How to Become a Wet Nurse: A Clear Guide

Wet nursing is a practice that has been around for centuries, where a lactating woman breastfeeds another woman’s baby.

Although it has become less popular in recent years, some women still choose to become wet nurses for various reasons. Becoming a wet nurse requires a lot of dedication, patience, and hard work, but it can be a rewarding experience for those who choose to pursue it.

Understanding the role of a wet nurse is the first step in becoming one. Wet nursing is a highly personal and intimate profession that requires trust between the wet nurse and the baby’s parents.

It is important to understand the responsibilities and expectations of being a wet nurse before pursuing this career. Wet nurses must be able to provide the necessary nutrition and care for the baby while also maintaining a professional and respectful relationship with the parents.

Skills and qualifications are important factors to consider when becoming a wet nurse. To become a wet nurse, one must be able to lactate and produce enough milk to feed the baby.

Additionally, wet nurses must have a strong understanding of infant care and nutrition, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with the parents. A strong commitment to the job and a willingness to work long hours are also important qualities for a successful wet nurse.

Key Takeaways

  • Wet nursing is a personal and intimate profession that requires trust and dedication.
  • Becoming a wet nurse requires the ability to lactate, knowledge of infant care and nutrition, and strong communication skills.
  • Wet nurses must be committed to the job and willing to work long hours.

Understanding the Role of a Wet Nurse

Wet nursing is breastfeeding a child not biologically related to the nursing mother. Wet nurses have been a part of human history for centuries, and their role has evolved over time. In this section, we will explore the historical context and modern-day relevance of wet nursing.

Historical Context

Wet nursing was a common practice in ancient civilizations, and it continued to be prevalent until the 20th century. In many cultures, wealthy families hired wet nurses to breastfeed their children, while poor women often became wet nurses to earn a living. Wet nursing was also common among royalty, as it allowed queens to continue their duties without being tied down by breastfeeding.

During the 19th century, wet nursing became a highly organized and well-paid profession in Europe. In France, wet nurses were required to undergo rigorous training and were subject to strict regulations. However, the profession declined in the 20th century due to the advent of formula feeding and concerns about the spread of disease.

Modern Day Relevance

While wet nursing is not as common as it once, it still has its place in modern society. Some women choose to become wet nurses to help other mothers who are unable to breastfeed their children due to medical or personal reasons. Others become wet nurses to earn extra income or to help babies in need.

Some organizations facilitate wet nursing, such as milk banks and milk-sharing networks. These organizations provide donated breast milk to babies who cannot receive it from their biological mothers. However, it is important to note that there are risks associated with wet nursing, such as the transmission of diseases and the possibility of inadequate nutrition for the child.

In conclusion, wet nursing has a rich history and is relevant in modern society. While it may not be as prevalent as it once, it remains an important option for mothers and babies in need.

Skills and Qualifications

To become a successful wet nurse, one must possess a combination of medical, nursing, and emotional skills. Here are some of the key skills and qualifications required to become a wet nurse:

Medical Knowledge

Wet nursing requires a thorough understanding of lactation and breastfeeding. It is essential to know the anatomy and physiology of the breast, as well as the nutritional requirements of a newborn. A wet nurse should also be familiar with common breastfeeding problems such as engorgement, mastitis, and low milk supply.

Nursing Skills

A wet nurse should have excellent nursing skills, including the ability to position and latch a newborn correctly. It is also essential to know different breastfeeding positions and techniques. A wet nurse should be able to recognize and respond to a baby’s feeding cues and understand the importance of frequent feeding.

Emotional Resilience

Wet nursing can be an emotionally challenging profession. A wet nurse should possess emotional resilience and be able to handle the emotional demands of the job. It is essential to separate personal feelings from professional responsibilities and maintain a professional demeanor. A wet nurse should also be able to handle the stress of caring for a newborn and be able to work long hours.

In addition to these skills, a wet nurse should possess excellent communication skills, work well in a team, and have a strong work ethic. A successful wet nurse should be compassionate, patient, and dedicated to providing the best care for the newborn.

Steps to Becoming a Wet Nurse

Becoming a wet nurse requires specific education and training, certification, and job-seeking skills. Here are the steps to follow to become a wet nurse:

Education and Training

The first step to becoming a wet nurse is to complete an accredited lactation program. This program provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to breastfeed another woman’s child successfully.

You will learn about the anatomy and physiology of lactation, how to help mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges, and how to provide emotional support to breastfeeding mothers.

In addition to completing an accredited lactation program, you should also take classes from hospitals or other organizations specializing in breastfeeding education. These classes will provide additional training in breastfeeding techniques, lactation management, and infant nutrition.


After completing your education and training, you should obtain certification as a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counselor. Certification demonstrates to potential clients that you have the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality breastfeeding support.

Several organizations offer certification for lactation consultants and breastfeeding counselors, including the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC).

Job Seeking

Once you have completed your education, training, and certification, it’s time to start looking for a job as a wet nurse.

You can connect with other professionals in the field, check online job boards, and keep things professional. It’s important to remember that being a wet nurse is a personal and intimate job, so it’s essential to maintain a professional demeanor at all times.

In conclusion, becoming a wet nurse requires specific education and training, certification, and job-seeking skills. By following these steps, you can become a successful wet nurse and provide valuable breastfeeding support to mothers and their children.

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