Best Friends Break Up Over Pushy Breastfeeding Demands

Best friends can be awesome. And sometimes they can be really damn demanding. One American mother really stretched her friendship too far when she asked her best friend to take over breastfeeding her newborn baby.

The newborn’s mother was struggling. Her baby wouldn’t latch onto her breast and the little one was losing weight fast. The hospital staff suggested that she supplement her minimal breastmilk supply with formula.

But she didn’t want to. Instead, she turned to her best friend, a mother of four children, and demanded that she take over breastfeeding the child. Like a wet nurse.

The friend took to Reddit this week to ask “Am I the arsehole?” and it’s fair to say opinion is divided. Here’s her full post.

Breastfeeding mum
Two best friends have clashed over a breastfeeding request. Photo: BigStock

AITA for refusing to nurse my best friend’s baby?

I’m (36F) a mother of 4 kids. Ages 16,11,9 and 10 months. I breastfed my oldest 3 over a year each and am currently nursing my baby.

When my best friend (32F) found out she was pregnant last year we were ecstatic. She started asking me all kinds of questions about pregnancy, childbirth, which baby products I recommend, nursing, etc. She expressed that she definitely wanted to nurse but she was nervous. I told her I’d be there to offer as much support and advice as I could. She has no family here and the baby’s daddy stepped out of her life.

The day comes for her labour and she’s asked me to be in the room. As soon as the baby is born they place him right on her for skin to skin contact. All the nurses are encouraging her to attempt to nurse right away. She’s trying to get baby to latch and he’s just screaming his head off. I could tell she’s getting flustered so I tell her it’s ok. I had the same issue with my last. We’ll just keep trying. I stay all day and leave that evening. At that point, he still hadn’t latched.

I came back the next morning and she looks like she didn’t get a wink of sleep. She says baby pretty much screamed ALL night. He just won’t latch. I suggested a nipple shield which helped with my first. We tried that for a while, no luck. The doctor is concerned because the baby is already losing too much weight. He tells her she needs to supplement with formula in the meantime. She’s COMPLETELY against using formula. She calls it “poison”. And then she asked me to please try and latch him to my breast and feed him. I think I was so caught off guard that I may have made a face. I told her I just wasn’t comfortable with that and even if he did latch what would she do after I left? She needed to go ahead and supplement.

She flipped out on me. Yelled for me to leave since “I’m not going to be helpful” and she couldn’t believe I wouldn’t help out a best friend when I “had promised I would help her with nursing”.

I left but felt really bad when I got home. I just kept thinking maybe I should have at least tried. I’ve tried texting her with no response. AITA?

So is she?

Opinion is divided. Most of the angry comments directed towards the newborn’s mum are about her labelling formula poison.

“Hormones are one thing, but your friend’s an idiot. That “poison” has saved generations of children who would have otherwise starved to death.”

Several said the request for her to wet nurse was not appropriate. Many experienced mothers also pointed out that breastmilk differs based on the time and age of your child.

“Your friend is not behaving rationally here. It’s not your responsibility to act as her wet nurse. Your friend is not making a reasonable request here.”

What do you think? Would you feed the baby? Or refuse? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.


Avatar of Alison Godfrey

Alison Godfrey has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years. She loves coffee, wine, skiing and spending time with her husband, two children and their dog. But she's still not sure about the cat. He's pretty cranky.

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