A hospitalized mom enlisted the help of five strangers to breastfeed her baby when she couldn’t
Ask 1000 moms the right way to parent and you’ll get 1000 different answers. But we can agree on at least one thing- moms have to do what it takes to make sure their baby doesn’t go hungry.
Mom of two Ronja Wiedenbeck found herself facing a major dilemma last week when she was hospitalized due to complications from painful ovarian cysts and placed on pain medication that left her unable to breastfeed her 11-month-old son, Rio. Wiedenbeck had frozen breast milk in her freezer as a backup, but Rio refuses to drink from a bottle.
Without expressed breast milk or formula as viable options to make sure her baby didn’t get hungry or dehydrated Wiedenbeck turned to the online Facebook group Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies asking if anyone was willing and available to help nurse her son while she was on medication. She was floored when over 1000 members volunteered to step in as a wet nurse for Rio.
With the help of a friend, Wiedenbeck sifted through the messages and selected 5 women to breastfeed her son while she was hospitalized. Three of the women made the trip to the hospital to feed Rio, and after confirming that the other two women had completed criminal background checks, Rio went to their houses under the eye of a family friend to be fed.
Wiedenbeck told the Daily Mail, “The response was absolutely overwhelmingly amazing.” As to what it felt like to watch someone else breastfeed her child she said, “I thought it might feel unusual because it is something special that only Rio and I had shared, but it just felt totally instinctive for another mum to help him in a way he was used to.”
Wiedenbeck is now home with her children but continues to be grateful for the women who stepped up to help make sure her child didn’t go hungry. She took to Instagram to say, “I am so thankful for these selfless caring mothers, and we will all have such a great bond and friendship from this.” She even offered to step in to nurse any of their babies, saying, “I can’t wait to see you all again, give you all massive squishes, and hopefully one day repay the favor for any of you should you ever need it.”
Letting someone you don’t know breastfeed your baby isn’t something everyone would be comfortable with, but turning to an online breastfeeding group was quick thinking on Wienbeck’s part, considering it’s a likely place to find moms who are maintaining a healthy lifestyle to breastfeed their own children.
Wienbeck called the women who helped feed her son, ‘heros’ and they are, but that’s not the best thing about her experience. With 1000 offers from women able and willing to step up and feed little Rio, it’s clear that serving as a wet nurse for someone else’s child is becoming less of a taboo and more about moms supporting each other and helping one another handle the curveballs parenting throws at us.