In fact, it runs in my family.
When my sister and I jokingly offered to breastfeed each other’s babies a few years back, we weren’t really joking.
We had babies within weeks of each other and regularly looked after them while one of us worked. If I became stuck in traffic or she did, it was an option. A last-resort-sort-of-option, but still something we had in our pockets during those first delicate few weeks and months of motherhood.
We didn’t consider ourselves progressive in any way. It just made sense.
Had we shared our intentions with anyone else, I think we would have been in for a rude shock, judging from a debate that is raging today after a mum posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her child, and her friend’s child, at the same time.
Jessica Colletti shared this posy on the Mama Bean Unconditional Attachment Facebook page for World Breastfeeding Week, along with the caption:
“My son on the right is 16 months and my friend’s son is 18 months. I watch her son while she works and have been feeding them both for a year! So much love between these milk siblings, it’s a special bond between us all. #MilkSiblings.”
A storm erupted, not over her decision to post a breastfeeding pic, not over her decision to breastfeed older children, but over the fact she was breastfeeding a friend’s baby. She received a lot of support. However some of the worst of the comments can’t be repeated here. They are just too horrible. Some of the less offensive comments included “Weirdo”, “Disgusting” and “So WRONG in so many ways”.
As the descendant of a wet nurse, I beg to differ.
Click through for a gallery of celebrity breastfeeding photos (post continues after gallery)…
My mother’s great-great-great grandmother was a wet nurse. All those years ago in Italy, the babies of wealthier families were breastfed by the mothers of less wealthy families. It was the ‘done thing’ in many parts of the world for many reasons. Now it’s 2015 and we are debating the right of a mum to breastfeed a friend’s child, after gaining the full consent of the friend. We are so backwards when it comes to the issue of breastfeeding.
And we consider ourselves so progressive.