How to Become a Wet Nurse

Three Parts:Choosing a Lactation MethodMaximizing Milk VolumeMaintaining your business

Wet nursing, the breastfeeding of babies from unrelated mothers, is one of the oldest professions in human history. Breast milk is the safest nutritional supplement a baby can consume. It provides the infants with natural antibodies, vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins that cannot be found in artificial formulas. For mothers who cannot provide breast milk to their newborns, finding a wet nurse is the next best thing and it can be a very lucrative profession.

Part 1
Choosing a Lactation Method

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    Induce lactation. In order to become a wet nurse, you must first induce lactation. You can do so either with or without becoming pregnant. The next two parts cover are the two methods you can choose to initiate lactation.

=== Achieving Lactation Through Pregnancy ===

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Getting Pregnant

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    Get pregnant. Decide carefully on which method of fertilization you want. Artificial insemination is becoming more common and has a high success rate. However, if you want to get pregnant the old fashioned way, all you need to do is eliminate birth control from your regime and have unprotected sex when you are most fertile.
    • Buy pregnancy tests in bulk, as you will need to use one five to six days after you have sex. It is also useful to use more than one pregnancy test to ensure that you are not getting any false positives.
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    See a gynecologist if you are having difficulties getting pregnant. They can help you choose the method of fertilization best suited to your health and lifestyle. When you see your doctor, ask her or him if it would be beneficial for you to start taking prenatal vitamins prior to becoming pregnant.
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    Observe changes within your body. Having sex right before you ovulate increases your chances of getting pregnant. You can determine your ovulation patterns by noticing changes within your body during that time. Normally your body temperature goes up by a few degrees when you ovulate, so keep a thermometer handy. Your vaginal discharge also tells you a lot about your fertility. When is is clear and more fluid like, you are more fertile than when it is a dry, milky white.

Lactation Before and After Pregnancy

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    Read this entire guide before marketing yourself as a wet nurse while pregnant.
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    Prepare to lactate. During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur within the body and you need to be ready for them. Your breasts will start to feel swollen, tender, and you may not fit into your normal bra size. Your nipples may also become swollen, puckered, or darker. Little bumps that secrete oils called Montgomery’s tubercles may also appear on the nipples. These are signs that the body is getting ready to produce milk and may start in the first trimester.
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    Use a milk pump prior to having your baby. It is important to pump out the colostrum from your breasts before you start marketing yourself as a wet nurse; unless, of course, your clients want you to breastfeed their children with the excess fats, proteins, and antibodies found in your colostrum. Pumping gets the breasts accustomed to producing milk, thus facilitating the feeding process for your little clients.
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    Anticipate increased milk production. Within two days after giving birth, your body ramps up production of hormones which increase lactation longevity. The clients you had during pregnancy will find your services to be even more useful now. You may even feel as if you have super powers, as your mammary glands are now equipped with tense muscles that make your milk squirt as far as 10 feet!

=== Achieving Lactation Without Pregnancy ===

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Physical and Mental Preparation

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    Be aware of side effects. Side effects may include and are not limited to swollen/sore nipples, enlarged breasts and frequent mood swings. Side effects occur due to the hormone supplements you will take for the lactation process to occur that signal the body to believe that it is pregnant.
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    Consult with a professional lactation consultant for advice and guidance. Lactation specialists are best equipped to provide the necessary prescription to receive pills, supplements or other medications. It is important to obtain a medical examination record to show your customers that you have a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.

Initiating Lactation

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    Know your hormones. Domperidone is the most common hormone supplement purposed with inducing lactation. Consult a doctor prior to taking any supplements, as they can prescribe the supplements most appropriate to your health and lifestyle. However, pharmacies within the US do sell this hormone without a prescription. However, it is not advised that you take any pills without a doctor’s prescription.
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    Take supplements consistently. Follow the prescription instructions exactly, as any minor deviation can slow the process of inducing of lactation. Pay attention to the side effects that come along with taking certain hormones and monitor these side effects to ensure that you are not having any allergic reactions.
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    Take estrogen pills to trick your body into thinking that it is pregnant. This will help with the transition of lactation. Six months before you wish to begin breastfeeding, stop taking estrogen because this action tricks the body into thinking you have given birth (How to Lactate) and are now ready to produce larger quantities of milk.
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    Create physical stimulation through a breast pump. Breast pumps can be found in baby department stores and retail stores that sell a wide range of products. Using a breast pump to initiate lactation provides consistent stimulation to the nipple. Use the breast pump three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. Start with a low suction, allowing the nipples to adjust to the sucking feeling. Lactation may not occur immediately. Improve your chances of lactating sooner by taking your hormones consistently and practicing nipple stimulation daily.
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    Opt for manual stimulation, as this method is cheaper but requires more time. With this labor intensive process, you begin massaging one breast with both hands. It is important to massage your entire breast, focusing especially on the nipple. Stimulate yours nipples in a fashion similar to that of a suckling infant. Massage your breasts 10 to 16 times a day. When you begin to feel engorged with milk, start bending forward while doing your daily massages, allowing the milk to flow downwards and excrete from the nipple. If you do not see any lactation within two months, it is best to resolve to the breast pump method.

=== Preparing Yourself for Work ===

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Confirming Your Health

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    Get tested for all kinds of STDs and common viruses. Your clients will likely want to see your medical history and you will look very professional if you have copies of it. For more details on the things you should be tested for, visit
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    Sanitize constantly. The health of your little clients depends on your cleanliness. Ensure that you sanitize your nipples in between clients. It is recommended that you only breastfeed children who do not have teeth, as bites can cause skin breakage and will put you out of commission until they heal. If you are bitten, visit a doctor immediately to get the all clear and also let your clients know about the incident in writing of your being bitten prior to breastfeeding their child.
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    Ask your doctor if they would recommend that you take lactation supplements. Ensure that the supplements you take are safe for both you and the infants you will be breastfeeding. Organic supplements may not last as long as artificial ones and may be more expensive, but they are usually safer and are highly recommended. You can refer to’s homepage for more information on taking organic supplements.

Finding a Breastfeeding Bra

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    Shop for your cup size. You do not want to deal with the discomfort of a bra that is too big or too small during or after breastfeeding. Go to a nearby maternity store and have them measure your bust to ensure that you get the right cup size. Also get a tightly knit cup size to provide ample support for your breasts.
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    Look for bras with removable nipple holes in order to facilitate the feeding process. You can also get a bra that unlatches from the front.
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    Purchase cotton bras, as they allow the skin to breathe and prevent the growth of bacteria. Avoid any lace or silky material that can be easily soiled. Underwire bras may result in irritation of the breasts as the wire may push against the breast tissue and create discomfort.
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    Wash your breastfeeding bras regularly. Washing your bras with hot water and mild laundry detergent is extremely effective. Sanitizing them with chemicals is not recommended because often these chemicals are too harsh and may harm your little clients upon contact.

Legally Educating and Protecting Yourself

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    Consult a lawyer. Paperwork is necessary for this exchange of bodily fluid. You must always enforce the safety of the child as well of yourself while wet nursing. Have a lawyer draw up a contract detailing exactly what services you will provide to your little clients and have the lawyer include a consent form that must be signed by the parent with an unbiased witness present.
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    Get regular checkups to ensure that you are at optimal health when wet nursing, and have the paperwork to prove this. A contract also helps to avoid any awkwardness that may accompany this kind of transaction, as it includes the risks, benefits, compensation, binding period (how long you will provide these services), and consent of both parties in writing.

Professionally Marketing Yourself

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    Market yourself innovatively. You can start marketing yourself as a wet nurse on freelance websites like Craigslist. If you prefer not to have bodily contact with your clients however, consider opting for freezing and selling your milk to local hospitals or even online (just make sure the seal is airtight).
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    Join communities that promote breastfeeding and get yourself acquainted with the maternal wards of nearby hospitals. Some mothers are not able to produce milk for their infants, or should not because they have harmful substances in their systems. Therefore, making yourself known to local hospitals and OB/GYNs as a wet nurse is a good way to start marketing because hospitals recommend breastfeeding instead of artificial feeding and would likely make use of your services.
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    Seek wet nursing affiliated organizations. A good place to start marketing during your pregnancy is La Leche League, an organization dedicated to providing support and education to breastfeeding women. They hold meetings regularly and you could easily find a client there! There are also companies like Certified Household Staffing, based in Los Angeles, who act as middlemen and connect wet nurses to employers.
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    Tailor your client quantity to your tolerance for pain. Feeling sore is normal. For the first few days of breastfeeding, you may feel discomfort. This pain can be alleviated by gently rubbing ice on your nipples or applying organic, paraben-free ointment. Start wet nursing two to three children a day, slowly adding clients as you grow comfortable.

Part 2
Maximizing Milk Volume

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    Drink water in sufficient quantities. While breastfeeding, women must stay hydrated to continue maximizing their milk volume. Drink five glasses of water per infant, per hour. Another way to balance your liquids is to consume raw vegetables, fruits, and drink herbal teas. Avoid heavily salted foods and caffeinated beverages, like coffee and soda.
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    Ensure that you've met all the proper dietary needs. Consume specific foods like oatmeal, garlic, carrots and nuts. These are nutritional foods that several sources claim increase lactation. Include fenugreek and fennel seeds in your diet to increase milk production. Consider using go-lacta pills or powder, which can be found at
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    Relax and maintain a positive mindset. Stay stress free. Getting into the right mindset about lactation will increase the chances of milk production. Maintain a healthy lifestyle mentally and physically. Babies sense stress and fatigue, so do not bring such emotional states into the feeding environment. If you feel stress or anxiety, consider yoga or meditation classes.

Part 3
Maintaining your business

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    Develop customer loyalty through professionalism and individualized care. Monitor your milk production. Keep in mind that your revenue directly correlates to your client base. Whether you chose to become pregnant or not to induce lactation, you must still continue to breastfeed in order to continue producing milk.
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    Achieve lactation longevity. Breastfeed indefinitely, if you choose to. Judith Waterford, a renowned wet nurse in the early 1800s, continued to produce milk until she was on her deathbed at 81 years old![citation needed] Continue to breastfeed every day, and continue to pump milk on your days off.


  • Wash your bras and bathe yourself frequently, especially between clients. Limit the transfer of germs as much as possible.
  • Always speak to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Obtain a support system to help you get your business started and help you with doctors’ appointments as this profession can be overwhelming at times.
  • Learn about social media. It will help get your name in the professional world and help flourish your business.
  • Put money aside. Hormone pills and doctor visits can be expensive.
  • Stay motivated and never be discouraged, as lactation without pregnancy is a more difficult method to achieve.
  • Be patient; this profession takes a lot of time to develop and finding the perfect clients will be a huge task to master.
  • Create good relationships with your clients and their parent.
  • Have a soft blanket or cover-up available at all times when leaving the house with a client.
  • Before you build your clientele, set ground rules and expectations to avoid conflict later on.


  • Ensure that your milk pump is sanitary. Bacteria can easily begin to grow inside the tubes of your pump if you do not wash them frequently with hot water and soap.
  • If a client makes you uncomfortable, stop working for them immediately. Breastfeeding another’s child is difficult enough without pressure from the parent.
  • Do not get too attached to your little clients, as they will inevitably age and will no longer need your services after a while.
  • Avoid alcohol and do not take any drugs without your consulting your doctor
  • Protect your reputation as a wet nurse, as online reviews of your services can make or break you.

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