We're constantly being reminded that "breast is best" but how would you feel if it was someone else's nipple being proffered to your baby?
The practice of wet-nursing is undergoing a revival among women who can't breastfeed their children, either for medical, physical or vanity reasons.
Before the development of infant formula, it was common for mothers who were unable to breastfeed to hire a "wet nurse" to do it for her. But the practice fell out of favour in the mid-1950s as the popularity of formula grew.
Fast forward to the new millenium and a Los Angeles employment agency called Certified Household Staffing, which has added wet-nursing to its roster of services. It reports an increasing number of wealthy mothers, many of whom have breast implants, who want wet nurses for their babies. These specialist staffers live with the family for around a year and are paid an average of $1000 a week for their services.
Celebrity mothers are reportedly among those embracing the trend.
When you see a woman out with a celebrity and her children, many times that's not [just] a nanny," says Robert Feinstock, the managing director of Certified Household Staffing. "We're in Hollywood, we deal with a lot of people who are known throughout the world."
But not Salma Hayek! In 2009, the actress was touring a hospital in war-torn Sierra Leone when she came across a mother who was unable to provide milk for her malnourished one-week-old son.
She later explained: "The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother did not have any milk. He was very hungry – I was weaning my daughter Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk, so I breastfed the baby."
OK, that's Hollywood. What about Australia?
In 2011, when Mamamia asked the questions: "How would you handle it if someone breastfed your child? Would you ever breastfeed someone else’s baby if you could?" numerous commenters admittted they'd feed another woman's bub.