At this point, we’ve grown weirdly accustomed to seeing people’s hands fly pearl-ward whenever a breast and a baby are in the same general vicinity. It’s disappointing, sure, but every time we hear about someone whose delicate sensibilities have been offended over a breastfeeding mother, we’re also a little more inoculated to how ridiculous it is.
What is new, though, is fellow breastfeeding moms weighing in on breastfed babies with similar Very Important Opinions. You’d expect that group to be one of the most supportive. And yet, when a woman breastfed her sister’s son and posted about it online, she got plenty of raised eyebrows aimed at her over that decision.
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The post in question was shared on a Facebook group called Breastfeeding Mama Talk, where a photo of the mom in question nursing an adorable, roly-poly little boy is starting to spread like wildfire, with most people applauding the sweet bond between aunt and nephew. Other people, however, are bristling at the idea of a baby latching on to anyone other than Mom, even if that anyone is a supercool aunt:
Fortunately most of the dissenters were at least attempting to be civil, which is always a refreshing change in a world where people don’t mind comparing public breastfeeding to public urination.
At the end of the day, though, it really doesn’t matter what anyone besides aunt, mother and baby think. The latter, we suppose, isn’t thinking much at this age besides “yum,” so really the question is, how does the mother of said baby feel about this? Considering that the original post made it pretty clear that there was an entire baby/breast milk switcheroo between both sisters and their respective kids, we can safely assume that everyone with some sort of genetic connection to this baby is totally OK with it.
Wet nurses were once common practice, and with moms feeling either the strong desire or serious pressure to breastfeed, they’re even having a little bit of a comeback. It’s not hard to see why people would be a little uneasy at the idea of another woman nursing their child, though. The prevailing message — besides the idea of producing a super-baby — is that it facilitates and strengthens the bond between mother and child.
And there’s definitely a lot of veracity to that. But every child-mother pair (indeed, every sister-sister pair) is different, and there’s going to be a range of what moms are OK with when it comes to their child’s physical and nutritional needs.
But ultimately, if both moms are happy (they are!) and the baby or babies in question have gotten the nutrition and love they need (looks like it!), then a picture like this needn’t shock us at all. To us, that looks like a really sweet setup between a tight-knit family. A picture of a hungry baby happily noshing isn’t cause for alarm; a hungry baby who isn’t is much more offensive.
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