An American Reddit user has lost her best friend after offering to watch the friend’s new baby — and then nursing the baby from her own breast.
Reddit user irritableseebass wrote that she offered to help her ‘best friend of ten years’ by babysitting her eight-week-old for a day, but when the baby grew hungry, she realized the friend hadn’t left her any formula — and what’s more, the friend wouldn’t respond to repeated calls and text messages.
So facing a baby that needed to eat, the Redditor, a new mother herself, breastfed the little one. Unfortunately, her friend ‘freaked out’ when she learned about it, accusing her ‘horrible things’ and cutting her off.
It’s complicated: A mom who was asked to watch her friend’s baby has sought advice from people online after she decided to breastfeed the child without the parent’s permission (stock)
‘She has really bad postpartum depression so I’ve been trying to help, however, I gave birth to my second child about two weeks after she had her baby so I’m needed at home with my family,’ the Redditor wrote.
‘I could tell she was getting stressed so I offered to take the baby for a day so she could have downtime.’
Her friend’s newborn had a sensitive digestive system, meaning he was unable to ingest regular formula and instead needed breast milk or special formula.
When the friend was dropping off the baby, the Redditor asked her if everything was in the diaper bag, including bottles, that the baby would need for the day. The friend said yes and then left her son with the woman.
At this point the baby was crying and screaming so hard I thought he might get sick or hurt. So I sat down and breastfed him myself
‘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,’ she wrote. ‘My baby needed a feed so I fed her and then about thirty minutes later Best Friend’s baby needed a feed. I went to fix him a bottle and realized she hadn’t packed his formula.’
This put the woman in quite the predicament because she didn’t have special formula to feed the child.
Also, any of the breast milk she had already pumped was currently in the freezer.
The woman attempted to call her best friend multiple times and even texted her to ask about the formula, all while the baby was crying because he needed to be fed. It became apparent to her that she would have to just breastfeed the child herself,’ she said, adding that she lives in the country and there was no one she could have called to help her.
‘At this point the baby was crying and screaming so hard I thought he might get sick or hurt. So I sat down and breastfed him myself,’ she explained.
Before going on, the woman informed people on Reddit that she had a clean bill of health from her doctors and already received a flu shot. She knew she had no diseases so believed the ‘baby was not at risk for anything.’
Her best friend then finally returned more than three hours later to pick up the child.
This is when the woman decided to inform her she was forced to feed the child with her own breast milk because there was no other viable options.
‘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 wrote.
‘I told her how badly he got upset and how worried I was so I breastfed him myself.
‘She freaked out on me and accused me of some horrible things and then left. 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.’
The Reddit user then asked people if she was in the wrong for deciding to breastfeed the child on her own.
Most commenters defended the woman, saying she had no choice and the baby needed to be fed.
Commenters remained divided on the issue with some people understanding the woman was backed into a wall while other couldn’t fathom how she had no options to get the baby fed in other ways.
‘This story is wild. I’d honestly prefer this over starving my child. Your friend had a very odd reaction,’ wrote one.
‘Your friend has much bigger problems than being mad at you for breastfeeding her hungry child. Long ago many wealthy families hired a “wetnurse” specifically to breastfeed and raise their babies and this was the norm,’ said another.
‘Newborns need to be fed every 2-4 hours as you know. 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,’ commented a third.
Quite a few people expressed concern about the friend’s mental state and well being.
Sadly, it appears the friendship might be over between the two friends, though, as the woman informed the Reddit community that her best friend reported her to Child Protective Services following the incident.