One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mother who breastfeeds her baby.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). In sense 1 from nursing + mother, after Hebrew mēneqeṯ wet nurse, foster mother, use as noun of participle of hēnīqāh to nurse, suckle, breastfeed from yānaq to suck; compare nursing father.
nursing mother/ˈnəːsɪŋ ˌmʌðə/
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