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Would you ever share your breastmilk? One new mum has found herself in the middle of a big family drama because her sister wants to take her breastmilk.

The new mum has had quite a successful breastfeeding journey with her baby, she shared, “I’m a mother of a 4 month old baby girl. I breastfeed her exclusively, and have had a fairly good supply.”

“Recently she has been unable to latch on my left breast, and I have been pumping that side, so I have a decent stockpile of milk. My sister also recently had a baby and decided against breastfeeding, which I support. Fed is best.” She revealed that her sister choose not to breastfeed, “because she did not want her boobs to sag.”

Both sisters were happily feeding their babies, the way they had chosen, when the drama happened, “My issue arose when she came over one day and asked if she could take my breast milk.”

“She decided formula was too expensive and she would just take my breast milk that I pump.” While breastfeeding is mostly cost-free, baby formula does cost a family around $1200 for the first year. She told her sister that she wasn’t OK with sharing, wanting to keeping her breastmilk supply just in case, “I told her no, that I was saving that in case baby girl has issues latching again or if I’m not around and she needs to be fed.”

The new mum shared on reddit, that it’s become a big family issue that she won’t give her breast milk to her sister, “My sister freaked out and told me I didn’t need that much and I could always pump more so giving her what I have pumped so far wouldn’t matter.”

Since then the parents have stepped in, “We argued for a while and she got our parents involved. Now it’s become a whole family issue and the people who disagree have been blowing up my phone.”

Mothers feeding other mother’s babies is not entirely new. Since the 1940s it’s been documented in Australian maternity wards that breastmilk has been shared informally. Since 2006, formalised milk banks have been established to help feed sick and premature babies.

While it’s rare to transmit diseases through donor breast milk, there is a chance of transmitting viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, bacteria and other germs. Formal donor milk banks test and pasteurise donor breast milk to make sure there is nothing in it that could harm a baby.

Do you think she’s being unreasonable? Should she share her breastmilk with her sister?

  • Nope, no sharing that precious milk. She chose not to breastfeed so she has to expect to pay for formula.

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  • What about getting breastmilk from a Breastmilk bank if we have any in our country, wrong to expect her sister to share her breast milk and even worse other family members are involved in this issue and taking sides and bullying this new mum.

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  • I can see both sides but I also think that pumping can be quite taxing on a mum, plus latching issues etc I can understand her wanting to keep it. I couldn’t imagine wanting to use my sisters breastmilk for my baby. I also think that if the sister said it’s too expensive then she shouldn’t have had a child in the first place. You can never just assume that breastfeeding will work for you and should have factored in the costs of formula before having a baby. Plus don’t get be started on possibly passing on viruses!

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  • wow.

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  • The sister is incredibly selfish! What a selfish excuse to not breastfeed because you don’t want your breasts to sag. She chose to go with formula so suck it up and pay for it.

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  • Don’t think the breastfeeding mum is being unreasonable at all, but I am not sure how long one can store breast milk either. Do think it was wrong to involve the rest of the family too. I think more thought should be given to the poor formula-fed baby who more than likely wouldn’t want breast milk now as it wouldn’t be sweet enough for his tastes anymore.

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  • Breastfeeding is a choice & does not effect your breasts negatively at all so such a stupid reason to not breastfeed. In fact I think your breasts become much better while breastfeeding & afterwards. I would definitely give breastmilk to anyone in an emergency but not ongoing. When you have a child it’s a commitment not a beauty choice. I find this article ridiculous. You only do what is best for you & your child

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  • My memories of breast pumps are that they are fairly brutal things and I wouldn’t want to be doing it more than I had to. I think the family should butt out – it is her milk for her baby!!

    The sister should have thought about breastfeeding a bit more before she decided not to.

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  • The sister is being rediculous. If the baby was actually breastfed and she had supply issues or what ever than sure help a sister out, but this is literally her just not wanting to pay to feed her child. She shouldn’t have had a child if she wasn’t prepared to pay to feed her child, or she should have just breastfed herself. If it were me in that situation I would have to told the sister where to go.

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  • What a joke! I can’t believe other people in the family think they are entitled to get involved. It’s obvious where the sister learnt her behaviour. If the milk was offered it would be completely different but to ask for it and then get offended when it is denied is disgusting. I wouldn’t want anything to do with her until she apologises,

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  • The sister is being selfish – she chose not to breastfeed for cosmetic reasons, not because she couldn’t. It’s disgusting she’s now pressuring her sister who is experiencing difficulties.

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  • oh this is a difficult one. Yes she is your sister but it was her choice to bottle feed. I understand and support the breastfeeding mums case. If the breastfeeding mum did give in how long would she have to do this for.? I agree with tea4tee the bottle feed mum could try relactating.

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  • Nope not unreasonable at all! Her sister made the decision to formula feed for her own reasons, then decided it was too expensive. That’s on the sister, not the OP. Not unreasonable to want to keep your stocked supply for your own baby. If the sister wants breastmilk she can try re lactating.

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  • Wow! That’s selfish. She made her own decision to formula feed (which is absolutely fine), so don’t think you can then use someone else’s breast milk. How rude and entitled. And the rest of the family need to back off or shut down the selfish sister.

    Reply

  • This sounds like a very selfish sister

    Reply

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