baby

"Dry-nursing" is a thing. A thing you can do to stop a baby crying.

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Breast-feeding is a beautiful thing… if you can do it.

Maybe if you can’t do it, too.

Maybe if the baby isn’t even your baby. Maybe if you have no milk to give. Maybe if you’re just babysitting and want that kid to shut the hell up.

A story on Scary Mommy caught our attention this week. Written by young grandma Elizabeth Gooden, it told the tale of how she was babysitting her two-month-old granddaughter who just wouldn’t settle, no matter how many shush-and-pats Elizabeth pulled out of her experienced arsenal.

Listen to Monique Bowley and Mia Freedman talk about Dry-Nursing on Mamamia Out Loud:

Elizabeth writes:

“Taking a seat on the sofa, I took my granddaughter out of the Bjorn and held her close in my arms. She was rooting around, and I felt the letdown even though my milk had been dry for months. It was a phantom sensation, but my maternal instincts kicked in and so I latched her on my breast. I didn’t think about it really. She rooted, I offered, she accepted. Within a few minutes, she was sound asleep.”

Her daughter, when she came to pick up her baby, was unphased by her mum’s tactics, and Elizabeth says she now does it whenever she looks after her granddaughter.

Weird? Not so much. A quick dive into the world of dry-nursing shows it’s much more common that you think it is. Okay, than we think it is.

Women do it who have lost their milk supply but still want to give their baby the comfort of the breast. Women do it with babies they have adopted. And some same-sex couples do it so that both mothers can experience the intimacy of “breastfeeding”.

So what do you think? Would you let a family member calm your baby with the nipple? 

Listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here:

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