We are constantly reminded that ‘breast is best’, but there will always be issues and setbacks for mums – some will be physically unable to feed, while others may panic in the face of missing a feed.
In these cases, other women have often stepped in to nurse a child in the mother’s stead, in a process we know as wet-nursing.
This was the case recently for one mother in the US, who helped out her sister when her son would not drink pumped milk from a bottle in her absence.
Posting a photo of herself nursing her nephew to the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page, the mother wrote: “Today I ended up breastfeeding my sister’s son while she was away, because he would not take the bottle his momma pumped him.”
“In return, because my son won’t latch and is strictly fed bottles I pump, my sister was able to feed my son her perfectly good pumped milk. Which made for two very happy and content babies,” she added.
While the majority of visitors to the page hailed the story as ‘awesome’, there were some who took issue with the scene before them, questioning how healthy this would be for the bond between both babies and their mothers.
“The only thing for me is, I feel that breastfeeding is a very intimate (not sexual) bond for mother and child. I PERSONALLY would not be comfortable breastfeeding another child, or another person feeding my son,” wrote one mother.
Others, meanwhile, branded wet-nursing ‘gross’ and even claimed that formula-feeding would be safer. Indeed, debate reached the point where the page moderator had to step in and diffuse the situation.
“I’m not sure where on the post opinions were asked for. Wet nursing is supported and encouraged here just like any other form of breastfeeding,” she wrote.
What are your thoughts?