A Texas mother is getting quite a bit of attention recently after releasing a series of photos. Unfortunately, it’s not so much her that people are concerned about, but rather what’s on her chest – and many are saying the pictures have gone viral for the wrong reason.
Lacey Dangerstone, 27, from Fort Worth, Texas, has two children and naturally began breastfeeding just after her first daughter, Luna, was born in 2012. However, it seems that what she’s done since has garnered quite a few prying eyes.
Lacy is deep-rooted in wet nursing – the practice of breastfeeding another mother’s child – but she explains that it has developed a negative connotation over the years. “Wet nursing is considered a taboo subject, but isn’t it just one mother helping out another and, more importantly, the child or baby?” she rhetorically asked. “Breastfeeding other babies and toddlers has changed my life.”
What many people in today’s society don’t understand is that wet nursing kept millions of babies alive over the course of history. Back in the days before baby formula, mothers who couldn’t breastfeed depended on wet nurses to keep their children alive. Since we don’t necessarily need it anymore, and it is no longer the “not the norm,” people generally look at it as twisted or perverted.
As it turns out, her first wet nursing experience took place with one of her sister’s friends. Seeing how Lacey was personally breastfed by a woman other than her mother when she was a child, she was used to the concept and offered to help as they were in a pinch.
“The baby was nine months old and the mom and dad needed to go away for the weekend. My little one was four months old, and I was producing more milk than they needed,” she said. “I talked about it with my sister and her friend, and they were thrilled. Eric, my husband a 28-year-old system administrator, Luna and I stayed at the other couples’ house on the weekend to make the baby more comfortable.”
Since then, she’s tried to educate others on the matter and even hosts parties to do so. “My husband was proud and so was I. Some friends found it disgusting and others were supportive,” Lacy stated. “So what I then set out to do was help educate others about wet nursing, and now I’m establishing a global network of mothers in the UK, Australia, Europe, Canada and the US who can set up wet nursing groups in their communities.”
Lacy has wet nursed 12 babies total, including her nephew, friends’ children, and even friends of friends. “Often a group get together and swap babies to feed,” she further explained. “I might be with one or two other mothers and we’ll have babies we are wet nursing. If one of us is busy the other will take the baby that needs nursing.”
Lacy does go on to say that wet nursing does take some common sense though. “It is important if you are wet nursing [that] everyone is comfortable with the concept. That you discuss with the baby’s mom her expectations, you know the baby’s routine and it blends easily with you and your baby,” she said. “You also need to ensure you don’t overly bond with the child that isn’t yours. The reality is it’s a convenient way for babies to get the milk that was made for them. Obviously you want to make sure everyone is ok with it, but once that’s established, do it unashamedly.”
Once that’s out of the way though, it should be smooth sailing. In today’s society, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Although wet nursing is uncommon these days, it isn’t disgusting and isn’t right to shame it.