Last week a neighbor that I'm friendly with asked me if I'd watch her 2-month-old for a few hours while she had oral surgery of some kind. At first, I hesitated, because the baby is so young - I wasn't sure how he'd do away from his mama for so long. I was a little uncomfortable with the idea, but I guess the surgery is kind of an emergency (she's having it tomorrow) and she's in a lot of pain.
Anyway, I agreed and assumed that I'd be feeding the baby expressed breast milk in some way but I guess she is not nursing and the baby is on imitation baby milk. She said she'd make up a couple of bottles for me to feed the baby if he becomes hungry. Needless to say, I am unnerved by this.
I've never fed a baby from a container or "bottle" and I don't know how to prepare IBM. It all seems very awkward and foreign to me, and to tell you the truth I am pretty sure it would make me sad to feed a LO like this. I am wondering if you think it would be okay to just nurse the baby while I have him (I am nursing my baby who is a few months older?) I know for sure I do not have any diseases, and I am not on any medications. I just feel so sorry for this baby, not having the goodness of mama milk, and I think I could benefit him in some small way by offering him my liquid gold. I would even be willing to hand express for him if he no longer has his natural latching instincts intact.
I don't want to overstep my boundaries with the mother, though, or seem weird. Do you think she'd be okay with me nursing her LO while she's away? Should I even tell her? Like I said, I know for a fact that I am disease and drug free so I am definitely not worried about that. But, I know my milk is made specifically for my baby's particular needs and age, so I wonder if my milk is okay for the younger baby - although I assume it's got to be better than IBM which is essentially produced for cows. I assume she'd be grateful to have me feed her baby the normal way, but you never know if she will get defensive or feel badly that for whatever reason her baby is on IBM. I just don't know if I can do the whole bottle feeding ordeal. I want to be helpful. What would you advise?
I hate to say it but I wouldn't even go there. My son was EBFed and I hate the idea of formula too but I know that I would be pretty pissed if someone other than maybe my sister nursed my child without my permission and its hard to think of a way to ask if you can nurse someone's baby without stepping on toes. It would basically be like you telling her she's made the wrong choice for her child and is essentially a bad mama. Maybe she'd be totally fine with it but there's a better chance that she wouldn't.
I would never ever feed anything to a baby I had been asked to care for without permission of the mom. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone did that to your baby? I'd be Very Angry!
If the baby is formula fed and the mother gave you formula to feed it, that's what you should feed it. I don't see the problem other than that YOU would feel sad about it. The mother has made a choice for her baby for whatever reason and that should be respected, period. Yes, it's sad that this baby will not have the social and health advantages of being breastfed, but it's not your place to try to change that and really, being breastfed by you once or twice will not make a difference.
Putting myself in the other mamas place, I would be REALLY upset if someone tried to nurse my baby without permission and off-put by the blatant disrespect of my parenting choices. Preparing formula bottles is not difficult, if you want to help your friend just listen to the directions you are given and take care of baby! It's not a big deal, I don't see the problem.
Me 32, loving him 33, more each day. Rad boy, 7/12/10 & Cool gal 4/28/13
I'm a biracial, atheist, humanist, pacifist, anarchist, bibliophile, and educator.
I wouldn't even voice your offer to nurse or beastfeed for her baby, as she is fine with her own parenting choices and her baby is being loved and nourished by her, even if you personally don't feel good about the method. And there is NO WAY I'd ever go behind anyone's back to nurse their baby without their permission. That is wrong in several different levels. It would show a lack of respect for the mama, a disregard of boundaries, and a breach of trust.
If it really makes you too sad to feed this baby a bottle while his mama is in surgury then you are better off telling the mama that she needs to find someone else to watch him. But I would think twice about telling her why because she will feel that you are judging her choices, and that is not something she needs on her plate right before sugury.
If you can watch the baby explain to the mama that you need to watch her prepare and feed a bottle as you have never done it before. Try not to let your own precertions get in the way: no doubt this baby is loved, cherished, and is being well fed even if not from breastmilk.
If she wanted to breastfeed, she would have.
I would FLIP out if someone else nursed my baby, unless I asked.
I mean FLIP!!
I can totally understand why you feel sad that the baby is FF and will feel guilty giving the baby a bottle, but it's not your place to "make things right" for that baby.
I know the feeling you have. I always feel sad when I see a little baby who should have human milk, but I also know there are major boundaries when it comes to sharing fluids.
I've never fed a baby from a container or "bottle" and I don't know how to prepare IBM. It all seems very awkward and foreign to me, and to tell you the truth I am pretty sure it would make me sad to feed a LO like this. I am wondering if you think it would be okay to just nurse the baby while I have him (I am nursing my baby who is a few months older?) I know for sure I do not have any diseases, and I am not on any medications. I just feel so sorry for this baby, not having the goodness of mama milk, and I think I could benefit him in some small way by offering him my liquid gold.
Oh come on. This HAS to be a troll. I mean really? No way there is this much self righteousness contained in one post unless it is a joke.
Definitely not always true. There are many mamas that DESPERATELY want to breastfeed and can't. You don't know the neighbor's issue or why she's not breastfeeding.
Beth- WOHM -Madly in love with my Wife- SAHMandSophia, born 11/2/10, at home! Expressing love, one ounce at a time!
Um, bottles are BOTTLES not "bottles." There is nothing wrong with a baby being fed out of a bottle. There is nothing sad about a baby being fed from a bottle. You raise your child, and feed your child as you see fit, and she'll do the same for hers. If you\ really want to help her, feed her baby what she wants to feed the baby, don't in ject your own feelings into it.Sorry,baby is climbing all over th keyoard.
I would not nurse someone else's baby without permission. I've bottle fed babies and it's really not that sad, it's not your baby and it's what this baby is used to and will want.
Chances are, the baby would not latch on to your breast anyway.
She's asking you to make formula. I don't like formula, but it isn't like she's giving you Pepsi and telling you to feed the baby that. If you can't mix it then ask the mama to mix it for you and all you do is shake it up a little before the feeding.
If I ever saw another woman nurse my son or give them their breast milk they'd be getting a good smack down.
I really hope this is a troll b/c it scares me there are some mamas like this around.
Very true. I was typing too fast and not thinking.
Im sorry and didn't mean to insult.
I was just picturing my neices and nephew as babies and remembering my SIL saying how disgusting she thought breastfeeding was.
I also have many friends who chose to let their milk dry up and it couldnt happen fast enough for them.
Even if I were that neighbor and couldn't breastfeed, I wouldnt want someone else breastfeeding my child.
There is also the possibility that the baby will be allergic to something you eat.
My son had soy, dairy, and wheat allergies that were very painful and alarming.
I had to restrict my diet, and even the slightest bit of deviation (a tiny bit of soy in a sauce etc) resulted in a reaction.
in our case a reaction included inability to sleep, constant screaming, and blood in his stool amongst other things.
Imagine the situation were reversed and you left expressed milk for your baby and another mama wanted to give your baby the "gift" of iron fortified formula.
I know how I would feel.
I would never feed a baby something without asking the parent(s) first. She is trusting you with her 2 month old, you should respect her wishes.
Who cares why she doesn't nurse? You're doing someone a favor by watching her baby while she has SURGERY. The last thing she needs is to worry about some self-righteous woman giving her baby something she doesn't give them. If you're so closed minded that you can't imagine giving the baby formula (there's no need to call it "imitation baby milk" as if formula feeders don't know that formula isn't breast milk), then don't offer to watch a formula fed baby. If you really don't know how to make a bottle or feed the baby from a bottle you can read the directions on the can, ask the mom to prepare the formula and keep it in the fridge (warming it in a cup of hot water, not the microwave, when ready to eat) and ask the mom the baby's typical feeding patterns. Like breastfed babies, formula fed babies are fed on demand as well and do not ALWAYS finish their bottle and you shouldn't make them, and every baby has their own feeding gist that they do.
That would definitely be overstepping boundaries. If you are uncomfortable with giving her baby a bottle, then just come up with an excuse of why you can't babysit. If she were a nursing mother, then you could offer to wetnurse if the need was there, but I really doubt that there's any possible way that she'd be comfortable with you nursing since she's not nursing.
Also, you think you're healthy, but you just never know. It's not worth it.
Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will. If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk New User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement
As someone who has been nursing almost continuously for the past 3.5 years, and pumping for my babies while I was at work during many of those months, AND a proponent of milksharing, like eats on feets I would be LIVID if someone did that.
It's not the only reason by far, but one of the things that caused me to cut my mother out of my children's lives completely was that she repeatedly fed my newborn dd formula, behind my back, that caused her to become very sick.
Yes, breast milk is WAY, a million times better, than formula. But you don't know what reaction that baby will have to your milk. You just don't. And, anyway, no one is better suited than the mother to make a feeding decision for their child. To ignore that decision would be utterly disrespectful and I would have a difficult time forgiving someone who did that.
Very blessed mama to one bouncin' boy (12/07) one who didn't get to stay (6/09), one potty learning, mess making diva(4/10), and one cheerful milk monster. (12/11) Happy partner to the love of my life.
Wow - okay I guess I have my answer! I really just want the best for this baby, but I will take your overwhelming advice not to go there! I guess I didn't think it was a HUGE deal to nurse a baby, but I don't want to upset this mom or cross any boundaries. I doubt the baby would be sensitive to anything in my milk since it already consumes IBM, which is not exactly hypoallergenic! But still, you are right. I should just watch the baby and feed it it's normal food. Thanks for the input - I don't mean to come off self righteous or rude. I just feel so sad when I see a baby that's not getting Mother's Best. I know how much I love nursing and I feel badly for any dyad that doesn't get to do it. Anyway, thank you! I will feed the baby from the "bottle" after she shows me how to assemble it.
C.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to A.- 02/04, I. 01/07,E. 09/10 and
expecting the surprise of our lives Fall 2012!
Bottles are not complicated. If you can read, you can figure out how to make formula and put together a bottle. If you truly cannot figure it out, here is a link: http://www.babycenter.com/0_bottle-feeding-basics_752.bc. I have a babysitter who literally CANNOT read and has severe reading disabilities that often cause her to mix up the numbers on the bottle, and she can figure out how to feed Daniel a bottle. You seem to be a pretty intellegent woman, you can do it.
I am really, really encouraging you to change your attitude before you go ahead and watch this woman's baby. I formula feed my son because I could not breastfeed after reduction, and someone came over after I had the baby to "help out," except that when I asked her to feed my newborn a bottle while I did something like take a shower, she balked. She had breastfed and cloth diapered three children (this was a 60 year old woman) and said that she'd never used my disposable diapers or bottles so she couldn't do it. This is a woman who has a masters degree! And she couldn't figure out how to bottle-feed an infant or strap on a Pampers? Seriously?! So I made up the bottle for her so it was all ready and said that I would show her, and she refused. And then I realized that it wasn't that she COULDN'T, she just WOULDN'T. I was so angry that this woman had come over to MY house, ostensibly to help me after my c-section while my husband put in a 10 hour workday and was refusing to do the things I asked her to do. I've never gotten over it. I have never called that woman again. She only wanted to help me with things she wanted to do, which is not the spirit to have when someone is in need.
If you cannot help her without being judgmental then I think it would be best that you tell her that you are busy and unable to watch her child and leave it at that.
I would tend to agree - except that it is TOMORROW, and she clearly needs the help. Just keep your opinions to yourself and do a good deed by watching the baby when she really needs that.
I wouldn't in a million years offer to nurse another woman's child - except maybe if we were stuck in the wilderness and out of whatever her baby usually ate. I nursed my kids; I am all for nursing. But it is wrong in so many ways to think 1) you know her situation, 2) you have the right to go over her head in her parenting choices. So, so, so inappropriate. If someone offered that to me, I would think they were really out there - and if they did it without asking, I'd be beyond furious.