I Breastfeed My Friend's Son...What's The Big Deal?

Well, we almost did it. We almost made it through World Breastfeeding Week without a wave of drama from the "I Support Breastfeeding But..." crowd.

Almost.

Because there is currently a storm brewing...a milk storm, no less...in reaction to this perfectly natural and beautiful picture:



This is Jessica Anne Colletti; a mom who breastfeeds both her own son (on the right) and her friend's son (on the left), while her friend works.

Brilliant, right? What a wonderful shout-out to sisterhood! What an awesome hashtag ‪#‎MilkSiblings‬ is! What a creative way to navigate motherhood and work!

And yet, there it is...rumbling in the distance...the familiar cries of naysayers heading our way. Brace yourselves, because we seem to have unsettled the beast...

Here is the original post that I shared on my Facebook page (which just happens to be a space dedicated to normalizing breastfeeding - in all its forms):

Mama Jessica says:"My son on the right is 16 months and my friend's son is 18 months. I watch her son while she works...
Posted by Mama Bean - Unconditional Attachment on Saturday, August 8, 2015


If we filter past the shock-fuelled cries of "gross!"...there is a lot of love for this picture.  Because the majority (of my audience at least) see this practice of wet-nursing for exactly what it is: a wonderful alternative to direct breastfeeding.

And if you are on the fence and need convincing, let me clarify the official stance.  Allow me to quote from The World Health Organisation's "Global Strategy On Infant And Young Child Feeding"*, which lists the "best alternatives" to direct breastfeeding as follows:


  1. Expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother.
  2. Breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank.
  3. Breast-milk substitute fed with a cup.


I understand that for many, seeing formula listed below pumping and wet-nursing might be very, very hard to read.  I understand the frustration, grief and anger that so many moms feel when breastfeeding doesn't come easily to them...or when breastfeeding feels like the hardest mountain to climb. I get it, I really do. But this innocent list wasn't compiled to shame moms. It was created - collaboratively by The World Health Organisation and UNICEF, I might add - to provide information...to provide clarity...to provide facts.


So factually speaking, a healthy-wet nurse is the second best alternative to direct breastfeeding.  And for moms who struggle to pump that elusive 2000oz of breast milk, or who are negotiating the phenomenon of Pumping Disappointment, the option of wet-nursing could be the perfect solution.

Jessica, the mom in the picture, told me:

"Breastfeeding my friend's son came naturally to me.  I started babysitting him when he was 5 months old and the first time she dropped him off to me I asked permission to nurse him, since I was already nursing my 3 month old.  She responded with an enthusiastic yes, because he was having issues with the formula his previous sitter had been giving him.  My friend struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning and succeeded for 9 months.  She was always very happy that her son had the nutrition and comfort he needed while she was working.  Being able to breastfeed her little boy has created a special bond between us all, a bond I will always cherish."

For a society that has no issues drinking the milk of another species in their mocha cappuccinos, perhaps it's time to change our general stance towards human babies drinking human milk. For a society that holds formula as the 'norm' for infant feeding, perhaps it's time to have another glance at the list above...the factual list compiled with only one 'goal' in mind: to improve the health of our children and future generations.

Quite simply, you can't argue with the facts.  Isn't it time to normalize breastfeeding, in all its forms?


Like what you read?  Related posts:


Thank you to mama Jessica for allowing me to feature her picture and story in this piece.  For more photos in celebration of breastfeeding and motherhood, join the Mama Bean village on Facebook!

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*Global Strategy On Infant And Young Child Feeding, WHO.  Details can be found Here.

164 comments:

  1. That is fine to help a friend out pending no yeast or other transmittable issues. However, intimate moments of breastfeeding are personal and not meant to photograph and spread around the masses.

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    1. I respectfully disagree - for something to be seen as normal, it must first be seen.

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    2. Mama Bean... I guess sex isn't NORMAL ???? C'mon... post some pictures of some couples procreating so we can all get used to it and get it 'normalized' in our
      minds ! People should make love in public, too. I mean, its SO beautiful of a thing... People should just go at it where ever and whenever they feel like it... make a baby, deliver it in the middle of a Walmart and then
      breastfeed it via live satellite broadcast, so nobody misses out on it.

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    3. Agreed. IN the United States we still have too many puritanical religious beliefs that make us feel shame about our bodies. We need to stop imposing this collective shame upon women who breastfeed. We are in fact mammals and this is utterly natural. ^_^

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    4. Mojobones 1 do you compare all humans eating too having sex, or just infants? That's a really irrational comparison.

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    5. it is so sad yu are compairong nursing a baby with sex :-(

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    6. Bravo to Jessica. This is normal in most countries, and is normal in America too. Mothers breastfeed their infants in public at my community pool. It is normal. All good mothers should do this.

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    7. OMG the "babies" aren't babies. So truly disgusting.

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    8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sownf7vd-D4

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    9. s5448985, why disgusting? The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding for at least 1 year and "as long as mother and baby want to keep going." It's not disgusting at all. It's no different than a 3-year walking around with a bottle or pacifier.

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    10. mojobones1 people don't have an issue with people aving sex in all sorts of weird ways. However, they say nasty things about women breast feeding their babies/toddlers/pre schools beyond their idea of the 'rgiht age' and other babies when the occasion arises. This article is in Huffington post and the hateful comments there call mothers like the one pictured creeps, perverts etc. and say they are doing it for themselves. They tell us to give the children cow milk, forumla, juice or pump. This is BS. This practice of self weaning bbabies and feeding other babies was a UBIQUITOUS practice across cultures just a century ago. However, it gets a LOT OF HATE compared to even hard-core porn I think. THIS IS WHY I THINK MAMA JESSICA IS A BRAVE AND WONDERFUL LADY FOR POSTING THIS PICTURE. Many blessings and good wishes to her and the milk siblings. I hope people like you reject the crap corporations have fed you and accept breastfeeding for what it is.. My son is 2and a half and I intend to self wean him.

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    11. mojobones1 it's fine to have the sexual fetish you do (as long as your desire is directed towards the grown woman in the picture - if not please get therapy). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_lactation, and try FetLife to find women looking to date men with your interest.

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    12. No problem with it being done, but the I need attention, here let me post the pic. That's my issue

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    13. The gross sadness of you comparison to a nursing baby and sex is really irrational. Society allows pornography to be marketed and sold and it's widely advertised and excepted. So to your theory sex has a higher level of acceptance than a breastfeeding mom!

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    14. OMG I think it is a beautiful thing that you are doing mama bean

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    15. If she didn't want negative comments, why go public then? Some call it attempt to normalize breastfeeding in public. I call it attention whoring in hopes of the picture going viral and getting more blog views.

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    16. Breastfeeding is normal and has been, and will be. But to some people women are either sex objects, or little men. Those positions are not normal and are not arrived at logically, thus they will be defended with non-logical means.

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    17. @"Anonymous13 August 2015 at 08:23"
      May I kindly suggest you have issues, particularly unfocused and unjustified rage at women? Therapy can help.

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    18. "Breastfeeding is not the same as peeing. Peeing is disposing of bodily WASTE that can smell bad, fosters germs, and requires exposing an organ (the penis or vulva)..."

      But by what objective standard is one 'ok' and the other 'not ok'? This is a good question, actually. Your reasoning is perfectly fine as your own opinion, but don't try to frame it as something obvious. In some other cultures in the world, public urination is not such a big deal. In some places, sex in public isn't prosecuted. What makes your personal opinion of peeing or pooping any different than our opinion of breastfeeding in public? Why are you such a prude? Why do you hate the glorious human body and the gift that Gaia, our Earth-mother, has given us in defecation? :D

      It's all a matter of taste. The SJW women who tweet selfies of themselves breastfeeding to boost their own feelings of self-satisfaction have no taste; the rest of us do. This isn't about 'the children'. This isn't about public health or women's rights. This is about the 'Generation Me' and their narcissistic attempts to turn everything into imagined persecution. You're not the Rosa Parks of public ta-tas. Buy a freaking blanket.

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  2. This is so common in India. Often, an aunt does it.

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  3. Did you take your Facebook page down?

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    Replies
    1. No, it's still up and running, Glenn.

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  4. It's no big deal and thank you for posting. Completely normal and nothing to worry about at all. Well done.

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  5. I don't have any problems with this, assuming that you know when to stop. Breastfeeding creates a personal bond that's tough to let go, for the infant ánd for the mother.
    I hope you're not socialising the possible fact that you cannot let that bond go at the time.
    I don't want to start an argument, i just want you to be absolutely sure of your motivations.

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    1. Mothers in Europe typically breastfeed far longer than we do here, often to 2 or 3 years of age. It's not done here because back in the day it was decided that breastmilk was bad for babies and formula should be used instead. At that point breastfeeding became something only low life poor women did, women who didn't care about their babies. It was associated with poverty and shame and those who did it stopped as soon as they possibly could. Now that it's obvious that breastfeeding is good for babies there is no reason not to do it for years, weaning early is also harmful to long term health but it's the default due to old attitudes like yours and due to women needing to return to work in workplaces that don't accommodate breastfeeding mother's (which is most of them).

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    2. Why would she need your OK with her motivations? You have no say over what a person does or why they do it.

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  6. I'm sorry, but your picture is completely inappropriate. I don't understand why people can't make their points without having to take these kinds of pictures. Breastfeeding used to be a private thing. I don't know what has happened to the world.

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    1. I believe this to be factually inaccurate. Humans are mammals and breastfeeding in many cultures has been public and wet nurses common. The female breast is often exposed for nursing, evening public, except where religious institutions have taught us to fear the human anatomy and keep it hidden...for shame!

      I'm not asking that we allow folks to engage in sexual conduct in the streets but breastfeeding IS NOT SEXUAL (unless one has a fetish for it of course). This is part of motherhood and I feel it's wonderful.

      Bring the boobies back!

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    2. There are old pictures of women breastfeeding their children, and breastfeeding other children. Social media just didn't exist then. But before baby formula was invented, mothers walked around nursing their children wherever, and it wasn't a big deal because it was normal. There was no such thing as breast pumps or bottles either for a long time, so mothers couldn't pump to bottle feed while in public. Wet nursing was also very common and considered normal before formula because it was the only way babies could get nutrition if their mothers were unable to breastfeed them for whatever reason.

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    3. It's fine to be in public. Babies have no memories. I would hate it if pictures of me sucking on my mom were out there. I feel the same about people posting pictures of newborn naked babies. Nothing sexual about a baby, but it's still the child's right to privacy too

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    4. Religious Insanity keeps us out of the Garden of Eden, ie Adam and Eve didn't wear clothes until they were shamed. The shame comes from no women in the Trinity, in 3 major religions. How insane in an all male trinity? with no Mother Creator, they all guys club still condemns homosexuality. The all male medical system, is based on chemical poisons, rather than natural nutrition, like breast feeding. The new generation has a desire for Eden's Nature, it's why churches against Eden are losing ground.

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    5. Ashlee, I take it you didn't grow up in the 70's. I don't see why you would be the least offended if naked baby pics of you were out there, it's not like anyone can identify you today from the photos, but if they were you'd be able to ask your mom to take them down, just like those embarrassing teenage photos of you. I'm sure you weren't offended by them during your own infancy, these kids are fine. It's unreasonable to expect parents to not take pics of their children until they are 18 years old and can give legal permission.

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    6. Anonymous
      You think her picture breastfeeding is terrible because she doesn't cover up. We'll I can bet my bottom dollar you watch TV shows with flopping breast out all the time in shows/movies and don't think twice. Breastfeeding has been around for hundreds or thousands of yrs. It's natural, healthy for the baby and much better than formula. My daughter was breastfed for 4 months but I had a hard time pumping so I had to stop as I was drying up because I couldn't nurse at my job then. I fed her formula and EVERY KIND I tried made my little girl projectile vomit. By 5 mths I had to put her on whole milk. Had I known a wet mother I surely would have let her continue breastfeeding. Maybe she might not have some of her health issues if I could have continued but 21 yrs ago was different! So KUDOS to the breastfeeding mom's and wet mothers! Best photo going!!!

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    7. Agree. The picture is so inadequate, hope she doesn't feed the toddlers like that every time because she is not showing much love to them in this picture.

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  7. I am 63 and guess what we nursed our babies back then too. It's not new. But there is one big difference from then and now. Discreetness. When we breastfed in public we put a little light receiving blanket over us so as not to expose our breast to everyone. Not everyone wants to see the full monty of breastfeeding. I myself could not let all the men see my breasts. Men in our country worship breasts. Would you sit on a park bench with your tit hanging out when not breastfeeding. Just be ladies and cover yourself. No one has to prove that breastfeeding is the best for our babies. We already know that!

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    1. Have you ever ate sitting in close proximity to someone and had your head covered by a blanket?? I would assume you haven't... its hot, I would sweat while breastfeeding my son if he was covered. He would sweat and I noticed that the period of time he spent nursing was shorter. I can't imagine that it was a enjoyable experience...so why should we cover our babies because some ignorant and irrational people think its inappropriate. Maybe people should quit looking at beast as a sexual appendage and realize the real reason we have them is for nursing, that is their sole purpose. I will proudly breastfeed my children in public without "discreetness".

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    2. Have you ever ate sitting in close proximity to someone and had your head covered by a blanket?? I would assume you haven't... its hot, I would sweat while breastfeeding my son if he was covered. He would sweat and I noticed that the period of time he spent nursing was shorter. I can't imagine that it was a enjoyable experience...so why should we cover our babies because some ignorant and irrational people think its inappropriate. Maybe people should quit looking at beast as a sexual appendage and realize the real reason we have them is for nursing, that is their sole purpose. I will proudly breastfeed my children in public without "discreetness".

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    3. Because no one wants to see your breasts.

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    4. Everyone wil. Have an opinion. Don't like it don't show the world without preparing yourself.

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    5. I totally agree with Connie. I tried covering up with a light blanket and both my baby and myself were sweating and it was the most uncomfortable thing ever. I don't cover myself although but I try to be discreet (especially since I have a large bust). However, I do it this way only because I feel naked and not because I feel like I have to.

      I think every mother should breastfeed according to how comfortable they are and not according to how comfortable onlookers are. If you feel uncomfortable, just look away! I don't think women have to flaunt it in everyone's faces (read here purposely to make a point by making the breast the most obvious possible), but I am really against the notion that women should hide it.

      I admire this woman for doing a great thing for her friend's son (and her friend). I personnally would feel weird breastfeeding my friend's baby, but I am not sure I would refuse if she'd asked.

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    6. Saying heat is the reason you don't cover is disingenuous. You can deal with heat by using smaller and thinner coverings, and by using synthetic materials that don't retain heat. The real reason is you don't want to and you feel you shouldn't have to.

      Here's the thing: Sure, breastfeeding is natural and normal, but would you go topless without a baby on your chest? No? Then you shouldn't expose yourself with one. A simple veil is enough.

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    7. What do you think the purpose of breasts is?

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    8. Doug Bailey, you know this because you've tried it? With every baby? You've put a baby who warms up easily and will barely suck without a blanket over his head, under a blanket to eat on your chest in the summer heat where it is so warm it can replace an incubator even in a cold room? My boy has a g-tube and can't take a bottle. His only chance to not have a hole in his stomach is learning how to breastfeed and he can't do that under a blanket. I may not go against the sexist law and go topless without him or his twin sister covering the nipple that is oh so offensive to ridiculous people, but I will be damned if that's going to stop me from feeding my babies wherever and whenever they want to eat to save their formerly 2 lb 12 oz and 2 lbs 8 oz 27 weeker lives and get him off the g-tube! I'm sorry my babies are more important than whatever people think when I feed them, but I went through too much to get them to care. We don't do this for fun. Get some therapy if you think you're so much more important than someone's own child that your perverted mind should be the focus of their feeding habits.

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. i feel like its the older generation that has a problem with this.

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  8. I agree with breastfeeding. As a mother I never produced milk due to blood pressure pills during pregnancy. It very natural and normal. It's a BEAUTIFUL picture #breastfeedingrocks

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  9. Help me out here and excuse my spelling. I know breastfeeding is a natural thing for the child but I can't understand why do you have to show people what you are doing. For example, it's natural for a person to pee and if you don't then you can develop serious health issues just like what people say about breastfeeding but I don't go out in public and pee or do the "#2" (most people know what I am talking about), so I can get a reaction for other people or the say it's my right. We know it's your right to feed your child but why don't you pump when you know you are going out in a populated area so you don't have to have your child or any other person's child sucking on your breast's? When I know my family and I are going out we normal "use the bathroom" before we leave so when we are out so the likely hood that we have to use it is slime to none and if we do have to we don't whip out our willy's are go right there because it is natural for a person to pee. I just would not like my wife/girlfriend to show her breast for the whole location to see or to think they see something just to feed my child. Go to the restroom or baby pump before we go out tonight so when the baby is hungry you will have some available and don't post no pictures of you breastfeed either. Your body is only for my eyes just like my body is for your eyes only even when it could be something innocent. Help me out here but don't respond to me like I am against women because I am not, love women of all types and sizes sharing a picture of your breastfeeding is not liberating. That is how god made the women body to be able to nurture their young not something for you to try to get strength/courage from

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    1. Do you eat in public? Pumping and giving a bottle can cause mom to get mastitis, a nasty breast infection that can require antibiotics. Some babies will not take a bottle.

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    2. Breastfeeding is not the same as peeing. Peeing is disposing of bodily WASTE that can smell bad, fosters germs, and requires exposing an organ (the penis or vulva) that is primarily for sexual use and excretion. While the breasts are sexual, they are what is called a secondary sexual characteristic and are not part of the reproductive system in the same way a penis or vulva/vagina is. Breasts are for breastfeeding - FEEDING a baby. Not waste. If you want to hide under a blanket or eat in the toilet be my guest, but if you're not comfortable doing that then don't expect babies to either.

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    3. Your comment is full of hypocrisy. You think it's ok for YOU to eat in public but a baby eating "offends" you? Maybe you could just hide away to eat your lunch instead and let the rest of us NORMAL people go about our lives.
      And as for comparing breastfeeding to urinating and defacating - unless you eat shit sandwiches and wash them down with glasses of piss, then that is a ridiculous thing to say.

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    4. Most ignorant comment, ever. Please educate yourself on the difference between bodily waste and food.

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    5. @Anonymous: "Do you eat in public?" I do! And sometimes I pee, if others don't see me. But do I put it on facebook, twitter or other social media. No! Why should I? Why should the woman in this article show her breastfeeding to the public?

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    6. There's nothing more uncomfortable than trying to feed a baby in a bathroom stall. Try eating a full meal served on a plate sitting on a toilet... I am so happy that my husband supports my breastfeeding in public.

      However, my instinct is to agree with you that there's no need of exposing pictures of yourself breastfeeding for everyone to see. Or is there???? With so many people reacting badly to women breastfeeding in public, maybe more exposure is what's needed to trivialize it to what it really is; a woman feeding her baby.

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    7. Anonymous, do you wear bikinis, or have family or friends that do? If so, and you have no issue with that, then you are a big hypocrit. Breasts were MADE TO FEED BABIES, period. Why should women cover up when using them for the intended purpose, but not if they wear cleavage-baring clothing or swimsuits???

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    8. What the? If you feel uncomfortable with a woman breastfeeding her child with her BREAST which is what it was made for as opposed PUMPING milk out of her body with a machine it's you who has the problem. And you're probably asking "why does this picture need to be shared" ah because people like you still exist who think its weird to have a woman use her breast for what they are intended for.

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    9. What the? If you feel uncomfortable with a woman breastfeeding her child with her BREAST which is what it was made for as opposed PUMPING milk out of her body with a machine it's you who has the problem. And you're probably asking "why does this picture need to be shared" ah because people like you still exist who think its weird to have a woman use her breast for what they are intended for.

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  10. Bless you, Jessica. Such a wonderful, sharing and natural moment for you, your son and your friend's son. And, I agree, for something to be seen as normal, it must first be seen. I do not understand how anyone with a mature mind could think of breast-feeding as something that needs to be hidden or done in secret, when it is one of the most caring and giving acts in our harsh world full of people who should learn from your example. Bless you.

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  11. Breastfeeding is natural and normal, and nothing new. My question is this, if millions of Moms breastfeed, why doesn't everyone publish photos? Hmmm....because it is personal and private, and Moms who have a sense of decorum and class don't post personal and private photos online. The end. I feel that some mothers are simply trying to couch their exhibitionism in this "issue".

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    1. It's not "personal and private", it's natural and normal. A breastfeeding mom shouldn't have to hide. These women are brave. They are trying to normalize breastfeeding. Even though I don't think breastfeeding should need to be normalized. The women who are breastfeeding possess decorum and class.i think you are confusing them with every actress or model who has exposed their breasts. But I suppose that's normal? Truly, people need to grow up. Watching a mother feeding her baby is beautiful.

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    2. Masturbation is natural and normal, so -Watch- !

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    3. Defecation is a natural bodily function, I shouldn't have to do it behind a closed door.

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    4. Oh yes Jack and Mack (obviously not the same person), those are exactly the same! You really get it!

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  12. I had 4 children, all of which I struggled breastfeeding. Pumping didn't work either. I tried every piece of advice that people gave me and believe me there were many. All I wanted to do was make sure my children had the best start to their lives and I felt like a failure every time. When, it seemed that everyone around me was producing freezers full of milk (literally), I could barely produce enough to feed my baby through the day even when all I did was let them nurse. A few generous ladies offered me their pumped milk which I always happily and gratefully excepted but that only covered a few feedings. It seemed like they all hoarded their milk like gold, which I don't blame them. There were multiple times that I thought to myself, why don't you just nurse my baby too but I would never have dared ask. I am glad that you posted this article to help take the stigma out of this subject.

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  13. "Back in my day," says the 70 year old, "nursing mothers were discrete and covered up."
    "Back in my day," says Michelangelo, "we immortalized nursing mothers in stone for generations to adore."

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    1. Statues and paintings are artistic representations and very obviously don't have the same presence and impact as the real life version. We go to museums to see that stuff... It's not
      like its in public every where one goes... just because its a "natural" function.

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    2. mojo, your problem seems to be that you can't imagine the female breast in a non-sexual context, and assume everyone else either has to protect you from that self-knowledge by dancing around your archaic and demeaning cultural values or has a responsibility to themselves to not show up in public as a slutty mcsluttington shamelessly exposing her hussy self for attention and confusingly including babies in her pornographic display.

      Breasts are not inherently sexual. They are not genitals. We see male breasts all the time. They used to be considered obscene until quite recently, when men had enough of it and refused to cover up anymore (in the early 1900's). Women have been denied that right, and abuse of breastfeeding mothers is part of that denial. I suggest you get yourself to a nude beach and get over some of your hangups, you'll feel a lot better for it.

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    3. Love your reply! Modern people are so disconnected from what is natural. There was a time that was impossible.

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    4. I agree! so disconnected! modern people's thoughts are so messed up that they actually believe that cow's(animal's) milk surpasses human milk.

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  14. YUCK!!!! That should some kind of law, breastfeeding someone else's child! I LIKE ANDUNDERSTAND BREAST FEEDING! I get it! I'm a mother who did breastfeeding. Saved money and bonded with my son. It was great for us both! But, please just cover up and do it gracefully. Some people get uncomfortable and embarrassed. I was at a baby shower and a mother sat right in front of a young teenaged boy, she began breastfeeding in front of him at the table-no covering up. His face turned blood red and he started crying. I felt horrible for him. Like I said, breastfeeding is fine. Just think of others when you do. Be lady like about it!

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    1. A breast feeding mother should not have to cover up. Your son needs to realize that breasts are meant for breast feeding

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    2. Don't call a natural process yuck.

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    3. I call bullsh*t. No teenage boy would start crying at the sight of a breast.

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    4. This is exactly the problem. Feeding a baby should not cause this reaction. Until suckling a child is as normal as bottle-feeding a child there will be issues like this, but what exactly is happening? A baby is being fed. You have a problem? Look away. It is, after all, your problem, not the childs, not the mothers.

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    5. OMG Neither of these children in the pictures shold be taking a bottle let alone breast feeding. Disgusting.

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    6. I call bullsh*t. No teenage boy would start crying at the sight of a breast.

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    7. Children see food, us adults' see them as fun bags

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    8. @"Anonymous12 August 2015 at 18:29" The use of the term "fun bags" make it clear you are still a child.

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    9. where on earth did the crying child learn body shaming ? Poor child must have spent some time with you !!

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  15. For Pete's sake, look away if you don't like it. I see plenty of visually assaulting things daily and never have I felt personally offended or a need to berate the person. As so many things in our culture, once restricted or taboo practices have gained acceptance over the years. The good old days meant women wore swimsuits their knees, had to wear nylons, often no pants, and told they couldn't vote or protest, b/c it wasn't proper for a woman to do so. Bashing women for doing something as natural as breastfeeding is ignorant. Laws have been passed to protect this right. Open your mind, educate and embrace positive changes. Teach our children acceptance and what breastfeeding is. This woman asked to do it and the friend said yes, she is doing nothing wrong. I find it so bizarre considering not long ago when the earthquake in China occurred the young nursing mother was hailed a hero b/c she breastfed orphaned children. http://www.blogher.com/chinas-heroic-mother-and-importance-breastfeeding-natural-disasters
    Breastfeeding is personal- a personal decision, but doesn't equate it must be private. Sharing a moment of joy over breastfeeding success story is great. There is no exhibitionism going on here, she is clearing FEEDING the children.

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  16. At least these kids are drinking milk from the right species. #cowsmilkisforcows

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  17. Gosh people are so stuck. Over a photo. It's almost funny. But it's real, how narrow minded they are in their little worlds.

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  18. Gosh people are so stuck. Over a photo. It's almost funny. But it's real, how narrow minded they are in their little worlds.

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    1. That's my thought. The photo, to me, detracts from the issue. The issue isn't about the photo. Or is it? Which is it? Both? If both, I don't think it's as effective to divide the audience's attention when trying to make a point.

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    2. People don't object to talking about breastfeeding, they object to the sight of breastfeeding, thinking it should only happen behind closed doors. The picture is important.

      Delete
  19. It does beg a certain question of whether or not a live action shot is needed when the title of the article says what it's about. I think there are two separate issues here. Her hair is tousled, and there's almost a smirk on her face. The children look fine, happy, content, innocent. And see, I'm critiquing the photo. I don't think one issue should interfere with another, but what do I know? Not a lot. If I saw this woman in public, I wouldn't think a lot about it, I would probably think the children are Irish twins. It's just the mom's appearance in this particular shot.

    But, breastfeeding another person's child is DEFINITELY NOT A BIG DEAL. What do people think we did before the invention of bottles, for god's sake? Just let the kids scream until you could plop out a boob and feed them? Or let someone else who can? I know for a fact have (at least) one relative who was kept alive from a paid wet nurse, he was sickly and his mom didn't produce enough milk for him. He would have died if the uptight people from this generation had been around then.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm male and I teach about human breast milk, in comparison with other milks, in a very good medical school. Believe me human breast milk is far superior in almost every measurable way to bottle formula, whatever the multinational milk manufacturers may say about their unneeded products! It is of no concern whether a baby is fed by his/her own mother, or another mother. There is good evidence, not only of nutritional benefit to the breastfed baby, but of social and intellectual benefit from breastfeeding. It is time the human breast was desexualised and promoted as the ideal feeding organ for babies. The uninformed criticism of this photo from some makes me sad for the ignorance and prejudice of the criticisers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm only bothered by the fact its someone else's hand holding the boy in the left to the breast. It's clearly coming from under the jacket to her left and is completely unlike her other hand and does not fit with the flow of her upper arm.

    I know children don't always do as told but despite the 'natural' story it's not natural to have to hold a hungry 18 month old to a breast it's used to drinking from. Someone else has already commented on her 'prepicprep' tousle and facial expression , no the contriving of this picture is my problem with it, not the story,nor the idea. Faking It for a pic? Feels very wrong somehow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! That was me, and I did NOT look closely enough at the photo to see the phantom hand! Pointing that out... yes. Not natural at all, unless she has to have that hand around all the time... !

      Delete
    2. I don't get it. I see 2 of her hands and no jacket. Boys both look happy and healthy.

      Delete
    3. There are only two hands: her right is on the back of the child in the red and her left is on her stomach. The boy in grey has pants under his shirt making that "bump" that looks like a so-called phantom hand.

      As for hair- maybe she didn't fix it up that day - or maybe she's a fan of the 'tousled style' that seems to be going popular again.....

      Delete
    4. She's friggin' HOT!

      Delete
  22. My theory is the people who are "disgusted" find themselves sexually aroused at the sight of a woman's breasts, then freak out about the context. Trying to prevent the sexual arousal of strangers is not a breastfeeding mother's job, nor should it be.

    ReplyDelete
  23. that is natural thing in moeslem country, but in the future, your childs can't be married with that child, because now they are brother. in their body's there are your nutrition.

    that's the good way for all kid's than formula milk cow.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think you have the right idea. It's seems perfectly normal to me. But not sure why you need to post a pic of yourself. Looking for attention?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She got the attention, right??? Isn't that what this is all about??? Would she have gotten all this attention had she just TOLD her generous deed to the media, of course not. The boobs did it.

      Delete
  25. That working mama is so blessed to have found a babysitter able to feed her son! This is life as it should be!

    ReplyDelete
  26. She just gave the other kid a "Motherload" of ammunition to use if those two kids ever end up as mortal enemies in middle school "Oh yeah well I suckled on your mom and I got pics to prove it!" ......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really??? you are the both ignorant and stupid!

      Delete
  27. The boys friend is like "Dude, you got the coolest mom EVER!"

    ReplyDelete
  28. BRAVO! My Grandmother was a wet-nurse. This is nothing new. Thank-you for carrying on an important and very healthy tradition.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Honestly, if the moms are friends- and if the donor mom got tested to make sure she isn't passing anything to the other boy (which she may or may not have)- then hey, if they are both comfortable (and moving in together seems like they are)- then kudos to them.
    I would not be comfortable with it, but that is because having my child bonded so closely with someone else could cause bigger problems later when we stop talking frequently or move to another city. Also, not being able to feed would make it harder to bond with your child who has become not only attached but purely dependent on someone else. This is a self-confidence and a self-esteem issue and I'm sure many people will say I'm being petty- but having trouble bonding can lead to depression and resentment. It really just needs to be the best set of circumstances all around. Also, IF I was going to have anyone else feeding my child, it would have to be pumped and with a bottle (unless the child absolutely cannot take one) or just not at all- but that is my PERSONAL choice and preference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would want my child to only bond with his Mom, ME! I nursed for 3 years and am proud of it!

      Delete
    2. Sure, making your kid emotionally dependent solely on one adult is a really good idea.

      Delete
  30. LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi- I am a producer for Fox 5 Good Day NY. We are interested to speak with you, so you can explain you and your friends reasons for doing this. I can be reached 212-452-5545 or Jessica.Cohen@foxtv.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. This poor kid is going to grow up being scarred for life. He's going to resent both moms for putting this out there for all to see. I feel bad for him! 18 months old and being breastfed by another woman other than your mom is just ridiculous. Give this kid some milk in a sip cup already!

    ReplyDelete
  33. LOL it happens, it will never cease.... get over it, it is a consenting agreement let them be to do as they wish, no one is getting hurt and in years to come the babys will grow up and who knows how, they might me mass murders or even worse they might be prime ministers

    well done to the mothers

    I would of watched the mothers been milked im sick i guess

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love this! Bravo to Jessica Colletti. It's how community should be.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Firstly, I want to thank mammabeanparenting for posting this photo. I think it's a fabulous image that captures amazing friendship and selflessness. How lucky is that child to be breastfed when his mother is away, working..I am sure that makes her time at work away from her child less painful. In Canada, we have a year to stay home with our babies. If I would have had to go back to work at 6 months, I would have been very sad to stop breastfeeding my baby knowing how great it is for baby and mother!
    As far as age, Health Canada recommends "breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and sustained for up to 2 years or longer with appropriate complimentary feeding- is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection and growth and development of infants and toddlers "
    It is very common for women to breastfeed their children up to 2 years of age.
    It's sad to see people use disgusting and breastfeeding in the same sentence.. I am hoping that one day, a photo in the same nature will not create such a stir..I guess we have a ways to go.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love this story. When I had my son, I had trouble breastfeeding. I wasn't producing enough and he wouldn't latch on. If I had a close friend, who was breastfeeding at the time, and she asked if she could breastfeed my son, I would have enthusiastically said 'absolutely!'. Breast milk is so much better for a baby than formula. As long as the 'wet-nurse' is healthy, I don't see an issue with it. It's a beautiful thing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. One of my local news stations posted about it and the comments on their Facebook page about it are just.. sad. People are such idiots and/or perverts.
    http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/pa-moms-breastfeeding-friends-son-goes-viral-19421.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm a 30 year old single male (never fathered children) in Oregon and I found this story on CNN. I had no idea there were these taboos against breastfeeding. Now I know.

    I fully support your efforts to tear down those walls.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I cannot believe people get this wrapped around the axle about breastfeeding another mother's child. It has been done for eons.Get over it!

    ReplyDelete
  40. How is that not child molestation, they appear to be old enough to eat food. Not to mention they are not her kids. Where is DFACS in all of this

    ReplyDelete
  41. 16 months and 18 months equals a year old. She posted this picture to stir controversy and get her face & breasts on social media. Those children are to old to be breastfed. If they walk, talk, & can hold their own bottle and feed themselves then they should not be taking her breast. It seems she is miss interested in her publicity than her children or those she babysits. Narcissistic personality disorder. Utterly disgraceful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you've learned some bad habits from your sheltered upbringing. Healthwise, this is fine if not better for these kids, and it's perfectly appropriate for them to be breastfeeding.

      Delete
    2. The World Health Organization and the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia recommend exclusive breastfeeding (i.e. no other fluids or solids) for six months and then continued breastfeeding combined with solid foods for 12-24 months or as long as mother and baby desire.

      Delete
  42. I may catch all kinds of grief for this but I am ok with it. I was not able to breastfeed, as I did not produce any milk. My doctor told me it happens to some mothers. I am not sure I would have been comfortable with someone else breastfeeding my child. If you are then great, I am by no means saying it is a bad thing or shouldn't be done. Just my personal feelings. I also don't care if your breastfeeding in public. The one thing I have to give the mothers I have seen breastfeeding in public recently is they are discreet about it. They may not be covered up and that is OK but they are not making it a big to do. Let me also remind you most places I am at are places with little kids. ie: park, zoo, playground. My 3 daughters are young (8, 5, 3) but educates about breastfeeding. They even will 'breastfeed' their baby dolls. Some of the posts like this make me feel as if I was wrong because I couldn't breastfeed. All I ask is for everyone to respect the others decision, because it may not have been the easiest one they could make. They may not have had the option of breastfeeding.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This is wrong in so many ways! If this were my friend, she wouldnt be anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that were your friend and you stopped being friends with them because of that photo, your friend is going to be a lot better off without you.

      Delete
  44. This should be a non issue. Everybody looks happy. I am too.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am a pediatrician.
    Early in my training I fell in love with lactation and breastfeeding as a science. My wife struggled with painful breastfeeding during the newborn period for each of our four children. It broke my heart to watch her struggle.
    Helping new mothers and their babies establish the unconditional, loving relationship was one of the highlights of my medical education.
    We may all have to agree to disagree about whether nursing women should cover up in public, because the discussion has everything to do with social mores regarding modesty, and nothing to do with whether exposed breasts are inherently obscene.
    Many women will find it uncomfortable and sweaty to wear even a thin cover. My wife used one in public places, but not at home.
    That was her level of comfort.
    However, those who claim that sexualization of breasts is a modern aberration are also incorrect. That goes back to Biblical times, and likely earlier.
    There have been, and likely always will be, areas of the world where wet nurses exist.
    To those who find it objectionable that a woman is willing to be so selfless and giving to her friend and her family, perhaps one day you will change your minds if and when you find yourselves in need of a similar kindness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toplessness was in style for women during the 1400-1500's in Europe and the UK, also during part of the Middle Ages, at least for the aristocracy. Back in Biblical times in Europe and the Middle East toplessness for women was restricted to religious ceremonies. And of course that's omitting the majority of the world's cultures, including ones that were ancestors to your generic American white person, many of which had no problem with exposed female breasts, especially for breastfeeding.

      Delete
  46. I just think she's cute. Her hubby is a lucky guy.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Do what I do when you see a women breastfeeding in public, get your phone out and start video recording them, make sure they see you. Most don't like it but they have no expectation of privacy in public

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd think you were creepy but as long as you didn't touch me or harass me (in which case I would call 911), I wouldn't care if you video taped me breast feeding. What a strange thing to waste your time on.

      Delete
    2. You sound like a fun person with normal hobbies. I bet you were real sad when they shut down that non-consensual up-skirt of teenage girls Reddit site down.

      I hope someone's spouse beats the snot out of you.

      Delete
    3. "I hope someone's spouse beats the snot out of you."

      Why? Is the act of breastfeeding not so normal anymore? Why do you hate the female body?

      Oh, the cognitive dissonance...
      :-D

      Delete
    4. @Anon 13/2015 23:15 - I think you misread my comment. I was responding to the original poster's hobby of non-consensually filming breastfeeding moms in order to shame them until they stop. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten punched in the face by the moms significant other, but I can only surmise that he is lying about doing what he says he does because he's an outright coward, or he's only been picking on isolated single mothers because he's such a champion of humanity and knows they won't hit back because they have to protect their baby from the crazy man with the video camera. Of course their response should be to film him and get the footage to the police, at which point the cops will beat him up. Ah, karma.

      Delete
    5. @ Anon 13/2015 23:15 - If you are the original commenter, then I'd like to ask why you don't film the cleavage of middle school girls in order to shame them into hiding it. It's just as legal as your little heroic picking on single moms hobby.

      Delete
    6. TheInsensitiveTruth21 August 2015 at 00:39

      @Anon 8/15/15 12:31 - Why would you resort to name calling and acts of violence? I'm not the original poster, but your comment is utterly ridiculous. He has every right to film or take pictures of what ever he/she wants in public. Oh I see.. It's the double standard. and I really liked the part where you started "putting words" in the original publisher's mouth; "shame them until they stop", he/she never said that, even if you feel it was implied, your jumping to rash conclusions.. and that makes you sound idiotic. Don't get offended bro, I have a right to an opinion.. if you feel my opinion should be kept to myself, maybe you should consider your argument invalid. ey?

      Delete
  48. Hi! I saw a news piece about you in Vancouver, Canada. I wept with joy! I'm 70 years old now, but so fondly remember wet nursing nearly all of the babies born at the time my son was breastfeeding. We lived in a small, rural town at that time. That was 35 years ago! We breastfed until my son was three...and I caught all kinds of flak for not weaning him before he was a year old. An emergency away from home (but close enough) gifted us with a pediatrician who guaranteed me that it was OK for us to continue until we decided to stop. I had studied other cultures (Asian and American Indian) and knew that children are nursed or wet nursed until their third birthdays as part of a culture that seeks to grow healthy children and strong adults.

    For mothers who were not able to nurse their babies, I was grateful to have been there for them. For mums who just needed an evening out with their husband, it was so comforting to them to know that their child would be well cared for.

    So I want to thank you for reviving some glorious memories for me, and applaud you for the encouragement you might give to other mums. I believe that every child who can be breastfed should be. The commercial alternatives are proving to be chemical-laden and potentially unhealthy for babies.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Beautiful photo! :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Good for you all. It's the best thing. I don't agree with the naysayers.

    ReplyDelete
  51. If this woman is breastfeeding her friends' baby, then why pose for a picture doing so. Also, these children look like they don't need to still drink formula. I am a black man from America and I have to say, our society is going down the toilet. American women seem to be the most trampy and whorish. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Those kids are doing some serious motorboating!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. She's making me thirsty! Who has cookies?!

    ReplyDelete
  54. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that "breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition."

    Until stories and pics of women breastfeeding don't lead to a "storm brewing," then we will still a long way from folks believing it.

    Vincent Iannelli, MD, FAAP

    ReplyDelete
  55. Some people are just plain ignorantly say stuff they don't understand or know. Wet nurses were used all the way back to when queens had babies. They had wet nurses to tend to the baby so she could Tend to her demands. So everyone has their opinions but sad thing is, it's the mothers choice to breastfeed or have a wet nurse......I had twins and raised them alone til they we're little over two years. Which I was whining them a couple months before their 2nd birthday. Naps and bed time feedings were the hardest for them to stop. I still get compliments on how beautiful their skin and hair is and they've had at least 90% less sicknesses because of me breastfeeding.... So kudos to you both....

    ReplyDelete
  56. The only thing I see wrong with this picture is that the kids are way to old! Way to old!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you a pediatrician Kyle?

      Delete
  57. breastfeeding is perfectly natural. producing & providing nutrition for another child is a super hero skill! other couples use complete strangers as gestational carriers for their unborn children so sharing a boob with free nutritious milk should not even be questioned. unfortunately the so called perverts viewing this photo don’t know the difference between natural and unnatural.

    ReplyDelete
  58. To the men who are commenting on the sexual desirability of this woman's breasts, you are not in the correct forum for said comments to be appropriate (translation - you are being creepy and gross). Please proceed to the erotic lactation section of FetLife to look for women who would be interested to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet these comments perfectly illustrate why many women are uncomfortable baring breasts in public. They're clever enough to know that these are the thoughts many men have and this choose to cover.

      'This just in: Men who are aroused by the female form are NOT an aberration. Film at 11.'

      Delete
    2. This just in: Men who are aroused by the female form are aroused by it whether or not it is clothed, whether or not it is doing anything attractive at the time, whether or not it is posing for them, whether or not it is of legal age, whether or not it is alive or dead, etc. etc. etc. If women are supposed to police our lives so that no man may ever be aroused by our presence, never leaving the house in anything but a burka will certainly not be enough.

      Women are uncomfortable because men have no manners about it, because men are often threatening about it (see many comments on here), and because the threat of sexual assault when you are holding your infant is really a bit much to expect women to handle calmly. Keep your eyes polite like a grown adult and we'll all be happy.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 13 at 23:19 Why does this comment offend you? Hitting on this woman who is breastfeeding her children in the photo is socially acceptable to you? If so can you please explain why and how well this has gone for you when complimenting breastfeeding women's breasts in public to their faces, or complimenting women's breasts in public in general (not really counting on pick-up bars or clubs although honestly that is really lousy behavior even in a flirting/hook up environment)?

      P.S. Erotic lactation is in fact a fetish - congrats, you've found yourself a new one!

      Delete
    4. The problem specifically that women experience is not that men are sexually attracted to their bodies - we are sexually attracted to men's bodies too, by and large. No difference really. Clothed or not no difference. The difference is that women feel under threat of sexual assault from men, and men don't fear that from women. That is why women feel uncomfortable. Not because of the sexualizing (which will continue until we all go topless regularly. Hiding something eroticizes it, hence the need for table cloths to the floor during the Victorian era - the table legs were too similar to a woman's leg to not hold erotic charge to men who were deeply sexually aroused by the sight of an obscenely exposed female ankle.), but because of the threat of rape.

      Delete
  59. For what an opinion is worth, this woman better hire a lawyer, b/c tomorrow this will be seen as a sexual assault on a child that was posted on the Internet. Wake up people...we are taking a normal human need and turning it into a battle of right and wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  60. It's also very natural to walk around naked..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, and our culture is quite weird about that too, hence the problem. There are plenty of countries where to wear clothes while at the beach would be laughable, where nakedness at gyms, spas, pools, etc is the norm. Where there are naked nightclubs in fact. If you can't behave like a normal adult person in public in the presence of another naked human you may have some serious issues which I'd suggest therapy to address as you may be a danger to others.

      Delete
  61. When a child is old enough to eat food usually at 6mo. The "health" benefits of nursing are no longer required. It's even proven that it's nutritional consistancy changes within the woman when prolonged. Just Fyi...pro breastfeeding but this is upsurd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is just plain wrong. I am including a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic. I wish people would stop spreading around this incorrect information,

      http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/extended-breastfeeding/art-20046962

      Delete
  62. Can I breastfeed?

    ReplyDelete
  63. How utterly beautiful and confirming: an image of life-giving and connection. How on earth did we get to where this type of natural caring brings out the fear, consternation, and condemnation among some people? This type of tenderness may contribute significantly to these two lads becoming well-balanced, thoughtful, and compassionate contributors to a society challenged by doubt, rancor, and anger. So thank you, Ms. Colletti — for your courage, caring, and example.

    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete
  65. TheInsensitiveTruth21 August 2015 at 00:24

    You guys are living in the stone age, or intentionally playing dumb... Yeah sure, breast feeding is great. Bringing social attention to the matter because you feel your rights are being trampled on is just fucking dumb and embarrassing. In the United States or on the internet everything is sexualized, and it doesn't matter if you turn your cheek to it, it's a fact. I'm sure everyone will agree that breastfeeding is one of the best ways to bond with and nourish a baby. No one is arguing this fact. Take a picture, put it in your photo album, hang it on your wall, show it to your cat.. but for the love of ground beef, stop posting that shit online or walking around with your boobs out and getting offended because no one wants to see it. It is literally that simple. And please don't fall back on the whole "I'm right, because it's natural" bit.. seriously, it's 2015, there is lactating porn all over the place.. just google it. you'll find it. and then you'll understand. Don't like it..? neither do we. That's probably why we don't watch it. I agree with the fact that women should be able to breast feed without fear of being ridiculed or shamed.. in a perfect world or maybe more primitive time. . But welcome to reality. This is the world you live in.. and your kids don't want their picture online sucking milk from there mother's breast for anyone to google. isn't this the real issue? This is common sense 101..

    ReplyDelete
  66. Breastfeeding is as natural as having sex. But why don't we see photos of couples having sex in, lets say, the cover of a family magazine? Because sex is a private natural act of intimacy and it concerns only the couple that is engaged in this act, the public don't need/have to see this. Breastfeeding is also a private act meant to take place in a private space, usually the bedroom or a comfy place in some restaurants or public places. Why should you take a photo when you are breastfeeding and make it public? For the same reason you take a photo when you are having sex and make it public. To make money out of it, because it's profitable. Simple as that. "Since not everyone shares the same moral values, or dress standards, using an inexpensive nursing cover or blanket is not really difficult."
    Finally, this photo is disgusting or offensive to many of us because we can see how the woman is not emotionally in touch with the babies, as she is supposed to be while nursing. On the contrary, she's only displaying her breasts and a flirty smile, not really caring about the toddlers, other than barely touching the one on her right side, that must be her own child.

    ReplyDelete
  67. What a fantastic thing to do. It's a very thoughtful thing for you to do Jessica! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Beautiful beautiful argument from a man (typing here) that is very much pro-breastfeeding in this weird western culture. Her offer of kindness and compassion is nothing weird, we have made it weird. We have done it in the past and other people do it in other cultures and countries (cross-feeding or even extended breast feeding, meaning late natural weening) don't get me started on the benefits to a family where the Husband sees and knows the benefits for his children and himself too! ;)

    ReplyDelete