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Are You Cross-Nursing?

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A national morning TV show is looking to interview moms who are cross-nursing. Here’s the request from my contact:
BabyTalk magazine and a national morning show are teaming up on a story about cross-nursing that will air later this month, and they’re looking for moms who would be interested in sharing their experiences on camera. If you are currently cross-nursing – breastfeeding a friend’s or relative’s baby – please email with a short description of your cross-nursing experiences and a phone number where you can be reached by the producer of the segment. No travel would be required for the interview – a camera crew would visit your home to tape the piece.
For a little bit of background…cross nursing is a situation where a mom occasionally nurses another child, while she continues to breastfeed her own child. This often happens in a child care situation. Wet Nursing, on the other hand, is the complete nursing of someone else’s baby, often for pay. (definitions from La Leche League).
While the benefits of human breast milk over formula are clear, there are definitely risks involved in cross-nursing. The main issue is the transmission of viruses, especially HIV. In addition, the mother may take certain medications that can be found in breast milk. Given these risks, human milk banks are another option for mothers who want to donate milk, or mothers who are unable to breastfeed their own infants. Milk banks carefully screen the donated milk.
For a summary of the benefits and risks of cross-nursing, check out this article from the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. The site Kellymom also has a good collection of articles. Finally, here’s a link to a post I did a while back about this topic.

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