Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The modern day wet-nurse

Wet nurse. A term familiar to nearly everyone. Although women are not employed full time as wet nurses any longer, the practice is far from dead. More commonly now, women share their milk when an opportunity arises of a baby or mother in need of milk.

Tonight, such a situation presented when a close friend and breastfeeding mama sent me a message telling me that her 7 ounce stash of milk for tomorrow was spilled. She said that she'd try her best to pump as much as she could tonight to be able to have enough for tomorrow, or else her baby would have to get formula in her absence while she'd be at work. I immediately exclaimed "Nooooooooooooo!" and that I would search for a donor immediately, for the lost 7 ounces of precious liquid gold we call breast milk.

I immediately posted on my Facebook, and on our "Breastfeeding Mamas" Blackberry group that I had a mama in search for milk ASAP. I then remembered a client that lived close by that I knew had a good supply and stash in the freezer. I gave her a call and she immediately went to check how much she could give. To my surprise and sheer euphoria, she could fill the whole 7 ounces! Then, simultaneously, another mom on the Blackberry group responded and said she could give 4. We were all overjoyed!

I grabbed a small cooler, filled it with ice and off I went to pick up and drop off the milk. In the mean time, I got a message on Facebook from yet another mom who had donated in the past who was saying she had 10 frozen ounces that were reaching their expiration date. Talk about moving mountains for some milk! Within half an hour, 3 moms were willing to donate a total of 21 ounces of their precious maternal milk to help this mom out! I couldn't have been prouder of all of them.

So the modern day nursing mother can become a modern day wet-nurse even if for just one time, in the blink of an eye

Breastfeeding is truly a self-sacrificing act that not only benefits your baby, but could also benefit another baby out there at some point or another. Sharing milk = Sharing love

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