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If you think breastfeeding another child is ok, you'll need to read this.....Fixed!

Posted by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM
  • 287 Replies

It's not. If you have not been approved by a doctor to donate your breast milk, please please for the health of the child do not breastfeed another person's child. Here's some information as to why....yes, this is a spin off topic.


Child Sexual Abuse Includes Touching and Non-Touching Behaviors

Touching behaviors include: Š

Touching a child’s genitals (penis, testicles, vulva, breasts, or anus) for sexual pleasure or other unnecessary reason. Š

Making a child touch someone else’s genitals or playing sexual (“pants-down”) games. Š

Forcing a child into prostitution. Š

Putting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or a penis) inside the vulva or vagina, in the mouth, or in the anus of a child for sexual pleasure or other unnecessary reason.

Non-touching behaviors include: Š

Showing pornography to a child. Š

Exposing a person’s genitals to a child. Š

Photographing a child in sexual poses. Š

Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts either in person or on a video. Š

Watching a child undress or use the bathroom, often without the child’s knowledge (known as voyeurism or being a “Peeping Tom”).

So, just so it's clear, if you breastfeed another persons child without their permission, and possibly with it, and there are other options available i.e. bottle, Mom, possibly baby food or rice cereal. If you have other options, breast feeding another persons child CAN be considered molestation

This next quote was taken from a forum of a mom asking about breastfeeding without the parents permission, while that is not the focus of my topic, this addressed issues and concerns related to my topic.


Hi JC. I have to say, I’d be taken aback if someone else breastfed my baby without my permission, no matter how good a friend they were. And realistically, if your friend was gone for only an hour it wouldn’t have caused any real problems for her baby to NOT be fed for that length of time.

However as you said it would be a shame to ruin a ten year friendship, so I have asked Dr Ben Hartmann for some advice. Dr Hartmann is manager of the PREM Bank, Australia’s first human milk bank. This is what he has to say:

“As you may know we have been providing donor human milk to hospitalised preterm and ill infants in our hospital for the past 3 years. During the development of our milk bank managing the process safely has been our major focus. Although in general few viruses are thought to be transmitted via breastmilk there is a small risk that some extremely significant viruses (such as HIV) may be transmitted from mother to infant via breastmilk (we know that breastmilk contains many factors to protect the infant from such occurrences but these may not offer complete protection). For this reason all donors to the PREM Bank are screened in a manner consistent with the requirements for blood donation in Australia. We screen through questionnaire (medical history and lifestyle) and through blood test (HIV 1+2, Hep B+C, HTLV 1+2 and syphilis) - most milk banks internationally meet these or similar standards.

Also all donors are also required to notify the milk bank of all medications taken. And some medications, smoking and any more than occasional alcohol consumption will prevent a mother from donating.

Your concern regarding the difference in age of the two infants and that one is on solids are certainly issues to consider. These factors do influence the composition of breastmilk - but milk composition during a feed, and between different feeds can vary significantly. A breastfeeding baby can (and does) regulate their intake based on appetite and need.

I guess to summarise I would suggest that although breastmilk is an amazing and complex fluid that provides so many benefits - beyond just nutrition - to babies, the consequences of some of these risks are severe. One could only counsel parents considering the sharing of breastmilk in the knowledge that they fully understood and accepted these risks. For this reason our current policy (and that of most other countries and organisations such as WHO) is that 'donor' breastmilk should only be sourced from an appropriately managed human milk bank. Currently in Australia, milk banks (the PREM Bank being the first and largest) only have resources to provide donor milk to those most at need, that being preterm and ill hospitalised babies.”

So JC, sharing breastmilk is not risk-free. Even if you know without a shadow of doubt that you don’t have any communicable diseases that could potentially have been passed on, you can expect your friend to have that same 100% confidence – hence her reaction. My advice would be for you to give this information to your friend, along with an apology. And good luck!


Before commercial formula, wet-nursing was the only lifeline for some infants. But Jennifer Baumgardner’s essay Breast Friends, which detailed how she and her friend breastfed each other’s baby--just because they could--made me wonder: How safe is someone else’s breast milk?

Actually, I first thought about this a few years ago when a friend came over to take my five-day old baby for a walk while I napped. When she came back, she reported that he’d been hungry and, rather than returning and waking me up, she’d nursed him.

I thought it was a little strange, but I didn’t worry about it until I mentioned it to my husband, who told his friend, an emergency room doctor. The ER doctor informed us that HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis and other viruses can be transmitted through human milk.

Even La Leche League International does not encourage wet-nursing or cross-nursing infants. In addition to potential infection, cross-nursing can totally confuse and frustrate the baby, to the point that it might refuse to nurse at all. And milk from the baby’s mother is exactly formulated for what her own baby needs. Another woman’s milk probably won’t meet the needs of the nursing child.

But the interesting part of the debate over wet- or cross- nursing are the range of attitudes, from `what’s the big deal?’ to outrage. One mother in Gabrielle Palmer’s "The Politics of Breastfeeding" compares letting another mother breastfeed her child to adultery.

Had I seen my friend nursing my son, I might have felt the same way, given how betrayed I feel when I see him drinking breast milk out of a bottle. And after working extremely hard to get breastfeeding established with my second child--something I found harder than giving birth--it is now the most rewarding and relaxing part of my day.

Of course, since I’m working, these moments come at 2 or 4 a.m., but I wouldn’t trade feeling that "familiar tug" as Baumgardner wrote, for anything. Never mind the health risks. I simply wouldn’t want to share the bond. Would you?

So there you go, if you want links to any of the sites, feel free to message me.

ETA: Sorry everyone, I do not know why it posted that way, it was not the way I had it formatted.

ETA: So apparently there was more then one post about breastfeeding anothers child, I did not read the one where a child was dropped off without food. I wasn't even aware of it's existence until I made this post.

ETA: Here is a bit more information from an international site that is there to help support breastfeeding mothers and to get accurate health information in regards to cross-nursing or wet nursing.


In March 2010, the LLLI Board of Directors adopted the following policy regarding the donation of human milk:

Milk Donations

La Leche League International fully supports the use of human milk for babies. The first priority of LLLI is to help mothers breastfeed their babies. A second priority is helping mothers to express and safely store their own milk for their babies. When their own mother's milk is unavailable, babies may need human milk donated by other mothers. It is essential that this donated milk be safe. As an international organization, LLLI is aware that many mothers in many cultures have informally shared their breastmilk and wet nursed among family members and trusted friends. LLLI also recognizes that in times of severe maternal illness/death and natural disaster, sharing milk has been lifesaving. The latter special circumstances, however, are beyond the scope of this policy statement. In keeping with the recommendations of the Health Advisory Council of the LLLI Professional Advisory Board, LLLI has developed stringent guidelines concerning the collection and use of donated human milk.

When a mother contacts a Leader seeking donated human milk, the Leader shall respond with information and support. This shall include information about induced lactation and/or relactation. The Leader shall also suggest the mother dialogue with an appropriate, licensed health care provider and contact a licensed human milk bank or other regulated and medically supervised human milk collection center in her country. The Leader shall inform any mother interested in using donated human milk for her baby, whether on an occasional or on a long term basis, of the documented benefits and risks connected with this form of infant feeding. Benefits include, but are not limited to: optimal nutrition, easy digestibility, and immunologic protection. Risks can include, but are not limited to: transmission of certain infectious agents, like bacteria or viruses, some of which may be found in milk expressed by asymptomatic women; drugs; possibly some environmental contaminants, and potentially unhygienic storage and handling of unprocessed donated milk. Milk from a qualified milk bank will require donors meet specific health requirements before accepting their donated milk, which eliminates many of those risks. Each country sets its own standards for milk donors and these screening criteria are available by contacting the milk banks directly. If a mother is interested in donating her milk, a Leader shall provide contact information for licensed human milk banks or other regulated and medically supervised collection centers. A Leader shall never pressure a mother to donate or to continue donating her milk. All identifying information concerning the donors and recipients shall remain confidential. A Leader shall remind a potential donor mother that her own baby has a natural priority to her milk. A Leader shall inform a potential donor that: 1) a donor may request complete information from the milk bank or collection center about how her milk will be used; 2) a donor may inquire if she may restrict how her milk will be used; 3) a donor may make her decision about donation in the light of the information she receives from the milk bank or collection center.

A Leader shall never initiate the suggestion of an informal milk-donation arrangement or act as an intermediary in such a situation. If a mother wishes to discuss these options - which may include donating expressed milk, wet-nursing or cross-nursing - the Leader's role is to provide information about the benefits and risks, as mentioned above, including the limitations of home sterilization of expressed breastmilk. If the baby is hospitalized, the mother is directed to dialogue with the medical staff caring for her regarding hospital policies on providing human milk for a baby in their care. The mother will then make her own informed decision based on her situation and culture.

A Leader shall not ever suggest an informal milk-donation arrangement, including wet-nursing or cross-nursing. If a mother wishes to discuss these options, the Leader’s role is to provide information about the risks and benefits so that the mother can make her own informed decision based on her situation.

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM
7 moms liked this

Paragraphs are your friend.

by MrsAwesomePants on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM
1 mom liked this

TL;DR I wouldn't breastfeed someone elses child unless I adopted them (I guess then they'd be my baby huh?) and happened to be lactating. Which isn't going to happen since I am not longer lactating and don't plan on getting pregnant again.

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM
3 moms liked this

I would be really disgusted and freak out if someone breastfed my baby without permission. friendshi would be over. that is something that needs to be asked. and if someone asked me that im pretty sure i would say no. an hour is not long enough to worry about a child starving.

by Ruby Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM
3 moms liked this
Are paragraphs considered taboo in some places? They shouldn't be.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM
3 moms liked this

Holy freaking hell. Who's going to read that?! TLDR

by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Yea, I'm not reading this. There needs to be paragraphs. 

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Yep, I skipped reading the thing. Wow.

Quoting Anonymous:

Paragraphs are your friend.

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM
It has been said...this is unreadable.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM
Paragraphs are your friend. Learn how to use them.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM

What if you left your child with someone for over 5 hours without any bottles/formula and you were not answering your phone or contacting who you left the baby with? Would you prefer your friend to just let your baby go hungry, scream, and cry until you felt like showing up?

Quoting mommybellygirl:

I would be really disgusted and freak out if someone breastfed my baby without permission. friendshi would be over. that is something that needs to be asked. and if someone asked me that im pretty sure i would say no. an hour is not long enough to worry about a child starving.

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