Women who have never suckled often experience difficulty in nursing on account of the sunken and flat condition of the nipples. The nipples may be drawn out by a common breast pump, by suction with a tobacco pipe, by the use of the hot-water bottle, or by the application of a puppy or of an infant a little older.
--The Physical Life of Woman, 1872
That little gem of advice was proffered up to women in 1872. But how about modern times? How many women do you know who breastfeed other species? Infomaniac does the research so you don’t have to.
A Norwegian woman took 10 hungry puppies to her breast when her dog died….
Nursing in Norway
A New Zealand woman breastfed her Staffordshire Bull Terrier pup “Honey Boy” because she wanted the dog to protect her baby girl as the pair grow up.
“It doesn't hurt, but it's a little bit ticklish," she said.
Apparently, there exists a practice among women from Papua New Guinea hill tribes who breastfeed pigs.
Meanwhile in India, Namita Das breastfed an orphaned monkey.
"This is not a pet, this is my son. Please get that right," she insists.
Just when I thought my work here is done and there can’t possibly be more cross-species nursing, along comes Hla Htay, breastfeeding two Bengal tiger cubs.
Ms Htay said she offered her services, at least until the cubs grew teeth.
Well that’s all the research I have time for today, folks. I’ll be sure to update as more cross-species breastfeeding stories cross my desk.