Thursday, August 28, 2008

Would You Pump Your Milk And Feed It To A Calf?

I will do an update post (with PICTURES, YAHOOOOOOO!) on all of the projects we've been at soon but I wanted to quick post about this touchy subject while it's fresh on my brain.

Before I provide the link, I want to tell a little story:

When Trina was just about 4 months old or so, I took her to the mall. I heard this baby crying bloody murder on the other side of the mall. When the dad and the baby got closer, we (I think my sister, Katrina was with me) saw that it was a friend of ours' husband and her baby. The dad was pretty clueless and didn't have the baby's milk or bottle handy (I found out later that the mom was still breastfeeding but mostly used a bottle with formula at that time).

The baby was crying so hard that he was all red and stiff and we couldn't even talk above the clamor. I knew a "hungry!" cry when I heard one! The superclueless dad asked us if we had a bottle with and I shrugged because I NEVER had to bring a bottle with me! He stood there like an idiot and I shyly suggested (out of desperation) if I should just go ahead and nurse the poor baby just to calm him down.

I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth!

Nurse someone ELSE'S baby? Without the MOM'S permission?

So many thoughts filled my head but the one, prevailing one was, "THIS BABY NEEDS FOOD! FEEEEEEED THE BABY!". So I didn't really have time to really ponder those other thoughts until later. For instance:

1. What would (the mother) think?
2. How long has he been crying?
3. Would he cry harder, knowing that I wasn't his mom?
4. Would feeding him somehow break his bond with his mom?
5. Is it "gross" to feed someone else's baby?
6. If my baby would ONLY breastfeed, would I mind if someone else breastfed HER?
...and many others that are probably filling YOUR mind right now!

The dad ended up remembering that he had milk in the car and he sort of spacily wandered off with his screaming baby (everything turned out all right, he met up with the mom I found out from her later) but, from that point on, I thought about something I had never thought about before!

If you would just point blank ask me "would you ever breastfeed someone else's child?" I would probably say (before that incident), "Ew, NO!".

After having lots of good breastfeeding experiences (and lots of bad ones too, mind you) I would now say "Sure, big deal, why not? I would do anything for any baby in a pinch!".

What made me recall this memory and these thoughts? I found an article by a woman in the U.K.. I don't like the way she promotes herself in the provocative picture at the top of the article, but if you read it through, it is interesting how her thoughts evolved about breastmilk and society, etc..