This photo of a woman breastfeeding has sparked a debate online about wet nursing [Photo: Facebook/Breastfeeding Mama Talk]
Earlier this week, Facebook group Breastfeeding Mama Talk posted this picture of a woman breastfeeding. So far, so normal for a breastfeeding support group. But soon after sharing the photo quickly started going viral and has sparked an online debate about wet nursing. Because the picture isn’t actually a picture of a mother nursing her son, but in fact a photo of a woman breastfeeding her sister’s baby.
“In some weird chain of events today I ended up breast feeding my sister’s son while she was away, because he would not take the bottle his momma pumped him,” the accompanying caption on the post reads.
“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.”
Since it was uploaded earlier this week, the post has received more than 10K likes, almost 400 shares, and hundreds of comments from parents debating the woman’s decision to breastfeed her sister’s baby.
“Am I the only one who thinks this is seriously odd?” one person wrote.
“Too weird. Idk about nursing someone else’s child tbh,” another added.
“The only thing for me is I feel that breastfeeding is a very intimate (not sexual) bond for mother and child,” added a third. “I PERSONALLY would not be comfortable breastfeeding another child, or another person feeding my son. I won’t judge those who do though because babies have to eat! I myself just wouldn’t be comfortable with it.”
Would you breastfeed someone else’s baby? [Photo: pixabay.com via Pexels]
The negative comments go completely against the group’s values, which aim to promote positivity around breastfeeding. And indeed many other mums hit back, saying that wet nursing was perfectly normal and natural and posting messages of encouragement and support.
“This is awesome!!!! Wet nursing needs to come back into the norm,” one woman wrote.
“Awww that is the most beautiful thing ever!!! I love breastfeeding,” added another.
Some mums used the post as an opportunity to share images and stories of their own experiences of wet nursing.
“This is me feeding my best friends son (4 months) and my daughter (19 months),” one woman wrote alongside a picture of her breastfeeding two children. “I do it a few times a week while she’s at work. I have also given friends milk for eye infections, fed my nephew milk in a sippy cup when my sister didn’t have any milk etc. This is beautiful and should be looked at as normal and not weird or strange!!!”
The founder of the Breastfeeding Mama Talk page, Kristy Kemp, later addressed the backlash, writing: “I’m not sure where on the post opinions were asked for,” she wrote in the comments. “Wet nursing is supported and encouraged here just like any other form of breastfeeding.”
Would you breastfeed someone else’s child? Join the debate @YahooStyleUK