When you’re trying to soothe a crying baby, you’ll try almost anything to help them settle. But a grandmother who decided to dry-nurse her daughter’s little one has divide the Internet.
Elizabeth Gooden has brought up four children of her own, as well as four step-children and a two-month-old granddaughter.
Her youngest child is only 11 months older than her granddaughter.
When her daughter went back to work, Gooden offered to take care of her young granddaughter.
But struggled to cope with soothing her colicky granddaughter while also trying to look after her own baby.
She tried everything to calm her little granddaughter to no avail so eventually, despite her own milk drying up, she decided to try and comfort the baby with her breast.
“Taking a seat on the sofa, I took my granddaughter out of the Bjorn and held her close in my arms,” Gooden writes for Scary Mommy.
“She was rooting around, and I felt the let down even though my milk had been dry for months. It was a phantom sensation, but my maternal instincts kicked in and so I latched her on my breast,” she continues.
“I didn’t think about it really. She rooted, I offered, she accepted. Within a few minutes, she was sound asleep.”
When her husband walked into the room, he was somewhat surprised at the sight, “He asked if it was OK to do that, and I couldn’t think of a reason it wouldn’t be.”
“All my children had comfort-nursed,” Gooden continues. “I was used to being a human pacifier, and I was sure my daughter would be happy I soothed her baby by any means necessary.”
And it turns out that her daughter was completely comfortable with her mother’s decision to dry-nurse her baby.
The Internet on the other hand, are somewhat divided.
“It’s weird because there was no actual need she’s going to have to learn to self pacify and you can’t have everyone’s boob,” one user wrote on Facebook.
“There are other ways to comfort a child,” agreed another. “What do you think fathers do when a baby is upset? Popping a breast in a babies mouth isn’t the only way to comfort them. This is not natural, not normal and NOT OK!”
But others couldn’t see anything wrong with the grandmother’s decision.
“My mom did this with my oldest, it was very helpful,” another user offered. “He had severe reflux and laryngomacia and I developed post partum depression due to sleep deprivation. After my mom started doing that, i got a break , was able to sleep a little more and things got better . It was the only way he would soothe. So glad for my mom’s help.”
“Nothing wrong with what this grandmother did,” agreed another Facebook user. “There’s been many a baby nursed by someone other than their mother. This is not new or unusual. Babies as they get older outgrow the need to pacify in this way, but not at two months.”
“The baby’s mum was OK with it so it’s no ones business!” another user offered. “Not something I would be comfortable with but I’m not going to judge others for it!”
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