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Megan004

Sister wants to breastfeed my baby

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Silverstreak

Just read your update OP. I think it could go either way, but I personally would not be comfortable with my sibling living with me during those first few newborn months and essentially jockeying for position when my baby needed a feed. 

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Lou-bags
Just now, Silverstreak said:

Just read your update OP. I think it could go either way, but I personally would not be comfortable with my sibling living with me during those first few newborn months and essentially jockeying for position when my baby needed a feed. 

This is another important consideration.

I would have thought the best help your sister could be for you after baby is born is with the other 3 children, rather than with the baby. In those first few weeks, the overnight feeds (certainly the very early morning feeds) are probably the most important in terms of setting up your supply. Would you be up and pumping while she bottle feeds (or SNS feeds) the baby? Seems like extra effort and no help at all really. 

I'm worried for you both with this potential set up - it seems that your sister is very focused on what she can get out of this arrangement, with little consideration for you as baby's mother, or for baby him/herself. 

 

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AllyK81

It would be a no from me.

The most important thing is that baby is fed and I wouldn't personally mess with that to satisfy your sister's needs.

You also have no idea how baby will feed or if there will be any issues re: latch or tongue tie or anything at all. For me, the b/f relationship was important with my babies. DH fed EBM from a bottle when I was at work but aside from that I did every feed and I look back on it so fondly. Particularly with my second and last baby. I really enjoyed our last few months of b/f.

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MumsyToBigOnes
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Megan004 said:

She does hope to stay with us for a few months to help settle the new addition into the house and help with the nightly feeds.

With the background you have given i’d really think carefully about this as I can’t see it going well. I don’t think it will be a healthy situation for your sister, your baby or yourself. 

Edited by MumsyToBigOnes
Grammatical
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literally nobody

It would still be a no from me. Your sister if she’d like to help could help with the other children or help cook etc, or even babysit the baby whilst you shower etc. My first priority would be is having my own bond with the baby, if she’d want to feed it would have to be from a bottle. 

And say hypothetically you said yes and eventually you felt baby was bonding with her more than you, or what else would she want next? 

What does your partner think about it? 

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Green Sage

Does she just want to know what it feels like? Cause I’d be ok with that. Just as a quick, let baby latch on, wait 2 minutes, then stop, experiment. As a one off. If  that’s all she wanted then go for it. But to expect actual feeding to happen is a bit much and unlikely. 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

That would be a no from me as well. *way* too much unnecessary mucking around. Would be happy for her to feed EBM from a bottle, just like what the father would have to do.

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steppy
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lou-bags said:

Gosh no, OP don't do this. It's really not a good idea to tell an infertile woman that she's not missing much by not experiencing motherhood. Even if it's just talking about one particular aspect. This would be so hurtful. I have zero doubt that any woman longing for, but being unable to have, a child would give anything to experience the pain, stress, inconvenience and difficulty of breastfeeding.

Um, nope. As someone who wanted but did not have, this is one of the things, along with childbirth, that I'm happy to have missed out on. What else do you have to console yourself with other than the things you are glad you won't experience? 

Edited by steppy
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Lou-bags
Just now, steppy said:

Um, nope. As someone who wanted but did not have, this is one of the things, along with childbirth, that I'm happy to have missed out on. 

Fair enough, I should not have implied this feeling would be universal. 

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steppy
1 minute ago, Lou-bags said:

Fair enough, I should not have implied this feeling would be universal. 

Yes, though I'm pretty sure the woman in this case does not feel the same way. This would never have crossed my mind. 

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Dustyblue

OP, I can't see how this could possibly be beneficial to anyone involved in this scenario. Yourself in particular. 

 

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rosie28
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Megan004 said:

Hi Kallie88

Yes I have pumped before baby 3 was sick for awhile.

Thanks all for the reply's it has been interesting to read so far. My sister had read in one of the baby books I left around that adoptive parents can induce lactation to feed the baby. She does hope to stay with us for a few months to help settle the new addition into the house and help with the nightly feeds. I've told her that its hard work and your nipples will hate you for it but she really does want to give it ago she has always wanted to breastfeed a child but not being able to have her own and being close to me she thought she would approach me and ask. I have told her that bonding with a bottle is just as good as the boob but she whats to know the pain/pleasure you get when breastfeeding.

She wants to know the pain/pleasure? Yep hard no, she wants to use your child for physical pleasure. That’s creepy, regardless of how “well meaning” she is. She can find another way to bond with her niece, and I wouldn’t have her staying for any length of time, I’d worry she would attempt to feed the baby without my consent.

Edited by rosie28
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Soontobegran
Posted (edited)

OP......Producing milk if you've never had a baby is not just a matter of expressing occasionally before the baby is born or putting the baby to the breast after it is born, the best results occur when there has been some hormonal preparation in the months before the baby would be born, it may occur just from expressing but this would have to be a commitment of at least 8 times a day and then not always being successful after all of the effort.

This post makes me sad really, the wanting to feel the pain/pleasure just does not sound right. I think your sister would really benefit from seeing a psychologist to help her work through her grief and longing for a child. I worry about there being blurred lines when it comes to who is mum.

This may all actually have a negative effect on you and your ability to feed, I would be actively discouraging this but actively involve her in all the other aspects of loving the baby.

Edited by Soontobegran
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YodaTheWrinkledOne
1 hour ago, Megan004 said:

Thanks all for the reply's it has been interesting to read so far. My sister had read in one of the baby books I left around that adoptive parents can induce lactation to feed the baby. She does hope to stay with us for a few months to help settle the new addition into the house and help with the nightly feeds. I've told her that its hard work and your nipples will hate you for it but she really does want to give it ago she has always wanted to breastfeed a child but not being able to have her own and being close to me she thought she would approach me and ask. I have told her that bonding with a bottle is just as good as the boob but she whats to know the pain/pleasure you get when breastfeeding.

(1) It's a lot more mucking around for you and the baby.

(2) If your DP is happy with using a bottle, then I reckon that's as good as you go for anyone else wanting to feed the baby

(3) it's not going to give her the true experience of breastfeeding, because she won't be lactating. She won't leak, she won't have the hormone swings, she won't have the tenderness/soreness day in/ day out, she won't have mastitis (and hopefully you won't either).

(4) if she's truly keen on doing this, I think she needs to speak to a professional about how she's coping. Because it sounds like she's not coping well. And I'm not sure that I would have the strength or energy to deal with that once my baby arrives.

(5) My focus would be ensuring that my baby is fed and, if possible, establishing a steady breastfeeding habit. I would not be doing anything to jeopardise or disrupt that, not unless it was necessary for the baby to use feeding tubes, etc. What your sister is asking for is unnecessary and could potentially disrupt your own breastfeeding pattern with your baby.

 

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PuddingPlease
15 minutes ago, YodaTheWrinkledOne said:

(3) it's not going to give her the true experience of breastfeeding, because she won't be lactating. She won't leak, she won't have the hormone swings, she won't have the tenderness/soreness day in/ day out, she won't have mastitis (and hopefully you won't either).

I feel like this is a very significant point. What is being described will not be breastfeeding in the conventional sense of the word. If she was attempting to create a particular kind of bond with a baby (for instance because she had adopted) then it might make sense but if the intention is to experience what breastfeeding feels like then this will not provide that anyway.

I would also worry that she will feel hurt and sad if baby does not want to feed that way, she won't smell like you and baby may well refuse altogether and just cry until you feed her. If your sister is feeling fragile, that seems likely to make her feel rejected and awful.

I haven't got any answers and I feel bad for both of you but I agree with PP's that it seems like a lot of palaver for very little benefit.   

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gatheringpieces

I don't know how to say it gently but it almost feels like it's going to turn into one of those 'my sister stole my baby' 🥺🥴 new idea articles :(

If she wants to help, and importantly you want her help, get her cooking and cleaning. Not feeding the baby.

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MoreCoffeePlease
1 hour ago, Green Sage said:

Does she just want to know what it feels like? Cause I’d be ok with that. Just as a quick, let baby latch on, wait 2 minutes, then stop, experiment. As a one off. If  that’s all she wanted then go for it. But to expect actual feeding to happen is a bit much and unlikely. 

This is my thinking as well. 
also there is a huge difference between using an Sns and inducing lactation. I’m not clear on which one she wants to do? 
 

 

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Dianalynch

I came in to post what STBG said - your sister could do with a psychologist. Her request lacks boundaries and is not focused on the needs of baby and mum. I found it disturbing. 

baby needs to develop an attachment to primary care givers, do you intend for your sister to be one of them? 

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lucky 2

I nearly wrote this before but if its a desire to experience sucking, can she enlist someone else to do that for her, such as a consenting adult, partner etc?

Otherwise lovely niece cuddles.

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Paddlepop
2 hours ago, Green Sage said:

I’m guessing she feels she is missing out on something, not having done it before?.  Maybe reassure her that she isn’t. Breastfeeding can be painful, stressful, and inconvenient, and plenty of mothers can’t and don’t do it for a variety of reasons.  I never enjoyed it much. 

 

2 hours ago, Lou-bags said:

Gosh no, OP don't do this. It's really not a good idea to tell an infertile woman that she's not missing much by not experiencing motherhood. Even if it's just talking about one particular aspect. This would be so hurtful. I have zero doubt that any woman longing for, but being unable to have, a child would give anything to experience the pain, stress, inconvenience and difficulty of breastfeeding.

As someone who has experienced infertility I disagree with this. Green Sage didn't suggest that OP tell her sister that she's not missing much by not experiencing motherhood - she was referring to BFing and be honest about the reality of it for some women. BFing gets portrayed as some sort of magical, mysterious, calm, easy experience between mother and child. It's not. It can involve pain, blood, infections, frustration, tears from both, etc.

Also, for women who have experienced infertility and then become mums via IVF or other ART, there is so much expectation on them to never ever complain about any aspect of parenting because surely they "would give anything to experience the pain, stress, inconvenience and difficulty" of having a child. No. Just no. **** that sh*t. That sort of horsesh*t expectation on IVF mums is what leads to them not reaching out and asking for help, and ending up with higher rates of PND than non-IVF mums.  As an IVF mum I sure as hell complained about things when DD was a baby, and still do now. I knew it was important to because regardless of how you conceived, being a parent or dealing with your child can sometimes suck big time. 

lucky2: Why have you not mentioned the risk of infection? What if the sister has grazes or bleeding from her nipples and then that passes into the baby? Surely as a medical professional you'd recommend a thorough screening of the sister for things like Hepatitis, HIV, etc.  and getting the sister to get fully vaccinated for whooping cough, tetanus, flu, chicken pox, measles, etc. 

OP: It would be an absolute no from me. Hell no. Not a chance I'd be letting her move in for a few months. I probably wouldn't even leave her alone with the baby until she'd completed some counselling with an infertility counsellor. I've experienced infertility but thankfully IVF worked and I have my DD. DH and I had to speak with the clinic's infertility psychologist before we could even begin IVF. Your sister needs to allow herself to grieve for the children she will never have and to grieve for the role of biological mother that will never occur. Trying to patch that grief with your baby won't work. Absolutely let her feed the baby with a bottle if that works for you. Feeding with her breasts? No. Let her cuddle up with baby and a nice warm bottle of EBM/formula and encourage her to enjoy that. My DD was fully FF and it was awesome. DD would get milk drunk and fall asleep during a feed. She's grab my face or hands. I'd get to watch her contented face and listen to her suck and swallow. I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not BFing. 

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Paddlepop
17 minutes ago, gatheringpieces said:

I don't know how to say it gently but it almost feels like it's going to turn into one of those 'my sister stole my baby' 🥺🥴 new idea articles :(

'and she stole my husband...'

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Lou-bags
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Paddlepop said:

Also, for women who have experienced infertility and then become mums via IVF or other ART, there is so much expectation on them to never ever complain about any aspect of parenting because surely they "would give anything to experience the pain, stress, inconvenience and difficulty" of having a child. No. Just no. **** that sh*t. That sort of horsesh*t expectation on IVF mums is what leads to them not reaching out and asking for help, and ending up with higher rates of PND than non-IVF mums.  As an IVF mum I sure as hell complained about things when DD was a baby, and still do now. I knew it was important to because regardless of how you conceived, being a parent or dealing with your child can sometimes suck big time.

Ok. This is in NO way what I meant by my post and I'm very sorry it reads that way. It was never my intention to suggest that women who have experienced infertility should be grateful for/should not complain about difficulties, hells no to that! What I was clumsily trying to say was that complaining about the struggles of something can be hurtful to someone who may never experience the thing may not be very helpful at all - because missing out on the struggles comes along with missing out on the joys too. I still don't think I'm able to get this out quite right...

Edited to add- when writing my replies along this line I'm thinking primarily of a good friend who is currently going through infertility struggles after two stillbirths and she has told me how much it hurts her when friends try to 'help' by telling her all the horrible things she's missing. She says it just reminds her of every part of parenting she has lost with her babies. 

Edited by Lou-bags
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Paddlepop

Lou-bags: I think I understand what you're saying. I'm glad you weren't trying to suggest that. All good. 

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**Manning**
Posted (edited)

What if you allow her to give it a go? What next??

Will she want to continue to do it?

What will she do when you're not there or in the room? I'm talking about feeding here, will she continue to do it on the sly. 

 

Edited by **Manning**
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mumsoon1975
5 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Ok. This is in NO way what I meant by my post and I'm very sorry it reads that way. It was never my intention to suggest that women who have experienced infertility should be grateful for/should not complain about difficulties, hells no to that! What I was clumsily trying to say was that complaining about the struggles of something can be hurtful to someone who may never experience the thing may not be very helpful at all - because missing out on the struggles comes along with missing out on the joys too. I still don't think I'm able to get this out quite right...

 

I thought your original post was clear and well-meaning (as with what you’ve said here) and agree with the sentiment.

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