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?