Two Women Breastfeed This Baby

To be honest, I’ve never heard of this happening – even outside lesbian couples – but I know that breastfeeding an infant is a strong bonding period and for both mothers to be able to be involved is an amazing thing.

Three-week-old Sequoia is one lucky baby: She is breastfed by not one, but two women, her mothers Heidi and Mary Ellen Olson. The married couple from Santa Cruz, Calif. engage in a practice called “co-nursing,” in which they share breastfeeding duties.

“Our friends are fascinated by the fact that my wife and I both breastfeed our daughter,” Heidi, 26, a nanny and the baby’s birth mom, tells Yahoo Parenting. “We get a lot of, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ and ‘I didn’t know that was possible!’”

Induced lactation is indeed possible through dedicated nipple stimulation — either by putting baby to breast or with the aid of a breast pump — and is sometimes used by moms (and, very rarely, men) with adopted or surrogate children who want to breastfeed. Mary Ellen has opted for something called the Newman-Goldfarb protocol, a physician-developed approach that combines pumping with the taking of a drug called domperidone.

Heidi, who lactates on her own, gave birth to Sequoia at the couple’s home after a year-long struggle with endometriosis which included laparoscopic surgery to remove her ovarian cysts. She became pregnant through an intrauterine insemination (IUI), a process in which donor semen is implanted in the uterus with the help of a physician.

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