Unsplash | Wes Hicks

Woman Asks If She Was Wrong To 'Emergency' Breastfeed Her Friend's Baby

When it comes to raising children, things can get rather messy from time to time. When you have young children at home, especially those who are breastfeeding, it can be difficult to go off and have your own life and freedom. Sometimes, when you do take a break and do your own thing, problems can arise and situations can become make-or-break.

Some mothers who are entering motherhood for the first time experience postpartum depression

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

Being a first-time mother can be incredibly difficult and stressful for new moms. Some of them experience postpartum depression, a very real and serious mental health condition that occurs after giving birth.

Recently, one woman posted to Reddit asking for advice after helping out her best friend and her new baby.

Unsplash | Minnie Zhou

The woman asked the Reddit community if she was "wrong" for "emergency breastfeeding" her best friend's baby without permission. The woman shared that her friend was angry at her after she did it, but the woman said she has "no regrets."

The woman shared that her best friend has been going through postpartum depression after having her first child.

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

Her best friend had never wanted children in the first place.

"She never wanted kids and she disconnected from her pregnancy and never really connected to the baby after he was born either," the Reddit user said.

To help, the Reddit user suggested she watch the baby for a day and give her best friend some space alone.

She also added that her best friend's son has some digestive issues.

Unsplash | Rainier Ridao

"Her son has a really bad digestion problem so he can't ingest regular formula, only breast milk or special formula. She doesn't breastfeed, so he takes the special formula," she wrote.

After her best friend dropped her son off at the Reddit user's house, everything was fine.

Unsplash | Åsmund Gimre

The two were playing and hanging out for a few hours until she realized that the baby needed to eat. However, there was one big problem when she checked the diaper bag.

She said that the new mother forgot to pack the formula for her son.

Unsplash | Zeesy Grossbaum

"I went to fix him a bottle and realized she hadn't packed his formula. When I asked if she had packed bottles she answered literally, but I never specified if she packed formula as well, I thought it was given," she said.

She texted her friend several times, hoping for a response and possibly a drop-off of formula. But, she got nothing in return.

Unsplash | Jan Kopřiva

She said she couldn't go to the store to buy formula because her friend had not left her with a car seat, and she only had an infant seat for her own child. The baby continued to cry out of hunger and she thought that it would be no harm done if she breastfed the baby.

When she finally spoke to her friend, she explained the situation and added that she had reached out several times.

Unsplash | Kelli McClintock

In the end, she said she felt she had to breastfeed her friend's son to make sure he had food.

In turn, her best friend completely lost it.

Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

According to the Reddit user, she was very angry and is now not speaking to her. She blocked her on all social media networks and has begun going around saying very negative things about her.

The Reddit user said she's "hurt" and upset by the situation and asked if she was really so wrong for acting in an emergency.

Unsplash | Nynne Schrøder

People on Reddit said that she wasn't in the wrong, but should be concerned for her friend.

One person said the friend was displaying some severe warning signs.

Unsplash | Eric Ward

"Newborns need to be fed every 2-4 hours as you know. She forgot to pack the formula and ignored your calls and texts. You did what any mom would do... meet the needs of the poor kid.

"I am seriously worried about your friend and the baby’s well being. Hate to be extreme but you may want to call CPS for a welfare check," one person wrote.

Others empathized with the mother's reaction, but maintained that this friend did nothing wrong.

Unsplash | Joshua Reddekopp

"I'm not saying you did anything wrong, but I can understand why her reaction was extreme, especially if she's having difficulty with her mental health. It sounds like you got caught in the crossfire of her struggles, which is really unfortunate. Try not to take it to heart too much," one person wrote.

One person said that the mom's reaction could have stemmed from a variety of sources.

Unsplash | Anthony Tran

Besides displaying some signs of postpartum depression, some users said that the pressure placed on new moms to breastfeed could have contributed to her reaction.

"It's not an odd reaction at all; it's just misplaced. Mothers are under an intense amount of pressure to breastfeed. There's a good bit of stigma that comes with not breastfeeding and using formula," one person said.

Many people also brought up the history of wet nurses in relation to this story.

Unsplash | Fé Ngô

A number of users pointed out that throughout history, women have breastfed other women's babies. While the practice isn't common in North America anymore, there are still some people around the world who hire wet nurses or practice "cross-nursing"(women choosing to raise and nurse their babies together in a community setting).

There are also milk donors and milk donor clinics available for women who can't breastfeed.

Unsplash | Lucy Wolski

Even though it's not quite the same as nursing another individual's child, there are lactating women who choose to donate their breastmilk through breastmilk donor clinics. These donations help families who cannot provide breastmilk to their child due to health issues or in cases of adoption.

Some users brought up these examples to show that it is common for babies to ingest breast milk from women besides the biological mother in today's day and age.

Overall, people on Reddit thought this woman did the right thing, given the situation.

Unsplash | Luiza Braun

"What were you supposed to do? I know people get weird about breastfeeding, I'm still nursing a three-year-old and I've heard it all, but you had nothing else to feed a hungry child because she didn't bring anything. I say she should be thankful you felt comfortable enough to nurse him instead of leaving the poor guy hungry," one person commented.

What do you think? Did she overstep or was it the right thing to do in an emergency?

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