More and more moms are letting other women breastfeed their babies. Find out why.Today on Good Morning America, experts discussed a growing trend called "cross nursing"--a practice where mothers allow other women to nurse their children in order to create a sense of community or for convenience. While some moms view this as nothing more than an extension of the rise in breastfeeding rates, others are concerned that milk from another woman could be diseased. And according to a recent poll conducted by Babytalk magazine, 45 percent of people say this trend is "disgusting" and "weird."
Breastfeeding has lots of benefits -- the milk is free and ready to serve and provides antibodies to young infants, which boost their immune systems and helps them fight infections. So is there any harm in letting another woman feed your baby if you're unable to?
"Although cross nursing is a controversial subject, historically this practice has been around for years," says Dr. Cara Natterson, a pediatrician and the author of Your Newborn: Head to Toe and Your Toddler: Head To Toe. "However, modern medicine has clarified that cross feeding has health risks for the child, especially since infectious diseases (maybe even undiscovered infections), alcohol, and other drugs can be passed through breast milk."
"Mothers who can't nurse their babies could always buy milk from a milk bank," Dr. Cara suggests. "These banks screen the milk for various infections (including HIV and hepatitis) and often pasteurize it, too."
Tabitha Trotter, 41, says she has cross fed for over 40 babies. "It's not that women simply don't want to breast feed," the mother of two says. "Many of my clients aren't able to nurse because they're on medication that interferes with their milk supply. And since studies show breast milk is healthier than formula, they turn to me. I also supply all my medical records and don't charge my clients. I feel like I'm doing something good."
Check out the video to decide for yourself. Would you breastfeed another woman's baby or allow her to nurse your infant?