Have you ever been faced with an “emergency breastfeeding” situation? One woman, who was babysitting a friend’s child, says that she was simply trying to care for the child. When she didn’t have the proper food, she took matters into her own hands and decided to nurse the hungry baby boy herself.
The child’s mother isn’t happy about it. The woman who remedied the “emergency” posted anonymously on Reddit for some advice on how to move forward.
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In the anonymous post, the woman describes her friend as having trouble easing into motherhood.
In the post, the friend describes a mother suffering from postpartum depression who needed a bit of break. She offers to watch her friend’s child along with her own baby to help out.
“She never wanted kids and she disconnected from her pregnancy and never really connected to the baby after he was born either,” she writes in the post.
Her friend’s baby has digestion issues and required special formula or breast milk.
“Her son has a really bad digestion problem so he can’t ingest regular formula, only breast milk or special formula,” the woman continued. “She doesn’t breastfeed, so he takes the special formula.”
Knowing this, the friend asked if the baby had diapers, bottles, wipes, etc. She wanted to be prepared for their time together. The mother assured her that everything she would need was packed.
Everything was fine until feeding time.
“For the first three hours everything was fine, the babies chilled out together, we all played, I put on some music and danced around for them,” the post continues.
Then, there was a major problem.
“I went to fix him a bottle and realized she hadn’t packed his formula,” she says in the post. “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 tried contacting her friend several times. Her calls went straight to voicemail.
After multiple attempts to contact the baby’s mom, the friend was at a loss.
“I couldn’t go to the store and get a jar of formula because she didn’t leave me his car seat and I only had my infant’s seat,” she describes. “My older child is 7 and doesn’t need an infant seat anymore. I don’t know my neighbors and other than my husband I don’t have family in the area.”
“At this point the baby was crying and screaming so hard I thought he might get sick or hurt,” she explains.
She didn’t know what else to do, so she decided to breastfeed the baby herself.
Over three hours later, her best friend finally responded.
“I remained calm, but told her that she can’t leave her child with someone and not answer when that person calls and texts, because it might actually be a serious emergency; and that she also hadn’t packed any of the baby’s special formula,” she explains in the post. “I told her how badly he got upset and how worried I was so I breastfed him myself.”
She expected her friend to apologize or offer some sort of explanation. Instead, her friend got angry.
“She freaked out on me and accused me of some horrible things and then left,” she describes. “She blocked me on social media, something I learned when a mutual friend told me Best Friend was saying some awful things about me online. I don’t know what to do, I can’t even talk to her about this.”
People on Reddit think that she did the right thing and that her friend might need some help.
“Newborns need to be fed every two to four hours as you know,” someone agreed. “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.”
“I’d honestly prefer this over starving my child,” another admitted. “Your friend had a very odd reaction … “
“She’s probably projecting all over you her fears of inadequacy and feeling personally attacked like you were saying how you can take care of her baby better than her,” another offered. “It was an emergency and you did what you had to do.”
Not everyone sided with the poster, others thought her friend was right to be angry.
“Ignoring all the excuses — at the end of the day, you breastfed someone else’s baby without permission,” someone posted. “Wtf is wrong with you, three hours would not kill it.”
“Is she really upset you breastfed her kid, or she pissed about the guilt trip you laid on her about having to do it?” another asked. “Because it seems like you could have just let her know by text that she’d forgotten formula, and let her know that would breastfeed him if you didn’t hear back from her in XX minutes.”
The poster defended herself and responded to some of the negative comments.
“I texted her and left her about 10 different messages telling her she hadn’t left the formula and that her baby was screaming,” she explained. “I tried for nearly and hour and a half to get her to talk to me while her son screamed himself purple in the bassinet.
“I wouldn’t have fed the baby from my own body if I had even so much as a cough or sniffle,” she posted.
No matter what people had to say, she felt she did the right thing for the baby.
“When you leave your kid with someone else you sort of need to be reachable at all times,” she explained. “Now, if she had said she was having a mammogram or receiving confession or talking to the police, yeah I’d understand being unreachable. But when your infant is 8 weeks old and with someone else, you need to have your phone on at all times and answer it. I have never not returned my babysitter’s calls.”
We have to agree that this woman found herself in a weird situation. She’s right that her friend should’ve answered her calls. We hope these two friends can reconnect and have an adult conversation about it. Mothers should be able to count on one another.
Chicago based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet. Cheese and crackers are a mood.