Could You Breastfeed A Baby In Need

Recently I caught the video clip of a famous and beautiful actress breastfeeding another woman’s baby. I don’t know what was more interesting- the fact that she was nursing a child that was not her own or how much media attention she was receiving because she was doing it.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

Personally, I think it’s beautiful that Salma Hayek felt the need to help this hungry little baby when the mom was tired and starving herself. Perhaps because she is famous it is helping bring a new light to what is natural- feeding a child.

I have heard of mothers nursing adopted children, but another child while the mother is sitting right there- this is new to the public eye. In the United States breastfeeding in general is typically viewed as something one must do in their own homes with their own children. While in other countries, mothers carry their babies in slings 24 hours a day and the baby can breastfeed at any time. They also band together and help raise the children as a community, even feeding other children that are not your own.

Hayek said her decision to breastfeed another woman’s child was an attempt to diminish the stigma placed on women for breast feeding. At the time she was still breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter. ~ABC News

So it’s not just our own country that looks down upon breastfeeding. However, in Sierra Leone it is believed that one can not have sexual relations while breastfeeding. So with pressure from their husbands these woman sadly stop breastfeeding within months of the baby’s birth. In a country where malnutrition is already wide spread these baby’s need the best that they can get. So not only did Salma help break the stigma placed on these woman in Africa, but also here in the States as well.

Could you breastfeed another woman’s child? What do you think Salma’s action has done for the breastfeeding community worldwide? Is the world in general lacking major education on breastfeeding?

16 comments to Could You Breastfeed A Baby In Need

  • Ruth N.

    I admit I’ve felt the urge to feed another woman’s child, when the child was obviously hungry and the mother wasn’t there. But let’s face it, breastfeeding is personal, and I don’t think I’d feel comfortable feeding someone else’s child that way. A baby without a mother would definitely be different.

  • Rashel

    I would breastfeed another womun’s child if the mother was not there to do so. This came up for me recently when I was going to watch a newborn for 2 hours and thought “If this baby cries I am going to have to pull out my breast” and wondered how that would feel. How would my two year old feel? Would the newborn even take my breast? Would my “old” milk still be tasty and nutritious enough? Would I feel like I was “cheating”? How would the other mother feel? Breastfeeding is a very intimate act but it can also be a compassionate act as well. If a newborn is crying and needs to eat why not give it if you have it?

  • Mommy News

    Do you remember the story of the police office in China who was breastfeeding 8 babies after the earth quake – that was a beautiful story as well! I would definitely help out a baby in need!

  • When I was breastfeeding, I offered to breastfeed my friend’s foster baby who really needed it. We worked out an arrangement where I pumped for him. It was a great feeling to have that simple gift to offer. If a struggling mother needed it, I would in a heartbeat.

  • I would definitely nurse another baby, given the right circumstances (aka an emergency and/or the mother’s permission).

  • Mommy News

    That is so awesome Elizabeth! What a great gift you gave to them.

  • the thought of breastfeeding another child had crossed my mind many times while i was/am breasfeeding my own children.
    i would not hesitate breastfeeding a child in need if the child’s mother would be unable to do so.

  • What a great thought provoking post. I breastfed all three of my children, and while I agree it was a very special, intimate, bonding experience with each of them, I would not hesitate to breastfeed another child if they needed it.

    We wouldn’t hesitate to clothe and hold a baby who need us, why would we even question feeding one? I wonder if some of the problem people seem to have with this is the actual act of breastfeeding? Would they be equally upset if it was pumped milk given out of a bottle?

    I think Selma reacted in a natural maternal way and offered a hungry child something to eat. It was a simple act, one that I am surprised so that so many seem to have an issue with.

  • Magan

    I think it’s great what she did! I think more celebrities and known people that will be listened to should stand up for it… cause in our society nobody seems to repect professional medical advice! Sure, I could breastfeed another’s child if I had it to give and the circumstances were right. It sickens me at how many women I know who find the act of breastfeeding… and OMG “in public”! just disgusting and I think that’s a shame, cause its how God intended us to feed our children, its not a sexual act, it should be just as natural as seeing another mom stick a binky in her child’s mouth who is fussing while they are out shopping or something. I find even mother’s who breastfed their own are very critical.. they only nursed their own at home for the first few weeks cause that was “good enough”, well it’s not good enough for mine, they will get it for a year or more, whenever and wherever they need it. If you see a little flash of a boob in public while the baby is starting or stopping to nurse – Grow up and get over it! It’s just a boob doing the job it was intended for, we need more women like Salma in this world that will help educate on nursing and put it into the public light more!!

  • I would feed another baby if need be. I donated milk for a short amount of time after my son was born. It was a local mom and baby so I actually got to meet them and I didn’t find it strange to see her feeding her baby the milk I had given them. In all the reading I’ve done I have seen several stories about situations like the earthquake in China where women have fed others babies. You have to wonder when things like Katrina happen what do the formula feeding mom’s do?


  • […] you know of anyone who has been a wet nurse? Salma Hayak brought this subject to light in the news recently when she breastfed a baby in Africa. How do you […]

  • Oh my gosh! That is so awesome and courageous! Kudos to Salma! What an amazing woman!!!

    Mama’s last blog post..Kids breastfed longer more likely to be skinny

  • Shelley

    In Oklahoma, it is illegal to breastfeed another woman’s child, no exceptions.

  • Wow Shelley, that is crazy! Wet Nurses go back to the beginning of time. Why on earth would OK feel the need to have such a ridiculous law.

  • Amber

    I was a wet-nurse for my God daughter for about 4 months until her mom got her work schedule and milk supply on the same page. I had a 6 month old son when I started this. He didn’t mind ( largely because it increased my milk supply) and was just like I was nursing my child. I would do it for any baby in a heart beat. I actually had to go to the hospital when my baby was 10 days old and my friend who was nursing at the time babysat him and she nursed him when he got hungry. I was so grateful for her and for her willingness to do that for me and my baby.

  • That is so awesome Amber!! Did you see this article: – it is a story of a mom who has been a wet nurse for 11 years. It is very heartwarming. I thought you might like it. Thanks for sharing your story too! — Judy

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