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A woman took to the social media platform Quora to share her personal experience after a mother asked if anyone had ever “secretly breastfed someone else’s baby”. The woman explained that she was watching her nephew while her sister was out of town when this happened but clarified that he was being breastfed although he was already four years old.
She explained that she was breastfeeding her newborn baby at the time and that day her sister had left a bottle of her frozen breast milk for her baby.
When she was breastfeeding her own baby, she gave her nephew that bottle but he became angry and “started to cry”.
As the kid wouldn’t stop crying, despite her offering “his favourite snacks and chocolate”, she “offered him the nipple for breastfeeding”.
“Both my baby and nephew got calm after a few minutes of breastfeeding and stopped crying too.
“Later they both feed on my boobs till they got full and slept. So I have breastfed someone else’s baby. And I have no regret for that,” she added.
The mother admitted that no one knew about it at the time and she didn’t mention it to anyone so it “may be considered as secretly” breastfeeding.
Another woman also shared her experience and said that she also breastfed someone else’s baby but “not secretly, accidentally”.
She had been babysitting her sister’s baby, who was bottle fed as “the hospital staff had assured her ‘that baby will never breastfeed, just give a bottle’,” which left her sister disappointed.
The woman also had a baby and after she finished breastfeeding her daughter, her sister’s baby “woke up and started to scream”.
“I put my baby down and rushed over to him, not stopping to fasten up my top. I picked him up and he found my nipple and latched on, and fed, and then went back to sleep.”
The mother admitted that she never told her sister that “her baby was pretty damn good at breastfeeding” despite what the hospital nurses had said to her when he was born.
Other mums on the parenting forum Mumsnet expressed their concern and said that breastfeeding someone else’s child is “an odd thing to do” and “very weird”.
One woman opined that she would “absolutely never breastfeed another woman’s child without them asking me to”.
“I’ve heard of examples of women on planes where a mother has run out of bottle formula and a woman that breastfeeds her child offered and the mother accepted because she was worried about her child obviously being hungry.”
Others commented that they would never allow another woman to do that unless “it’s an emergency”.
However, according to Verywellfamily, it is safe for other women to breastfeed children that are not theirs “as long as proper infection precautions are observed”.
In fact, they explained that cross-nursing is an “excellent option” if the mum is healthy and well-nourished.
“She should not have any infections, take any medications, and not smoke,” the family site advised.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends wet nursing from a healthy wet nurse when a baby isn’t able to have its mother’s milk.
The BabyCenter warned, however, that other risks of having breast milk from a relative or friend also apply to wet nursing.
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