Woman Refuses To Let Sister In Law Breast Feed Her Baby While She’s Away
In some cultures it’s perfectly normal to breastfeed someone else’s baby. But what if it’s not part of your culture and you’re uncomfortable with it. One woman said no to her SIL breastfeeding her baby and now wonders if she was too harsh. What do you think?
Writing into Reddit, the mum says she was shocked to discover both her husband and sister in law were okay with her baby being breastfed while she was away briefly training for netball.
I 32f have a 2 month old baby. I went to training and left her with my partner. My netball training only takes an hour. On my way back from training I called my partner 33m to check in and see if my baby was okay. He said she was fine and that they just got to my in laws place then said ‘if baby cries I can just get my sister to breastfeed her’ which I said no to because I wasn’t comfortable with that and told him that’s my bond with my baby. He asked why not? And I just told him no. He then turned to his sister and said ‘oh she said you can’t’ while I was still on the phone.
Apparently it’s normal in their culture and I said that’s fine but for mine it’s not so it’s a no. I had to go over there which then ended up being awkward because they both just assumed and decided between themselves that she could breastfeed my baby and then acted like I was being a bitch for not letting her. I don’t know if I’m overreacting but that’s just how I felt and I thought it was my right. AITA?
In an updated post, the mum explains that it wasn’t due to illnesses that she felt uncomfortable, it was simply because breastfeeding was a special bonding time between her and her baby.
Update : For context, I was pumping milk but my partner said to not worry about it, she would be fine. I was only about 20mins away. And no I don’t know anything about my SIL’s health history but this was not the reason why I said no. I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea because it is not a norm for me but mainly because I consider it bonding time with my daughter.
My partner and I talked about it when we got home and he said he understood where I was coming from and that he was sorry he did not ask me first, they just thought since it was normal for them that it would be okay. Which is completely fine. I told him it was the fact that he didn’t ask me first which put me in an awkward situation that could have been avoided which was made worse by them saying she was hungry and have me feed her when I know when my child is hungry because of how she behaves and fusses. She was not hungry at all but tired and just wanted cuddles.
Most of the commenters agreed with the poster saying she had every right to say no to her sister in law. And the husband should’ve backed her up from the get go.
“Yep. This used to be normal practice in my country. Some women would even go to orphanages to breastfeed children. But during the height of the HIV pandemic this practice was stopped and discouraged, due to the virus being transmitted easily through breastfeeding. So for health reasons, I wouldn’t allow it either.”
”Other illnesses can be passed through breastmilk as well. I used to work in a NICU fortifying breast milk for the babies on the unit and we had to be up to date with Hepatitis vaccines because of the transmission risk.”
”I won’t even let people kiss my baby, let alone shove a tit in their mouth. How would anyone think sharing a bodily fluid without express permission from the mother would be okay? Infection, disease, nipple confusion, disrupting bonding. Or how about just NO this is not common in any modern culture I’ve seen and I’ve been around the block a few times. Don’t ever leave them alone. Strap baby to back and workout, these people will 100% do it behind your back.”
”I wouldn’t do it in a million years. There are legitimate donor banks at hospitals. They prioritize giving that to the babies who would most benefit. That is the absolute only way I’d accept someone else’s breast milk for my kid. Science milk (formula) is amazing and saved my daughter and me.”
“Weird” is a matter of perspective, culture, and time. I’m also squicked out by it because I’m an American born in the late twentieth century, but in another culture now — or even in the west a couple hundred years ago — it wouldn’t be at all out of the ordinary for an infant to be breastfed by someone who isn’t their mother.”
“NTA, breastfeeding is a very personal decision. Good for them if it’s something they share in their culture but you have the final word on it.”
”NTA I don’t have any problem with women breastfeeding each others children (with the knowledge that everyone is disease-free) but only with permission of the baby’s mother.”
What do you think? Would you be okay with this?