Would you let someone else breastfeed your baby?

Erin - posted on 01/08/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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It was my birthday, I was in the kitchen making a cheese platter, my mother in law came in with my crying baby in her arms and asked if he needed to be fed. I replied "no, I fed him half an hour ago" so she walked into the lounge room, handed my baby over to another lactating mother, and made her feed my baby! They are both from the Philippines and I understand cultural differences, but when i said he didnt need a feed and I was not asked whether it was okay for someone else to feed him, i felt my privacy and intimacy with my baby had been invaded. How would you feel?

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I would have been ticked off beyond all rational thought, and forced the other mother to take tests to prove to me that she wasn't carrying something transmittable--all the while threatening to make my MIL pay.

Jessica - posted on 01/16/2010

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That is terribly wrong of your MIL and the other woman for many reasons! I would be extremely upset if that had happened to me, to the point where I would not talk to my MIL for a very long time - if ever! They both had no right whatsoever!

I would like to add, my in-laws are also Filipino, and would never do that! It is NOT a cultural thing, that was purely your MIL's doing.

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Brook - posted on 02/28/2013

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no you should have been asked. im not sure why some women think they can do whatever they want with other peoples children. In my case i asked my mother inlaw to watch my 3 mo old to get a hair cut. I just had finished breast feeding and put him in his swing when she arrived. she stated she had mistakenly bought a nursing bra and was wearing it that day (which i thought was strange). When i returned home she bolted and he was in his crib asleep. Come time to feed again he screamed and cried and would not let me craddle him for a week and he never nursed again! I cant prove anything happened but my gut is screaming! He is now three and my husbands cousins mother (aunt my mother inlaws sis) did try to (comfort) her crying grandson by offering her breast! Her daughter said shes ok with it but didnt know about it till after. AHHHH i fell im in the twilight zone! Just another thing about these women i must vent they claim its ok to touch a baby boys penis when its hard while changing the diaper..... They say its early childhood development. please any one with advise feel free!

Anna - posted on 01/18/2010

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Ooohh man would i have been pissed off!! She doesnt have the right to do that without your permission. Cultural differences aside, that is your baby and you are its caretaker, not her. Since its already be done, I would let her know that it wasnt her place to make that decision and where you appreciate her trying to help, next time you would rather her leave those kind of matters to you and your hubby. but as far as allowing someone else to nurse my baby: in my mind it is my job to provide for my baby and the only way i would allow it is if i knew the person was healthy and if i were completely incapable of feeding her, as in my boobs were gone lol.

Lisa - posted on 01/18/2010

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that is totally not right, there are other concerns besides infections like what has that person been eating that could cause an allergic reaction or if a medicine that person has been taking could cause serious harm in that baby

Rhiannon - posted on 01/17/2010

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I think you are a very mature and responsible woman to have taken it the way you did and discussed it with your mother in law. Good on you Erin!

If I were specifically asked and were able to help, I would certainly breasfeed my closest friends of families children, but not just do it because someone other than the mother told me to or I wanted to. If I were unable to feed my own, I would be greatful to a friend or sibling to help me, but again if it were asked rather than forced.

The health of my child is of most importance to me, and if this were something to help their health, I would.

Angelica - posted on 01/17/2010

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i wouldve beat the crap out of her wether she was my mother in law or not. that is complete bullshit!

Mary - posted on 01/17/2010

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HELL NO!!!!!!!!! Did you know that HIV can be transmitted through breast milk and so can Hepattitus. That would be one issue. Then that is just rude and creepy. Go with how you feel and let her know that bothered you and was not ok. That is your baby.

Jennae - posted on 01/17/2010

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like you said there is the cultural difference but none the less it is your child and you should have been asked... if it was mee i would have cut the ladys boob off lol... but thats just me

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If it was discussed I don't think I would have a problem with it really. But if I were in the situation that you were in I would be pretty ticked off. Then again, if my MIL came into the room that I was in with my son crying in her arms, I would have taken him immediately. I'm not saying that's what you should have done. I just know that that's what I would have done. I probably would have figured that he just wanted his mommy (as he always does haha).

Kelsey - posted on 01/16/2010

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I would ball histarically! I completely understand how you feel! I could never allow that, even if its done often in other cultures. Thats just me though. Completely grosses me out. The only breastmilk my baby would get is my own.

Christina - posted on 01/16/2010

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In my personal opinion, I don't have any right to say what is right or wrong for someone else, but with MY baby, I wouldn't want anyones but my breast in his or her mouth. That is a bonding experience and a closeness that I only want my baby to have with me. Sorry, if that hurts people's feelings and anyone else can do what they want, but if my MIL did that...I am not even going to think it..

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2010

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No I wouldn't let anyone else breastfeed my baby and it's just plain rude of your MIL to to the opposite of what you said. YOU know you YOU'RE baby and she has no right to do that! I would have been peeved and went off my head. She needs to know that what she thinks is okay may not be what you feel is ok.

Khanyisile - posted on 01/15/2010

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It does'nt matter what cultural difference u had with ur inlaws, its not just the milk from the cup that they are giving ur baby it from another person, who can have any disease that u or them might not be aware of. And that is just disrespectful of them to not even ask ur opinion 1st on this!!

Nikki - posted on 01/14/2010

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That's not right she is not the child's mother and has no right to do things without your permission . I am so sick of other people trying to make decisions regarding my child, family or not he is MY SON and what ever my husband and I feel is right is right and NOONE has the ability to make those decisions for us. You need to speak to her and be stern about it , have your husband there for support , she needs to realize she can't be making decisions for you!!!

Emily - posted on 01/14/2010

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That would have upset me as well. Especially if it's a woman you aren't close to. How do you know what she puts in her body? With your own milk and even with formula you know what your baby is getting. I am surprised she agreed to do it without asking you first. I would only think that was appropriate if the mother of the child is not able to nurse on her own and has agreed to let another mother nurse for her. Wrong on so many levels what your mother-in-law did. She needs to back off a bit and let you make the mommy decisions. I would also feel highly disrespected if someone did that to me. YOUR baby, not hers!

Tammy - posted on 01/10/2010

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You are absolutely right! Culture aside, she needs to respect your opinion as a mother. I would feel totally violated in your circumstance. I'd have a talk with her asap and make sure she understands that that is NEVER acceptable and as a mother if your baby needed to be fed, you would do it!

Jenna - posted on 01/10/2010

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WOW!! thats really WRONG is SOOOOOOOO many ways........im just speechless! cultural differecnes or not, no other woman has the right to breastfeed your child! if that was me i would of taken my baby and ran, and i'd never talk to the person again!

Erin - posted on 01/10/2010

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Thanks everybody for your comments. In certain circumstances eg; if I fell ill or was unable to feed my baby in some way, I would be honored for someone to feed my child. I am fairly certain the other woman who did feed my child is infection free and I'm unaware of any infections that can be passed through breast milk (mind you, that thought did cross my mind!) , but my issue was with not being respected. My mother in law now understands how I feel about it and I'm sure she will respect me in future. My partner was cross breast-fed by his aunties in the Philippines, as his mother had to go away for work, and I know for a lot of women it would not be an issue. I respect other people's opinions, beliefs and desires and I think this is why I was so upset. In conclusion to my story, I was extremely shocked, I walked into the room, took my baby away from the other woman (who looked quite uncomfortable feeding my baby too) and went for a walk alone with my baby and just spent some time with him in my arms. It was quite upsetting and obviously affected me to a degree where I occasionally still think about it. However, I know that there is nothing that will ever break my bond with my baby. And the experience has taught me its okay to put my foot down, stand my ground and do what I feel is right for me and my kids. Again, thanks for all your comments.

Danielle - posted on 01/08/2010

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I would be enraged! Cultural differences or not I am my child's mother and I will make decisions on what type of care he is given! And because I am his mother I should be respected and my decisions should be honored. I am very fortunate to have a mother in law who has always followed my routine for my son. I think maybe you should talk to your mother in law. Try to keep it polite but be firm as well!

Caryn - posted on 01/08/2010

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There is absolutely NOTHING discusting about it. Yes it was wrong for you MIL to go behind your back like that. I am not in anyway going to defend her. But what she did was also not "unsanitary." As long as the other mother was healthy and infection free then your child will be fine.
I'm sorry that it hurt your feelings (for lack of a better term...) but the only thing you can do is say something to her about it and move on. You cant change the past and dwelling on it will only give you unnessary stress and anger towards your MIL.

Chantale - posted on 01/08/2010

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That is in no way acceptable! Omg, I would have been very upset by that. I'm not sure what iI would have done about it cause it is so shocking someone would have done it to begin with. My sister and I had boys on the same day, and I would never even think of feeding her baby or vise-versa.

Amanda - posted on 01/08/2010

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I would have been extremely upset. I would never let anyone other then myself nurse my baby. You have no idea if the other person has an infection or not. Like you said it takes away from you and your child.

Minnie - posted on 01/08/2010

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I would let a close female relative or friend who I was sure was healthy nurse my daughter. I would do the same.

However, your situation was different. They nursed without your permission. It probably was a cultural thing- mothers in many cultures cross-nurse each other's little ones without batting an eye. I bet there are things in your culture that you think normal that would really offend people in your MIL's culture.

Leigh-Anne - posted on 01/08/2010

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I would have been really mad, I hate it when people do the opposite of what i tell them. Besides that, you may not know if that other mother has any infections or whatever.

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