LMM: Before we begin, I want to thank you again for graciously agreeing to share your personal story with others. How did you first discover ANR, and what interested you most about the lifestyle?
Mrs. A: So probably like many nursing couples, we first discovered the idea after we had our baby boy. I was nursing our little guy at the time and would read a lot of blogs about breastfeeding. I saw a post one day about a woman who said that she breastfed her husband and she listed all of the amazing benefits it had on their relationship and their closeness. A few other women had chimed in on the comments that they also had a nursing relationship with their husband. So I told my husband about the post just to gauge his reaction.
Mr. D: When she first told me about the post, I was definitely intrigued by the idea, but we kind of laughed it off. We had moments during our initiate times where I “sampled”, but never thought about nursing or knew about ANRs. So then I started thinking about it more, and I decided that I wanted to try it, but didn’t know if she would be interested.
LMM: Which partner initially expressed the desire for an ANR? And how did the other react to the idea of adult nursing?
Mr. D: Neither one of us technically initiated the conversation. I had a hard time coming up with a good way to say that I wanted to try it. I didn’t know if she would be interested. So I thought the best way would be to just go for it while we were having sex one day. I just latched on and suckled for a little bit.
Mrs. A: This definitely took me by surprise…in the best way. I had been thinking the same thing he was the entire time. So afterwards, we both talked about how amazing it was and said, “Hey do you want to try this?”
LMM: Sometimes, the most beautiful experiences really do happen by chance! While some couples choose to wet nurse, others are content to dry nurse without the aid of lactation. Have you experienced both aspects of ANR, and can you share your opinion on the experience of nursing without lactation, as opposed to nursing with lactation? Have you experience the same emotional connection, the same bond and level of intimacy whether or not breast milk is incorporated in the relationship?
Mrs. A: We’ve experienced nursing both ways. As our little guy got older and life started to happen, we fell off our nursing schedule and my supply dropped. Then a few months ago, we started dry nursing again to try to induce my milk flow. For me, the intimacy and the closeness is absolutely the same. There’s no better feeling than the bond nursing creates and being able to connect with my husband in that way. There is something incredibly feminine about it.
Mr. D: I agree. The feeling of closeness, intimacy, and relaxation can’t be compared to anything else. The lactation part is nice simply because you have a physical manifestation of all the time you’ve spent together. When I’m at work, I can’t wait to get back home to her.
LMM: Lactation can definitely be a rewarding benefit within any loving ANR, but it can also be a challenging reality for many women. Did you face any challenges within your own personal lactation journey, Mrs. A, and what advice would you give to women and/or couples who hope to induce lactation into their own nursing relationships?
Mrs. A: Getting back to lactating is definitely a journey. Your body will start to pick it back up naturally, but you just need consistency. I personally haven’t used any herbal products; only my Medela hand pump when Mr. D is at work. I just think it is important to be patient, enjoy the process, and not put too much pressure on yourself. Mr. D has been really supportive, and we both view this as a lifestyle and something that we want to continue doing for years to come.
LMM: What are some of the benefits and positive experiences that you two have gained from sharing a dedicated adult nursing relationship?
Mr. D: I think the most beneficial thing has been having dedicated time for the two of us each day. Life is stressful no matter what you do, but there is no better way to start and end the day than nursing with your partner. In an ANR, you need each other in an emotional way and in a physical way. She’s even used nursing as a way of comfort. When she senses that I’m getting stressed by bills or stuff happening at work, she’ll take time out to nurse me or even just let me lie between her breasts. It is amazing how quickly I feel re-centered.
LMM: Making the time to connect, and truly knowing that there is no place you would rather be than in your spouse’s arms is definitely an amazing part of the experience. Do either of you feel that you’ve faced any challenge within your ANR?
Mr. D: I’ve had two big hurdles in our ANR journey: one physical and one mental. The physical hurdle was just learning how to properly latch and suckle. The first couple of times, she was in pain until I could get everything down. But once you get a rhythm, you start to settle in each time you nurse. The mental block was just breaking down the stigma of being a “grown man” and nursing. I think it’s hard for men to allow themselves to be vulnerable and cared for when we are “providers and protectors”. But as time passed, I realized that it’s a truly special thing that I share with my wife. Two Bible verses I refer to are Proverbs 5:19 and Song of Solomon 4:5.
Mrs. A: Pumping! Since he’s gone for most of the day, I have to pump regularly. Needless to say, I’m happy when he comes home.
LMM: Have you been able to openly discus your lifestyle choice with others, or, like so many other couples who share such a unique relationship, do you feel that the nursing experience is something that you must keep private because of stigma and misconception?
Mr. D: No, we haven’t shared our nursing experience with anyone else. I think you always worry about being judged. But I honestly believe there are more couples in an ANR or wanting to try it than people know about. That’s why it’s great to see sites like this that share all of the beautiful and positive experiences that come from ANR. Hopefully, it won’t be so taboo and people can begin to talk about it more.
LMM: As long-time and long-term nursers, what advice would you give to other couples who are considering opening an ANR, particularly if one partner is reluctant to try nursing?
Mr. D: I think just being open about it and not pressuring your partner. Both people have to be on board for an ANR to really work.
Mrs. A: Just communicate with your partner and give it a shot. It has been such a wonderful thing in our marriage and I would definitely encourage other couples to try it out.