Considering Communal Breastfeeding
Related Videos
Most Recent
Most Viewed


Okay, we're cool with breastfeeding in public, but communal nursing? Daddy Clay and Daddy Brad tackle this parenting topic. Is it okay for moms to swap babies with other women for breast feeding? Is it a question of privacy? Sharing?


Daddy: Clay: Okay, I�m Clay; he’s Brad, DadLabs, blah, blah, blah. Let’s get right to it. We saw this article on the Time Magazine website that we’ve got to talk about. Daddy Brad: Yeah. Daddy Clay: There’s an article that says that there’s a new trend among breastfeeding women. This is “co-breastfeeding.” That is women that sort of share among themselves the breastfeeding duty, like kid breastfeeding swapping. Daddy Brad: Communal. Daddy Clay: Communal. I think the article was called, “Outsourcing Breastfeeding.” And I have to say, it raised some strong feelings in the DadLabs. And we felt like we wanted to talk about it to hear and see how other people felt because, frankly, I’m totally cool with it. Daddy Brad: I don’t get it. Daddy Clay: Not. It creeped me out. What do you mean you don’t get it? It’s very simple. So, there are two ladies and they each have a child. They breastfeed their own child, and then they swap. What’s hard to understand about that? Daddy Brad: Why? I just don’t get it. Could it be more than two? Could it be three or four, or like the whole block? Daddy Clay: Well it could be, I mean, yeah. Sure. So, the idea is that they would swap out the babies and I don’t feel totally comfortable with that. Brad: I don’t get it either. It’s odd. Is it a resource question? What are the benefits? You know, if you’re going to give half of your milk to your child and then give half of your milk to another child, and the other person is giving half their milk to their child and then half their milk to your child. Daddy Clay: That’s like three halves. I’m totally confused. Daddy Brad: Why not just give all your milk to your child? I don’t get it in that respect. Daddy Clay: Well, I’m not sure it’s really a resource issue. I think its sort of a bonding thing. Daddy Brad: The neighbors will love it. Maybe they’ll cut grass for you for free as they grow up. “Oh, you breast-fed me; I’m not going to charge this twenty bucks. I’ll just cut your grass.” Daddy Clay: Yeah, I mean, I guess it’s a whole other group of people that will bail you out of jail. Daddy Brad: It’s very interesting. I just don’t get it. Daddy Clay: Is it an economic question, I mean doesn’t it like, don’t you have a visceral reaction to, like, imagining multiple women breastfeeding your children? Daddy Brad: Okay It’s interesting. It’s very interesting. I think there are some things that you share in life and some things that you don’t share. Daddy Clay: Well, I agree. I feel the same way, it’s like the difference between my kitchen and, you know, a Denny’s. You know what I mean? I don’t want my kitchen to turn into a Denny’s. I mean, I don’t want my wife’s body to go from being a kitchen to being a Denny’s. Where anybody can sort of come in and, like, place an order. Daddy Clay: Can I get like twenty minutes on the left, please? Daddy Brad: Fajitas for two. Daddy Clay: That makes me uncomfortable. Why? Is it some kind of creepy sexual thing to me, it’s more like privacy. Okay, let me put it to you this way. I don’t feel totally comfortable when my kids, like come into the bathroom when I’m taking a dump. Daddy Brad: Well, sure. Yeah, it is private time. Daddy Clay: But I would feel really uncomfortable if somebody else’s kids came in and I was taking a dump. Daddy Brad: Yeah, yeah. I agree with you. Daddy Clay: Maybe that’s not a good analogy. Daddy Brad: Let’s think about this. Things that you share: appetizers; nachos, you can share nachos all you want; pitchers of beer, you can share pitchers of beer all you want; fajitas for two; a plate of wings; I mean, you can even play best ball and share your score in golf. Those are all fine things to share. But there are some things you don’t share: breastfeeding. Daddy Clay: Well, how about this? How about wet nursing? Where do you stand on wet nursing? Daddy Brad: You know, I think we’ve essentially kind of gotten away from the practice and some people are coming back to it, but I think that’s okay. That’s okay, yeah. Daddy Clay: But a wet nurse is a thousand dollars a day and we all realize that not that I was like pricing them or anything. That was in the article. Why not formula? Daddy Brad: Why not? Why not a milk bank? I mean, wet nursing, milk bank, I understand those. Daddy Clay: Still, milk bank? Maybe it’s just that it’s somebody else’s body fluids going into my kid. Daddy Brad: Yeah, are there virus issues? Kind of a chance for a—I don’t know. Daddy Clay: Maybe that’s why it makes me feel uncomfortable. You know, you drink milk from a bottle and its not like it all came from one cow. Daddy Brad: Yeah, but it’s kind of like when you go into McDonalds and you order the happy meal and you say, “Oh no, we don’t need cups, we’ll just drink it right from the dispenser.” Daddy Clay: You know what would probably be helpful, is if we had, like, maybe five more analogies in this bit and then we could get to something that would be sort of helpful to people, but I can’t imagine going back to wet nursing. Daddy Brad: You? Daddy Clay: I mean, that just seems so. Daddy Brad: Never mind. You mean you, or like society going back to wet nursing? I got you, okay. Words have meaning, you know? I got you. Okay. Understand. Daddy Clay: That would seem to me to be an awkward arrangement to pay someone and, like, you’re in a public place and the kid goes over to the wet nurse and starts like pulling on the bra, or whatever. Daddy Brad: Yeah, that would be awkward. But at home, I think that’s a completely different issue. This is communal nursing. You know, I’m as liberal as the next guy. I support same-sex marriages; I went to fifty Grateful Dead shows, at least, during my ten years of college. I mean, hell, I even take my groceries home in a canvas bag the carbon thing. But I just don’t get the swap-o-rama. Daddy Clay: Yeah, me neither. Daddy Brad: What are you doing, dude. That’s my beer. No.