Photo Of Woman Breastfeeding Her Sister's Baby Goes Viral

by Valerie Williams
Image via Facebook

A woman shares her story of breastfeeding her nephew in viral Facebook post

In a story that proves how far we’ve come in the way of normalizing breastfeeding, the internet was shockingly supportive of an aunt who nursed her nephew while his mom was at work. We so often see breastfeeding moms maligned for any number of reasons — hello, nursing in public — so, it’s heartening to see people being so kind to this woman for doing what she had to do for her sister’s baby.

When breastfeeding mom and blogger Meg Nagle was babysitting her infant nephew, she had trouble getting him to take a bottle of his mom’s pumped milk. Anyone who’s attempted to feed a baby who’s used to the breast and simply not having the bottle understands how frustrating and upsetting that can be. Wanting the little guy to be happy and fed, she decided to take matters into her own hands…well, nipples. She nursed him herself.

On her blog’s Facebook page, Nagle writes, “My gorgeous little nephew! While my sister was at work today I tried to give him a bottle of her expressed milk a few times (which he wouldn’t take). I could see he was tired so I popped him on the boob and voila, he was asleep in minutes.”

Of course, nursing another person’s child is not something every mom would be comfortable with, but if it’s discussed between the mom and the woman willing to nurse the baby, it sounds like a huge win for everyone. Indeed, Nagle addressed the question in the comments of her post where someone asked if her sister gave her permission responding, “Of course I asked her!”

The post is full of supportive comments including those of women who’ve done this before for a family member or friend’s baby. It seems there are plenty of moms who see nursing another mother’s baby as something we’ve been doing for all of time (aka, wet nurses) and honestly, not that big of a deal. It’s hard to imagine this same positive response 10 or even five years ago, so it looks as though we’re finally coming to a place where nursing is more widely accepted — in any form.

If a mom knows the health status of the person offering to breastfeed her baby and both women are comfortable with it, it can be a helpful arrangement. Imagine if your sister babysat your nursing baby every day and the baby had trouble taking a bottle. If you’re a working mom, there’s nothing more stressful than worrying your child is hungry and refusing to eat without you there to breastfeed him. Nagle stepping in when her sister couldn’t be there must have been a huge relief for this mom. As a mom with a baby who outright refused a bottle the entire time he nursed, I would’ve been dizzy with happiness and relief if I had a sister or close friend willing to do this for me so I could get a break now and then. It’s great that moms like Nagle are sharing their stories of nursing someone else’s baby so people can see that it’s an option if they have a similar person in their life who might be willing to do it.

Until you’ve experienced a baby who won’t take a bottle no matter how hungry they are, you can’t understand what a desperate feeling that is. Nursing another person’s baby is clearly not an option for everyone, but if you have a situation like these women, it might be worth the conversation.