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Mom’s Viral Photo Encourages Breast Milk Sharing and Donations

It could save a life.

Lauren Archer/Instagram

For moms who struggle with breastfeeding, one woman is advocating for a simple solution: breast milk sharing. On January 12, postpartum doula Lauren Archer shared a photo to Instagram of her 20-month-old son nursing along with a child she breastfed for another mother.

“I have fed both of these babes at my breast. One is my biological son, one I had just met,” Archer wrote. “Wet nursing that babe is one of the most amazing memories I have.”

The mom of one then describes her experience wet nursing another woman’s child. “Thinking about that moment, remembering the flash of relief in the eyes of a mother who was exhausted and sore, feeling her trust and strength as she handed over her 2 day old baby to be nursed by me, a woman she met 30 minutes prior,” Archer said. “Her gratitude and love, my gawd the amount of love, I feel it even now.”

She adds that her son Cubby has nine “milk siblings,” who are other children breastfed by Archer. It’s something that she doesn’t take for granted, saying, “I want to mention the selflessness it takes to accept milk… I want to acknowledge the extreme trust that goes into feeding your child with another person’s milk or watching as another feeds them at their breast.”

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I have fed both of these babes at my breast. One is my biological son, one I had just met. – “I know we just met but I’m happy to feed your babe if you’re ok with it.” Thinking about that moment, remembering the flash of relief in the eyes of a mother who was exhausted and sore, feeling her trust and strength as she handed over her 2 day old baby to be nursed by me, a woman she met 30 minutes prior. Her gratitude and love, my gawd the amount of love, I feel it even now. – When we talk about donor milk or wet nursing, we often discuss how amazing it is that lactating people offer up their milk or their breast for another. And it IS amazing. But I want to talk about the parents that receive. I want to mention the selflessness it takes to accept milk. I want to talk about the dedication and time spent it takes seeking that milk out and getting it. I want to acknowledge the extreme trust that goes into feeding your child with another person’s milk or watching as another feeds them at their breast. – Being a parent is being part of a village. When you’re in need, you turn to your village. Breastmilk donations save lives. But it also allows non-nursing parents, parents unable to nurse, babes that are unable to drink formula, and parents that were wanting breastmilk to be a part of their journey to have a postpartum period they desire. – Cubby has 9 milk siblings. 9 times parents have put their trust in me. I do not take it for granted. Wet nursing that babe is one of the most amazing memories I have. That little babe has turned into the toddler you see here and her mother has turned into one of my best friends. The bond that came from that moment is stronger than any breastmilk antibody. – If you are looking to donate, reach out to your local midwives, birthing centers, and parent groups. Most of my donor families are friends of mine or people I have met through local midwives or birth and postpartum doulas. . . ???? by @mamanielaphoto

A post shared by Lauren Archer (@loveofalittleone) on

She urges anyone who is interested in donating to reach out to local birthing centers, parenting groups, and midwives. “Being a parent is being part of a village. When you’re in need, you turn to your village. Breastmilk donations save lives,” Archer reminds other moms.