefits of breast milk. (This may be immature, but I can’t help brainstorming possible names for this unique business transaction: Rent-a-Rack? Merry Milkmaids?)

Wow. I had my hands full nursing my own newborn, let alone lending out my, uh, services to others. Between feeding, pumping, hydrating, and repeating, nursing was a round-the-clock operation. I can’t even imagine trying to squeeze some stranger’s baby into that schedule, or wanting to. Of course, then Meredith mentioned that a wet nurse’s services can go for $1,000 a week. Where do I sign up??

Just kidding. I still think it’s sort of a strange arrangement. One of the advocates on the show said she’d done it for a neighbor when that neighbor’s baby needed comforting. Um, wouldn’t you maybe try a pacifier first?

Still, doesn’t that make you nursing moms out there proud to know how valuable your services are in the marketplace? I guess it may be the black market, since there are health risks and legal concerns. Anyway, I’m not advocating it as a job option, just mentioning an interesting news segment.

I found a more appealing way to make some extra cash this week. (Quite a bit less than $1k, I might add, but it didn’t involve taking my shirt off.) I participated in a market research panel for baby food. A bunch of moms and I sat around eating crackers and cheese for an hour while giving our opinions on packaging and snacks and nutrition and stuff. Then we taste-tested some low-sugar, “healthy” food items. They were pretty gross, I’ll be honest. I know they’re bad for us, but hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup taste good, people.

But Miles doesn’t know that. So for now, he’s stuck with plain old sweet potatoes and applesauce. His nursing days are over, but I think he should consider himself lucky that he got the good stuff straight from me. And so should our neighbors! ;)

TIP O' THE WEEK: Get Tivo. It's SO worth it. Life with a baby does not allow for regularly scheduled 30 and 60 minute breaks to watch your favorite TV shows. Plus, you can record stuff that's on later than you can stay up (like "Lost") and watch it the next day during naptime.


Dooneybug said...

When my son was born, I was having the typical first-time mom issues with breastfeeding. A lady I know who's daughter was visiting her for a few weeks offered up her daughter to breastfeed my son (her daughter was then still bf'ing her 10 month old). I was very offended, especially considering this was my first child and all very foreign to me. It's like, can I please have a few days to get used to this before you start shoving your daughters breastfeeding prowess at me? Gah!

I know a lady who donated breastmilk because she produced so much. I had a pretty good stock pile myself but ended up using it all making cereal and bottles once I dried up from being pregnant again.

I think that donation of pumped milk is great, but the whole rent-a-boob freaks me out a bit.

Mom2Miles said...

That's so interesting. This was really the first I'd ever heard of it. I had a good stockpile of the stuff, too, until my hubby accidentally unplugged the freezer! :(

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