Grandma trying to breastfeed baby….

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 09/06/2010 ( 97 moms have responded )

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A real life scenario….

mother is trying to get the baby on the bottle, A baby that is mostly breastfeed ….and do both breastfeeding and bottle, the baby hates the bottle and doesn’t take to it very well.
On night the baby goes to grandmas house and is crying and crying, wont take the bottle, doesn’t want to be walked around..ect…
So the grandma (although has no milk) decides to let the baby suck on her nipple…to sooth and quiet the baby down…it works….

What do you think about that….

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Merry - posted on 09/06/2010

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oh wow, i just read the comments, so unexpected!!! i cant believe everyone thinks its wrong??? why would you prefer an imitation nipple over the real thing? even if it isnt moms, its not like it was a stranger? it was grandma, who porbably nursed that babys parent. so why this big upset?? ok so in almost every culture thats not all 'modern' this is common practice. mom isnt around so a trusted woman, milk or not, will comfort the baby. I wouldnt say that a pacifier is better then a breast, its just a fake breast anyways. And if bottles dont work, baby can be fed with a spoon or a dropper so idk the problem here. Bottles arent the amazing inventions we think they are, they are substitutes, and have their side effects. So its not like its better for the baby to learn to use a bottle but sometimes its necessary, my son used a bottle once a day for a bit while i had a part time job but our next baby wont use one.

Goldie - posted on 09/10/2010

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ok, so here is how I look at it..... GO GRANDMA!! In the US as a society we are quite uptight. I never left my little ones when they were tiny either... UNTIL I had to have emergency surgery and my baby had to be left with a friend, no milk banked, he had never taken a bottle and refused to do so- to the point he was hysterical. My friend (THANKFULLY) followed her instincts as a mom and nursed the baby and her toddler! It was the most wonderful thing she could have ever done for myself and my LO.

Years ago this was the norm, just like cloth diapers were. Maybe gettng back to basics is the best way for us move forward....

Merry - posted on 09/06/2010

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what an awesome grandma!!!! I want to nurse the baby I babysit for so badly when he gets hurt or crying alot. I just feel that let down and instinct to nurse him. I still have milk with my 1 1/2 yr old but his mom probably wouldnt want me to, i wish i could ask but its soooo hard because id hate her to freak. she does breastfeed him a bit still but now that hes a year i think shes quitting. But yes I say good grandma, spot on instincts and i bet it worked like a charm!!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 09/07/2010

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hehehe i'm with the minority on this one...i don't think its a big deal. i wouldn't really want a habit to be made out of it, but it sounds like grandma had babies best interest at heart. i think the only thing i'd be upset about is not being there when my son was upset.

i responded to this on the welcome page...we also don't know grandma's story...she could have had several kids, whom she nursed through toddler years and breastfeeding an upset child is just naturally what you do. she knew that nursing this little one was going to work the best.

Madilyn - posted on 09/10/2010

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that is a great grandma!!!! I hate it when my son has an artificial nipple (ie: a bottle at his dads, with breastmilk of course) I personally believe in wet nursing and using the breast as a pacifier instead of anything else. I think a great thing for the grandmother would be to get an SNS (supplemental nursing system) and to put breastmilk in it from the mother and let the baby nurse. Babies were meant to get their nutrition from mama breasts but when they aren't available another breast is the next best option.

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Brenda - posted on 09/10/2010

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Well I'm going to go Lauras way. think you are awesome. I don't think that it would bother me it is a natural thing to do breast feed that is. My Daughter never had a bottle and i wasn't that keen on it either no dummy definitely not keen on that yuk!! So if grandma had to look after her and she was upset no probs only cause I know grandma breastfed DH and even if it was my mum soo its still in the family

Merry - posted on 09/10/2010

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Jamie Strickland, how do you figure breastfeeding is such a miraculous bond and bottle feeding, rocking, tickling, etc isn't bonding.......seriously, I know you bond while nursing but bottle feeding moms bond too, and babysitters, dads, grandparents bond too. Bonding is more a time issue, more time spent the bigger the bond. So if she didn't want baby bonding with grandma she couldn't leave it wither anyways. Breastfeeding is not some miraculous bond, it's the added up hours of closeness, the eye contact, the cuddling, the fact that mom is the sole sours of food is why the bond happens so easily. But seriously it's not something only achieved by breastfeeding.

Andrea - posted on 09/10/2010

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OMG!! What a wackadoo gma! What give her the right to decide what is best for the baby? People expecially the ones we are related to need boundries! You may have asked for help overnight but you did not ask to be underminded and disrespected!
Sorry this happened to you and your baby.

[deleted account]

Absolutely not. The grandmother needs to respect the mother's decision to switch the baby over to a bottle and if she can't do that then she doesn't get to babysit until it is no longer an issue. I would be furious. I could go on but I think its enough to say that grandma majorly crossed the line. If she can't listen and follow the mother's instructions on this and this early what else is she going to do as the baby gets older. My mom or my husband's mom I would put my foot down and let them know that its my child and what I say goes, if you have a suggestion great but it goes through me first.

Jamie - posted on 09/10/2010

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In no way, shape or form, is that acceptable. I would be LIVID if anyone offered their breast to my baby. I also would not have left my baby there until I was sure she would take a bottle for someone else. I would feel so...betrayed. That is something for a mother and a baby to share. Nursing should not be done by anyone but the mother, it is a special bonding thing. I can't even describe how mad I would be. And I can't believe that anyone thinks that's ok!!! Wow. Shocked.

Melissa - posted on 09/10/2010

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I am shocked that so many people find this sick! another issue that makes me wonder why everyone thinks american culture is so great. it is a baby being soothed, not a gramma being aroused. there is a big difference. good for gramma. and i hope one day, women who find this appalling will realize that the breast is intended for giving a baby nourishment, not for sexual pleasures that make you uncomfortable with a breast doing its job!

[deleted account]

It happens all the time in other countries - whole generations of women take care of the child, including breastfeeding. I'd be surprised if my mum did that but whatever works I suppose.

Kelly - posted on 09/10/2010

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OMG!!! thats just wrong I would seriously fall out with my mother if she did that to me - Confusion is not the word.!!!

Anyone who is transfering from breast to bottle I have found an amazing bottle to aid with topping up my son's breast feeds it is a bottle which is designed specially to look and simulate the breast it is brill as my son will latch the breast and the take a bottle no problems and the return to breast with no fuss it is called the BREASTFLOW bottle and is available from Mothercare at £5.99 worth every penny

Annabeth - posted on 09/10/2010

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I have a 6 day old son who i am breastfeeding and i think this is wrong in my opinion. I understand the granma wanted to soothe and quiet the baby but to me that is crossing the line. I think there are plenty of other options including calling the mother but also i would not let my son go anywhere until he was completely off the breast. If it was me i would have a few chioce words for the grandma

Kelly - posted on 09/10/2010

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no, no,no this is so wrong grandmas breast its not right, sorry, but its not, try a dummy, i use tommee tippee closer to nature bottles now im not breast feeding.

[deleted account]

sorry, but i dont even feel comfortable with that idea, to me its my child not theirs so they should not be offering there breast to my child. its not for me but then again it can be for others, i just know i would not be happy and that grandma would be getting defently a few adult words and also told if does it again i wont leave my child with them, sorry but feel very firmly about that. but each to there own i believe

Nicole - posted on 09/09/2010

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I think the FIRST thing the grandmother should have done was to call the mother and tell her that she couldn't soothe the baby and maybe her baby just needed Mommy. IF the mother decided that wasn't important enough to return and retrieve/comfort her child, then the Grandmother, in my opinion, is in the right to do what she thought was best for the baby. So long as it IS the best thing for the baby.

To me, another woman breastfeeding another woman's baby is not a big deal. As long as both parties are okay with the arrangement. Although, this particular situation isn't quite the same.

All of us are only speculating about this post and what efforts the grandmother went through before resorting to latching the baby on. We are also speculating that the mother "just left the baby" with the grandmother. We don't know the particulars. Maybe there was an emergency. Would we vilify the mother then for leaving her baby with the grandmother? My point: There is a lot of speculation going on and a lot of blame. I, personally, think that, either way, the grandmother only did what she felt was best for the baby at the time.

Jodi - posted on 09/09/2010

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I have to admit, I can whole heartedly see why SOME mothers would have a problem with this. I myself do not, I think wet nursing or dry nursing is absolutely GREAT! If my mother did this for my child, I would probably THANK her for doing what she did for my child's welfare! Everyone and anyone is allowed to disagree with the situation and not like it, but I must admit, it's a little offensive when someone calls something so globally (except of course in the US) accepted "immoral". I would do everything humanly possible to avoid letting any of my children be fed formula! I would allow any one of my sisters or family members (who is of course healthy and disease free) nurse and/or pump for my child, I would spend any amount of money I could on purchasing breastmilk from a milk bank and if a friend or anyone willing to get checked out offered to nurse my baby...I would let them without thinking about it. Feeling this way, and hating formula as I do...I would never tell a mother she is immoral for feeding her baby formula, I would never tell her it's immoral to use a pacifier when her nipple would be more comforting and better health wise in the end. There's no need to be THAT judgemental and offensive. No one is forcing anyone to hand their baby over to a wet nurse that doesn't want to. I think it's beautiful what this grandmother did and I wish more people would do it and accept it, even if they don't want to do it themselves.

Suzanne - posted on 09/09/2010

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oh! well its that whole "breast is best" thing, i am on board, if grandma's boob is what it takes to calm a baby than whatever. most of the time i feel like a fringe element with my breast feeding, cloth diapering (mostly a cost thing) and my agitation over the crazy high c section rate/lack of compassion regarding all of the above... and grown up people get so charged up over the body, breasts and sexuality, babies do not- they just want to eat.

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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Suzanne, can i ask why you feel like you won't fit in?



don't judge the community solely by those commenting on this post...this is an issue that seems to have brought everyone out of their hermit holes :P

Merry - posted on 09/09/2010

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Amber, everyone has an opinion, but many moms disagree with you about the formula issue, I personally would never allow my children to be fed formula. I would spend tons of money buying donated milk, and be asking every nursing mom I knew to pump milk for me if I couldn't produce milk. I am not comfortable with the risks of formula feeding, or the risks of bottle feeding. I would never use either without a huge fight. I created my babies and I'd never do anything that could harm them unless there was no other option. Bottles and formula are just two risks I'm not comfortable taking. So please understand this is one reason why many of us find this story encouraging, and by no means wrong.

Suzanne - posted on 09/09/2010

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i would like to personally hi-5 you. i'm new here and i can tell i am not going to fit in :P

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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Many women have a hard time accepting nursing their OWN children, not feeling dirty or sexual. After they have made the jump to that, it must seem foreign to accept another woman doing it!

Claudia - posted on 09/09/2010

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I find it funny how some girls here take this so personal that some of us find it encouraging what grandma did. Sharing an opininon is exactly what we are all doing, but maybe some of us are trying to make it clear that such harshness should not be addressed to the issue. Its not disgusting, or anything to be furious about if the childs mom decided to drop the baby off and choose to leave him or her at grandma's house over night and then complain about poor grandma trying her best to soothe, comfort and do the job that mom decided not to do. Its not immoral, its not dirty, its not a stranger, its your own mother bonding, loving, soothing, and comforting your baby... be thankful for that.

Jaclyn - posted on 09/09/2010

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uhmm i dont even know how to react to this i think it is soooo weird!!!!! i would probably flip out. but then there is the flip side on helping soothing ur baby. im trying to think of this in like a real like situation. like if i was watching a child and a they ran out of milk or something i would a have to contact the mother and if there was nooo other solution what so ever and the mother was ok i would help nurse the child but i would never just put someones child on my chest like that

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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like jennifer and ashleigh, i am also really glad to see all the women who are okay with this. feeding, and soothing a baby at the human breast is the most natural thing in the world and just because cross nursing is taboo in the american culture, does not mean there is anything wrong with it...more likely indicates that there is something wrong with american culture.

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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I am relieved to see all the cross nursing. I have felt weird and freakish for 15 years after trying to soothe my nephew when my sister was out.

Amanda - posted on 09/09/2010

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Why would you give a dummy/pacifier to a child instead of a natural human breast? You do know pacifiers cause many problems with breathing, infections, speech, etc. A human breast does not cause these problems and also provides many positives. Why would you give a fake when you can have the real thing?

Ashleigh - posted on 09/09/2010

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I am REALLY surprised at the amount of cross nursing going on!that is so amazing and awesome to me.i would love to have someone that I was that close to,that could give my baby needed comfort or Nourishment when I was not available.That is truly special!

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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I certainly agree that everyone should express their opinions respectfully! Let's keep it nice, so that other people are willing to consider our views objectively.

Formula was created to fill in for mothers milk, but I must point out that it falls far short of what nature provides.

Ashleigh - posted on 09/09/2010

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When stating our opinions lets remember to not insult other members of the group.remember our NO T.H.U.M.P.S. rules=D Lets keep it friendly even if we don't all agree.
Thanks
Ashleigh W.
Admin.

Amber - posted on 09/09/2010

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First of all I don't think that us who don't agree with the mothers who think this is totally acceptable need to be told to "get over ourselves" I'm not saying anything horrible about the mothers and women who think this is fine and I think myself and the other moms like me deserve the same. I have only stated my opinion here and I think it is absolutely wrong. I don't believe in having anybody else ever no matter what feed my child that is what formula was made for if the mother is having problems producing. Second off this wasn't done supposedly because the child was starving but because they wanted to soothe the child and I don't think anybody elses breast no matter whose it is should be used for that, there are a thousand other ways to soothe a child and if they still can't do it then call the mother.

[deleted account]

I just love it when "parents" "care" for their children by requiring others to do the work, and then are "uncomfortable" with the methods used. Maybe the mom should think about what is best for the baby. Which would be to have mommy's support and comfort around when traumatic transitions are occurring.

Ashley - posted on 09/09/2010

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for ladies that thinks its gross to get over themselves.. its grandma not a stranger for gods sake! i dont think she did the wrong thing at all.. if it was a stranger i would be pissed.. ive nursed friends babies in the past with no problems..

Merry - posted on 09/09/2010

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If grandma is bottle-feeding the baby then that's bonding too, in fact just spending time with the baby is bonding. Nursing isn't some majical bonding thing, it's just being close and cuddling and giving comfort. You can bond with a bottle fed baby too, duh, so it's not some miracle bond to breastfeed, it's the feelings you share that matter, through breast or bottle it's all love, and if you don't want grandma bonding with your child dint leave it with her!!!

Jennifer - posted on 09/09/2010

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You don't have to like it, but I don't think it is immoral. In other societies, it would be considered the obvious thing to do. Letting a baby cry when you have a solution handy seems unkind to me. I tried it once with my nephew when he wouldn't stop crying. He wouldn't latch on, so I was saved from the conflicting emotions, but I can see where one would do it- rather than listen to another second of crying. In my case, there were no cell phones and my sister was out shopping. My nephew was uber clingy. Started crying the minute she handed him to me and I rocked and sang the entire time she was gone. She was a single mom who HAD to have some mental health time.



I do agree with other ladies, Grandma should have tried to contact Mom and let her know what was going on. We don't really know enough details about the situation.

Amber - posted on 09/09/2010

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I feel this is absolutely NOT okay!! I don't care if you are grandma, auntie twin sister or what not IT IS NOT YOU'RE CHILD! I know in some cultures other women used to breastfeed strangers children, well that's NOT common practice in ours. There is a reason pacifiers and other products like that were made and if my mother ever pulled her breast out for my child she would never see my child again. And no I do not believe grandma should be allowed the so called BONDING as somebody stated, she had that with her own child now it's this mom's turn with her child not grandmas. I think this is beyond way out of line and absolutely inappropriate and would never ever ever happen in my home.

Amanda - posted on 09/09/2010

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As long as everyone involved in comfortable I don't see why it would be a problem. In times past and currently in other cultures this was/is completely normal. Allowing Grandma or Aunty to breastfeed a baby gives Mom a brief break so she can rest or focus on other tasks for a bit. :) I think the Grandma was very sensible to want to calm the child down.

Heather - posted on 09/09/2010

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I feel that whatever works for the baby and the mother and grandmother is up to them. If the mom feels that it's ok with her, then go for it.

BUT I do think in this situation that a pacifier should be used, not the grandmother's nipples. That is just somewhat strange to me. Maybe the mother should try a couple of different bottles? There are some nice ones out there.

Nicole - posted on 09/09/2010

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PS: my sister and I nurse each other's babies. Cross nursing isn't gross. In fact, it spared Phoebe from having to cry or have a bottle of crap (oops formula) when she drank all of my expressed milk when I was late getting home from work. Cross nursing used to be the norm. what happened to humanity?

Nicole - posted on 09/09/2010

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the grandmother's behavior is very common in many other cultures. being left to cry is horrible. it can cause permanent neurological damage. Even though the grandmother had no milk, the skin to skin contact paired with the baby's sucking reflex stimulated the production of oxytocin. Hence the soothed baby. Hats off to that grandma.

Claudia - posted on 09/08/2010

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A truly amazing grandma! Imagine her inability to calm the baby down and trying to nurse the baby to offer a soothing comfort away from home and parents. I have no idea why so many of you girls have an issue with this... its the closest person to you who wants nothing but to give love and support to her crying grandchild who is not in the comfort of his or her own home and mommy. I really think that all of you who find this wrong or think that the breast is just for feeding is not entirely true. Breastfeeding slowly becomes more of a comfort habbit and less of a feeding method as the child grows, and in the scenerio given it does not say the child is exclusively breastfed. So, girls... if its your own mothers trying to comfort the baby you dropped off at her house while you took the night off to go out or do whatever, please do not judge and be so upset... be thankful that your own mothers can go that far to give love and care to the baby you left behind for the evening.

Sharon - posted on 09/08/2010

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I'm with the minority on this. Just because a bub is transistioning doesn't mean mum can't go out. my bub is transitioning too and the times i get to myself let me recharge. So if it worked that's awesome. she obviously felt it would work

Sarah - posted on 09/08/2010

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I really can't see a major problem with it, sure your not going to want Grandma to do it all the time but if it soothed the little one and calmed them down thats okay to me.

Allie - posted on 09/08/2010

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i would have freaked out. i don't allow anyone to put their fingers in my childs mouth, so i certianly wouldn't want someone elses nipple in there.
breastfeeding is a special relationship for mother and child. grandma had her chance and should have called mom.

[deleted account]

I think it's kind of sweet if she felt close enough to bubs to try it. It's an odd story and a weird thought of letting someone else nurse your baby even for comfort, but unlike a plastic fake dummy there's the closeness and the smell of their skin and the heartbeat. I'd prefer another caregiver to nurse my own child than give them formula or a dummy, though not just anyone obviously and only if it was really needed. Then there are stories of widowed dads feeding babies, still more natural than formula but just as taboo.. it's a personal thing but wetnurses were once common.

[deleted account]

I don't believe Grandma had any ill intentions. However, if my mother offered my daughter her own breast - I would be extremely upset. That is a special bond that my daughter and I have. The time we spend together nursing is our time, and is not to be shared with anyone else.

Maren - posted on 09/08/2010

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My mother did this with my cousin (her sister's baby) as it was obvious she needed someone to soothe her. Why let a baby be completely stressed if it can be avoided. Think about things from the baby's perspective. She's scared, in a strange place, mom's gone, so she screams and needs a breast to soothe her. I don't see anything wrong with this. Additionally, I have a friend who contracted an illness and was unsure if she could breastfeed her baby. So she didn't. She offered a bottle but that wasn't working. The baby was obviously starved so she took her to another friend to feed her. It was hard for mom but it's what her baby needed. I look at it from the baby's perspective. That's what matters most to me.

Angel - posted on 09/08/2010

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I know women used to breastfeed each others babies when they would babysit for each other. Add the fact that breastfeeding is just as much for comfort (like a pacifier) as it is for nutrition. I would say if you are comfortable with it, then it should be fine. Yeah it sounds strange at first, but breastfeeding in and of itself is hard for some to grasp. So who's to say what is strange and what isn't. All you need to know is what's comfortable for you and best for your baby. Never mind what anyone else thinks.

Claire - posted on 09/08/2010

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I think that's great! Give the baby all the soothing and comforting the baby needs... Babies don't want comforting, they NEED it...

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