Do wet nurses still exist?

This is completely out of curiousity, but do wet nurses still exist or are there laws relating it to molestation or anything (a stranger putting their breast in a baby's mouth type of thing). Seems if a woman was unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, it would be nice to have the option of breastmilk still available for their baby.

If they do still exist, is it safe? as in are the women screened for disease, or liscensed or anything like that?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Wet nurses join China's luxury list

    LUXURY cars, yachts and diamonds are commonplace for China's super-rich, but a new status symbol has been added — the wet nurse.

    The practice of infants being suckled by women other than their mothers was branded decadent by Mao Zedong and stamped out by postwar leaders.

    But in the booming cities of the east coast, the moneyed classes are no longer constrained by their communist overlords and are harking back to the past excesses of their ancestors. Pu Yi, the subject of the 1987 film The Last Emperor, was suckled well into his teens.

    A wet nurse is a status symbol and young mothers are being lured by the promise of up to eight times their existing salary to breastfeed offspring of the rich.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/wet-nurses-joi...

    HISTORY OF BREAST MILK & MILK BANKING

    Today, wet nursing is still practiced in some countries but mother's milk and formula are the more popular method of infant nourishment.

    Formula & Human Milk Substitutes

    By the late nineteenth century, the development of artificial milk substitutes began as a medical and nutritional tool for babies who were not able to breastfeed. Such formulas had a low success rate and resulted in an increase in infant mortality. Later in the century, cow's milk was analyzed and used in a variety of formulas. These improved substitutes seemed more beneficial than the earlier formulas but still did not deliver the total nutrition required for infant health and development. The awareness of disease and infection in the 20th century furthered formula research, and with the improvement of food processing, resulted in powdered or condensed formulas which were easier to use. Significant developments and chemical alterations have been performed since and such condensed formulas are still used, although none provide the total benefits that breastmilk offers.

    Milk Banking

    The concept of donor milk banking became popular in the last hundred years as physicians interested in the survival of infants and children looked for other ways to provide human milk. Donor milk banking is defined as the collection, screening, processing, and distribution of human milk from volunteer breastfeeding mothers. The first United States donor milk bank was established in Boston in 1911. Mothers received payment for providing their milk to hospitalized infants while continuing to nurse their own babies to maintain a milk supply. The donors were physically examined for disease and milk was pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. By the late1920's, more milk banks were founded in the United States and in 1943, the American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines for milk-banking operations.

    By the 1970's, neonatology became a field of its own and smaller premature infants began to survive. Donor milk became an integral part of feeding these infants, and numerous donor milk banks existed around the country.

    In the early 1980's, the number of donor milk banks drastically decreased with the rapid spread of AIDS and infections. Like blood, breastmilk is also a carrier of such viruses, and the use of formula further increased. Additionally, specific formulas were developed to meet the needs of premature infants and the supply of donor human milk became less critical. Still, infants were not receiving complete nutrition and research began to develop a safe, affordable way to provide human breastmilk to those in need.

    Today, breastmilk is the preferred choice of infant nourishment by physicians and pediatricians in North America and other countries. Donor milk is now dispensed only by prescription to babies with medical and nutritional needs including older infants and children with major nutritional or immunological problems. With the continued awareness of human milk banking safety and health benefits, more premature and sick babies are expected to thrive and certain infant diseases will be less of a threat.

    http://www.nationalmilkbank.org/aboutMB_history.ht...

    Current use

    Through the recent widespread availability of infant formula, wet nurses are not as necessary in developed nations and, therefore, are not common there. The use of a wet nurse is still a common practice in many developing countries.

    Through frequent stimulation of the areolae and nipples, a woman may begin lactating and, therefore, be able to nurse. This ability also enables women (even if they have never been pregnant) to nurse children to whom they did not give birth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_nurse

    there doesn't seem to be any laws on the books that i could find! hope i helped with your intrest!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Hi,

    In reply to this question, Do wet nurses still exist?, I can say you that take a look at this site http://asknursingonline.com it might help you

    As you described; "This is completely out of curiousity, but do wet nurses still exist or are there laws relating it to molestation or anything (a stranger putting their breast in a baby's mouth type of thing). Seems if a woman was unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, it would be nice to have the option of breastmilk still available for their baby. If they do still exist, is it safe? as in are the women screened for disease, or liscensed or anything like that?" it might help you.

    All the Best :)

  • 3 years ago

    Wet Nursing Today

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Through the widespread availability of infant formula, wet nurses are not as necessary in developed nations and, therefore, are not common there. The use of a wet nurse is still a common practice in many developing countries (source: wikipedia).

    Of course, mothers can always try to go through a milk bank as well, where donated breastmilk is screened for diseases and made available to babies in need.

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  • 1 decade ago

    iT'S SOMETHING THAT USED TO BE COMMON PRACTICE, FEEDING ONE ANOTHER'S BABIES ,FRIENDS AND FAMILIES.

    only a few years ago I was working in children's ward when there was a big shock horror,too do because a "new Australian" had breast fed another baby in the ward.She heard it crying, no one apparently came and she did what she would have done for a friend or relly, she fed the bub.

    OMG you have never seen anything like it, the hospital thought they had an assault case coming, the baby was tested for aids and hep b etc.It really was ridiculous and this poor woman who was just helping was made to feel she had done something wrong.

    I do know of people who are best friends in the lst few years feeding each others breast fed babies, they both got time out, they didn't have to express and fuss with bottles.both mums and bubs were happy as pigs in mud :)

    As to the question, I don't think you would find an ad anywhere for a wet nurse but there are milk banks,esp for premmy's though there was some talk of suspending them I don't know if that has happened I am out of the loop now.

  • 4 years ago

    Um, no we don't have wet nurses here in Australia. It is a health risk these days.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure about "wet nurses", but I know you can buy breastmilk online. They screen the donors and test the milk to ensure it is safe.

  • 1 decade ago

    I couldn't find any relating to if you are alowwe din america to use wet nurses but found an article in the UK about recent wet nurses. here is the link....

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,1983360,0...

    Source(s): I use ask.com
  • 1 decade ago

    I dunno, but if you call La Leche League, Im sure they would know.

    Or do a Google search on 'wet nurses'.

    Interesting question.

    .

  • 1 decade ago

    I think all nurses get wet sometimes, so yeah, I think they still exist, especially in Britain

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