I’ve been putting off this post for a long time, but after writing about why men are breast obsessed, it seemed an opportune time to bring it up. So, today we’re going to talk about Adult Nursing Relationships, also known as ANRs, and more specifically, a husband nursing from his wife.
One reason I’ve put it off is because I don’t have any experience with an ANR, it’s not something we practice nor are planning to, but, I get at least a question a month regarding it, often more, so I thought I should tackle the subject.
In short, for those of you who don’t know, an ANR is one in which an adult nurses from a female adult. In this blog, we’re going to be tackling an adult nursing relationship between a husband and wife. For one, the questions I get all involve that fundamental relationship. Also, because of that, I think, is the only context in which this is acceptable.
I thought I’d just go through some of the typical questions, including the ones I had when it first got brought up.
Is it okay to do Biblically?
I can find no prohibition against adult nursing relationships in the Bible. Nor can I find any verses that would suggest a problem with it. Actually, I’d find an easier time defending it using the Bible than attacking it. One example is Proverbs 5. This chapter is Solomon’s advice to his son about defending against adultery. In it we see:
Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. – Proverbs 5:15
As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. – Proverbs 5:19
Now, this is not a clear cut case saying everyone should be in an adult nursing relationship. Some have tried to use it to say that. I’m not suggesting that at all. I’m merely pointing out that it’s easier to defend than attack biblically. I can’t find any reason why one cannot, from a moral standpoint.
Is it okay to do medically?
Breast milk can’t hurt you, and nursing doesn’t harm the woman (in the large majority of cases). When breastfeeding does hurt, it’s typically due to a bad latch. That’s true whether it’s an adult or infant. It could also be mastitis (breast infection), or indicating something else is wrong. Or, simply a high sensitivity.
The truth is, there is so much to breast milk that is beneficial to a person who is drinking it. Some even find evidence that it can help fight off breast cancer. I’m not sure how strong that evidence is, I’m not a medical professional after all. (Christina’s Thoughts in purple) I’ve read articles about breast milk fighting off cancer of people who drink it. Another story I read was a mother and 3 kids were trapped in a car in a blizzard lost for 3 days. The kids only had their mothers milk to drink since she had an infant. They were not even dehydrated from lack of water. Breast milk is an amazing substance. It is full of vitamins and nutrients. WHO recommends infants have nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months. So if you think about that, they grow the most in the first year, and their brain makes HUGE developments in that time too. So before I turn this into a pro-breastfeeding article, let’s just say that breast milk does a body good.
Arguably it’s much healthier than drinking milk from an animal. It’s specifically formulated to feed a human, not a cow, goat, sheep, or anything else. That said, it’s specifically formulated to feed an infant. But then cow’s milk is specifically formulated to feed an infant cow. That doesn’t seem to stop most people.
If the mother is breastfeeding a child, will it take away from the child?
In most cases, no. The female human body is designed to produce as much as it needs. Mothers can feed singles, twins, triples and on up. A woman’s body will adapt to needing to make more milk. I don’t know of a limit, though I’m sure there is one practically. Eventually, you must be able to overtax the system at some point. However, it’s probably well past the point than a single individual could practically drain.
Do ANRs always include lactation?
No, some do it without breast-milk being in play, for those wives who aren’t lactating. One should be aware, that you can restart lactation if you nurse often enough. The numbers I’ve seen suggested 2-3 times per day at 20 minutes each session. Keep that up, and you might re-introduce, or maintain lactation. Now, if you’re trying to restart lactation, there are many products out there to help. There are even lactation cookies!
Can this affect my period?
Yes, nursing can stop your cycles and/or ovulation. You should know that this is not a consistent form of birth control. For it to be anywhere near trustworthy, you need to nurse every two hours around the clock. Even then some women’s cycles are still present. I’m a lucky one, I get at least 13 months without my cycles despite baby sleeping through the night. But, I’ve had friends who had them return 6 weeks postpartum. So you can’t trust it, but many will find their periods disappear (a nice benefit). If you are trying to get pregnant, you should probably hold off on an ANR.
Why would you want to do this?
That’s the biggest question really. The big underlying reason I see is that it seems to promote bonding in the relationship. After all, it produces Oxytocin, just as when you are breastfeeding an infant. The difference is that this time the husband is the only one nearby to bond to. So, the wife feels emotionally connected through this Oxytocin. For the husband…well, in case you’ve forgotten, we’re obsessed with breasts. A lot of us are quite jealous when a baby arrives, because they used to be ours, and now we don’t really get to touch them. An ANR is a chance to play with them for extended periods. As well, some men report feeling calmed and soothed by it. Perhaps a remembrance of our time as an infant, when nursing was a source of comfort?
The reason I’m not really interested in this activity is that we have five kids now. Most of the last 10 years I’ve been pregnant or nursing children. I’ve nurtured them and loved them, they’re my children. The idea of Jay nursing from me messes with the idea of him being the head of the house. How can he be the leader in our family if he needs that kind of nurturing from me? How can I get that protective feeling from him when he needs me in this manner? Does that make sense? I would love to hear from woman how it works for them.
Is this a sexual activity?
Some feel it is, after all, it involves breasts. Other’s feel it isn’t. Some count it as foreplay, other’s treat it more like hugging or cuddling. I think it depends on the couple.
How do I convince my spouse to do this?
You don’t. After all, you can’t make your spouse do anything. But, what you can do is share with them what the fascination is for you, explain what it means to you, why you want to try it. What benefit you think it would bring to the relationship. But, then you need to listen and hear them out in return. Ultimately, you need to decide together, you can’t force them to enter into an ANR.
What do you think of ANRs? I’d like to know your opinion below in the comments. Please, be respectful, as I know some of our community engages in this activity. It may be a bit taboo in our culture, but there’s nothing morally or medically wrong with it. At least not that I can determine, so I’m neither for nor against it.
P.S. Nearly a year after writing this post, my wife and I have discussed it a bit more. We might try it just to see what it’s all about. However, we’re waiting until our youngest is weaned (probably within the next month or two). Not because we feel it will take away from him, but more because my wife’s nipples are still sore from breastfeeding. Anyways, I get so much interest in this topic, we thought we might document our exploration of this. If you’re interested in reading it whenever we do, I highly suggest subscribing to our mailing list, so you don’t miss out.