Wibu to breastfeed my friends baby?

(304 Posts)
thepigflu Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:55

So he's been crying for 45 minutes, my friend has only been away for 2 and a half hours, she said she'd be about 3hours but she's not answering her phone. I've tried everything but he's so distressed, twisting his head around searching for a feed. I'm not sure how my friend would take it but I'm thinking I'll just feed him, is that wrong?

fuzzywuzzy Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:06

Yes very wrong.

Give him water?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:19

Don't even think about it without an explicit agreement from your friend. shock

How old is the baby?
I don't think I would. Can you offer water? Boiled and cooled cows milk? A dummy? I think breastfeeding someone else's baby without agreement is a bit dodgy.

mrstigs Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:37

I wouldn't without asking.

LadyMaryCrawley Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:45

No, just feed him!

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:49

Why is it very wrong? Go on let's have your reasoning? You wouldn't say that if it was a bottle would you?

How's he fed normally? Ff or bf? How old is the baby?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 01-Jul-13 12:54:17

Try some water first.

Keep phoning your friend.

I can see where you're coming from, but not sure I'd be happy if he was my ds and you were my friend (though I don't know why!)

FluffyDavis Mon 01-Jul-13 12:54:25

shock I would be horrified if someone else breastfed my baby!
Please don't do it.

BinkyBinkleBinkster Mon 01-Jul-13 12:54:27

I'd think it is fine and sensible.

What do you think your friend would think?

MrsBungle Mon 01-Jul-13 12:54:28

Definitely unreasonable.

oinkment Mon 01-Jul-13 12:54:33

Fine if she's said it's okay.

Completely overstepping normal boundaries if you've not asked.

Try taking him outside?

How old is he?

I wouldn't mind, but your friend might.
Did you discuss what to do if he was upset?

xylem8 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:55:14

I am pretty sure it is illegal to b/f someone elses baby without their consent

tourdefrance Mon 01-Jul-13 12:56:11

Assuming you can and he is breastfed normally, I would say yes.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 01-Jul-13 12:56:18

It is very wrong. Primarily because if the health risks to the baby. I assume you are not HIV+ , nevertheless it is is big jump to assume that the mother will be happy.

I don't know why it's very wrong. But I'd feel a bit strange if a friend did this to my baby. Just feels much more intimate and a bonding experience than bottle feeding. Don't think I'd say anything if this happened or not want friend to look after my baby again but it would be a bit weird.

Depends on what you think your friend would want op <unhelpful>

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 01-Jul-13 12:56:53

Is the baby bf already? Yabu either way, just curious

thebody Mon 01-Jul-13 12:57:06

No I am sorry that's not on.

Infections such as HIV can be transferred in breast milk.

Not casting aspersions but its your bodily fluids which you should keep to yourself.

He will b fine and next time refuse to have him without expressed milk or a bottle of formula.

CheungFun Mon 01-Jul-13 12:57:29

I don't think I'd bf someone else's baby unless I had their permission first tbh. How old is the baby? Can they have some water or formula milk instead or any solid food?

Wishfulmakeupping Mon 01-Jul-13 12:57:45

Don't even think about it!!
Take the baby out for a walk anything but not feeding baby

Littlefish Mon 01-Jul-13 12:58:04

Unless you have explicit permission from your friend then you should not do it.

thepigflu Mon 01-Jul-13 12:58:19

He's three months old and exclusively breastfed, he's pretty distressed but I really don't know how my friend would react so I think I will just rock him and cuddle until she gets back. Thanks for the quick responses.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 12:58:35

Another one of these "breastfeed my friends baby" threads ?

They pop up every so often and cause a shitstorm

Just sayin'

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 01-Jul-13 12:58:58

Hepatitis B can also be spread if cracking to the nipples.

libertine73 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:06

Oh lord, has she not left a bottle? Very U of her to piss off out, not come back on time, and not leave you with anything angry

Try everything else before you do that though, walking outside, cooled water, suck on a banana, how old is he?

LadyBryan Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:20

I don't see any problem with it other than the lack of consent.

i don't think you can make such a decision without having raised it first

peachypips Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:26

I think you are all very weird! If it was my baby crying I'd be glad if someone fed it!

GobblersKnob Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:51

I would give her the three hours that she said she would be then if she still isn't answering her phone then I would certainly consider it.

If baby was bottle fed and op was asking if she should give him a bit of formula, no-one would bat an eyelid.

It's just food.

Would a finger in the mouth work? Does he just need to suck? He's very young to leave hungry and crying sad

MrButtercat Mon 01-Jul-13 13:00:19

I'd be livid.

There could be drugs,toxins,medication,nicotine,alcohol let alone HIV or anything else in said bm.

It's up to parents to decide what is fed to their baby.Nice you want to help though.

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:00:32

I really wouldn't want anyone else to bf my baby. But I'd also leave expressed milk or make sure I was contactable and able to return quickly.

If someone had to bf my baby I'd rather they expressed their milk and fed from a cup, but I still would see it as an absolute last resort. Can you not contact your friend at all? If you can keep distracting baby or go out and walk them I'd do that tbh. 3 hours isn't likely to be life or death situation.

I don't know why I feel that way but the more I think about it the more I'd be upset if someone else bf my baby (34+5 and hormonal)

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 01-Jul-13 13:00:40

Good decision, OP smile

CheungFun Mon 01-Jul-13 13:01:16

Sounds grim, I feel for you as it would seem the obvious solution for you to bf him, and it's distressing for you to see the baby upset as well, but I would just stick to walking him outside in the garden or something!

Hopefully next time your friend can leave some expressed milk instead.

threefeethighandrising Mon 01-Jul-13 13:01:28

Personally I'd be very tempted to feed the baby, I'd find it hard not to.

I know am not Hep or HIV +ve as tested while pregnant.

Why has she left a BF baby for so long? He was bound to get distressed.

HeySoulSister Mon 01-Jul-13 13:01:31

Aw he will smell your milk on you.... Make him more stressed?

libertine73 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:01:38

He may just be missing his Mum if he normally goes 3 hours, why isn't she answering her phone though? That would piss me off in itself.

Floggingmolly Mon 01-Jul-13 13:01:52

Why did she leave an exclusively breast fed baby for three hours? Where is she? confused Give him a bottle of water.

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 13:02:02

As a few others have pointed out, HIV is transmitted through breast milk. You might think that you are HIV negative, but so do the vast majority of people who find out that they are not.

Breast feeding someone else's baby without permission is not OK for this reason alone.

MakeGlutenFreeHay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:03:41

I probably wouldn't without consent, but if it was my 3 month old ebf baby I'd personally much rather a friend bf him than gave him a banana to suck! Fgs.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 13:03:52

If my baby was upset and hungry I would want someone to feed them.

But then I also wouldn't leave my baby without some form of food (expressed or formula) if i was going out for more than an hour

threefeethighandrising Mon 01-Jul-13 13:03:59

Why do the mothers (unknown) wishes trump the baby's when she's left him with no milk and is uncontactable?

Wet nursing used to be normal practice.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 01-Jul-13 13:04:52

Why would a mum leave a baby of three months with someone and not leave milk for them?

I just don't understand that at all.

I wouldn't do it without discussing it with the mum first. Why has she left an ebf baby for so long without a feed (presumably)

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 01-Jul-13 13:05:10

Id question my friends boundaries if she had bf my baby. I loved it so much it would have ruined it for me I think to know someone else had bf him

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:05:27

Tbh reading my post back I'd rather my baby got fed a small amount of formula than someone else's expressed milk. I thought your milk was specifically tailored for your baby?

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:05:27

Tbh reading my post back I'd rather my baby got fed a small amount of formula than someone else's expressed milk. I thought your milk was specifically tailored for your baby?

MakeGlutenFreeHay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:05:46

With regards to the intimate nature of it, without permission to bf, I'd probably express a bit onto a spoon and feed him some of that.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 01-Jul-13 13:06:04

It wouldn't bother me in the least for a friend to bf my baby if I'd left him for that long without any other form of sustenance. Actually, I do recall ds2 being about 5 months old and staying overnight with a friend (long story) and when nothing else settled him, my friend bf'd him and he went straight to sleep. Never bothered me in the least.

I do naturally recognise that everyone is different and where it didn't and wouldn't bother me, many women would be horrified. I would err on the side of caution and wait until you can get old of his mum. If she's ok with it, go ahead. I hope it calms the poor little mite down.

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 13:06:29

I just wanted to clarify that even if you have been tested for HIV during pregnancy, unless you have completely avoided engaging in any activities that could transmit the virus ( such as having sex with your DH/P), you cannot be 100 percent certain that you are not HIV positive.

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:06:36

And I don't get why neither of you discussed beforehand what you'd do if baby needed a feed?

Fairyegg Mon 01-Jul-13 13:07:04

I wouldn't without consent from mum First, then I would.

TheFallenNinja Mon 01-Jul-13 13:07:05

Don't do it. I would be mortified.

MakeGlutenFreeHay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:07:08

I'm the opposite, I'd rather he got bm than formula. Which is why we are not best placed to make the decision for the OP - we don't know the preferences of her friend.

Don't understand why she didn't leave anything though.

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 13:07:46

Many women that find out that they are HIV positive assumed that they where in monogamous secure relationships with HIV negative men.

feed the baby, if you cant contact her and its crying I Bf both of mine and would not have left them without a bottle of milk as long as you are sure you are free of disease and don't smoke ect I cant see the harm.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 13:08:39

where is this important place your exclusively breast feeding friend has disappeared off to without staying in contact ?

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:08:49

why did she leave him so long he probably wont feed from you anyway express some onto a spoon or something do not feed him yourself and Id be quite cross with mum for leaving him without being contactable

chestnut100 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:09:04

I would be absolutely livid if you breasted my children (who are breastfed by me) without my consent. There are health implications that are simply not comparable to offering a bottle of formula. You may think you know you do not have anything to pass on (and you probably don't) but unless fully screened in v recent days, you would under no circumstances have consent to feed my child.

threefeethighandrising Mon 01-Jul-13 13:09:04

"I loved it so much it would have ruined it for me I think to know someone else had bf him"

Sorry but I think that's a bit silly.

libertine73 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:09:46

makegluten I suggested a banana to suck before OP had said how old the baby was fgs!

ipswichwitch Mon 01-Jul-13 13:09:52

I think you're wise not to, but would like to know why she left her 3 mo old ebf baby for 3 hours with no formula/ expressed milk. There is no way in hell DS would have lasted that long between feeds at that age, and the baby will be even more distressed as he can smell your milk.

threefeethighandrising Mon 01-Jul-13 13:09:57

chestnut100 but would you leave your baby for 3 hours without milk in anything other than a dire emergency?

The mother has put the OP in a very difficult situation.

"BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:05:27
Tbh reading my post back I'd rather my baby got fed a small amount of formula than someone else's expressed milk. I thought your milk was specifically tailored for your baby?"

It is. But formula isn't!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 13:10:33

I was thinking that too, AF, the last one... a shitstorm indeed.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 13:10:59

Op I'd give your friend a bit of a rollicking when she gets back too.

Leaving your very young baby for a few hours without any form of food, and being uncontactable is bang out of order and irresponsible.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 13:11:13

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SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 01-Jul-13 13:11:49

I'm with the poster who said she can't believe the preferences of the mother are taking precedence over the needs of a hungry, distressed baby who hasn't been fed in three hours.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 13:12:07

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SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 01-Jul-13 13:12:52

Ooh, a tough question. One one hand, its the perfect resolution to the problem. Baby is hungry, you have milk. OTOH, I'm really not sure that I would be happy if someone fed my baby without my consent. BUT, OTOOH, she has left him and is uncontactable! Can you take him for a walk in your pram so that he isn't near you smelling your milk for a while and then reassess after the 3 hours if the mother doesn't turn up?
I mean really it is not on to leave him with you with no food available!

landofsoapandglory Mon 01-Jul-13 13:13:44

Is it just me who finds it odd that a mum of a 3 month old ebf baby has left her baby so long, with no way of feeding it and turned her phone off? hmm

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 13:14:30

Id be grateful you fed the baby. maybe feed him and dont tell her?

landofsoapandglory Mon 01-Jul-13 13:14:38

Should have refreshed, cause I see AnyFucker is thinking the same thing!

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:14:43

Stealth I do realise that and I don't know why it doesn't sit right with me but it seems better that formula is made for a generic baby rather than someone else's bm being specifically tailored for a baby that isn't mine iyswim. I am aware I may not be completely rational about this grin

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:14:45

NO im head scratching too wht the mum isnt around but I am seeing where it goes

Tweasels Mon 01-Jul-13 13:15:08

Best thread ever for all the wrong reasons.

MakeGlutenFreeHay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:15:32

Libertine, apparently you posted after the OP. and the OP would suggest a younger child - twisting the head etc. fgs. <childish>

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 13:15:42

I think to go off that long without leaving any milk for him, shes probably assuming you will feed him, since youre breastfeeding too

PopiusTartius Mon 01-Jul-13 13:16:10

"I'm with the poster who said she can't believe the preferences of the mother are taking precedence over the needs of a hungry, distressed baby who hasn't been fed in three hours."

Yep, me too. If the Mother hasn't a) left any milk or b) isn't answering her phone there's no way I could leave a screaming hungry little one without anything. sad

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:16:27

I know but it's quite fun to see gut reactions to a hypothetical situation anyway smile

Tweasels Mon 01-Jul-13 13:17:31

If babies couldn't have other people's milk, milk banks wouldn't exist.

But OMG, don't feed the starving baby, you've probably got AIDS!


Beano, donated BM is used for premature babies. It is many many times better than formula despite being made for other (older) babies. I do know what you mean but I did just want to challenge it.

Now that is a crappy 'friend'. Imagine leaving not only your exclusively bf'ed baby for three hours with no sustenance or contact, but with a friend whose baby is also young enough that it is bf'ing.

If I were the op I would be extremely angry

FeegleFion Mon 01-Jul-13 13:18:41

Have you managed to reach you friend yet OP? How is the baby?

maddening Mon 01-Jul-13 13:18:47

What did the mother leave with you to feed fhe baby with/iinstructions?

lol Scone. It beggars belief, doesn't it.
Quite literally smile

Onetwo34 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:19:35

Loads of babies have had my milk.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 01-Jul-13 13:19:42

But OMG, don't feed the starving baby, you've probably got AIDS!



libertine73 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:19:48

If for some unknown reason hmm I had left my baby with no food and my good friend was able, I'd be grateful she breastfed my baby.

OP? You still with us?!

I would try water and formula before breast feeding. Only because you don't have the mother's consent.

Hypothetically of course.wink

Yup. I would be stunned.

(Scottish summer hols have started haven't they? A propos of nothing of course)

mm interesting. Ours aren't for another 3 weeks. Anyway, back to the thread...

what if the mum has had an accident or something and that's why she's not back?

regardless - in this situation, the only rules are:
1 never feed a baby anything at all without the express permission/instruction of the parent
2 this includes water in a baby <6 months old
3 never leave your baby without either providing food or instructions on what food is okay.

Justfornowitwilldo Mon 01-Jul-13 13:24:22

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The accident would be the only answer that didn't have me erasing her from my contacts list tbh.

After all at what point do you think fuckit I have to feed this baby something? 4 hours? More?

threefeethighandrising Mon 01-Jul-13 13:26:04

"1 never feed a baby anything at all without the express permission/instruction of the parent"

For how long?! What about if the parent is away for an irresponsibly long period of time? Or has been in an accident / stuck in a lift / whatever.

I would much rather someone BF my baby if distressed than left her screaming and increasingly distressed.

BinkyBinkleBinkster Mon 01-Jul-13 13:26:11

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juneybean Mon 01-Jul-13 13:26:15

Presumably she doesn't have the mothers consent to give formula either.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 01-Jul-13 13:26:53

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BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:26:58

Stealth I didn't even connect that to this thread, which is silly because my dh was very ill as a baby and my mil expressed milk to give to the hospital. Presumably it wouldn't have only gone to her son, and he would have received other women's bm too. I have heard how important it is for very early and poorly babies to receive donated breastmilk, so actually thanks to your reminder I'm thinking a bit more intelligently about this, rather than just relying on my initial reaction. You're right.

I think this mother should have made arrangements for what to do if her baby needed a feed before she got back - it's not uncommon to need milk more than once in 3 hours.

I would feel strange ifs friend bf my baby, but then I should feel grateful to her if I'd not left her with another option. And if I am ever experience a premature or poorly baby that I am unable to feed myself then I would like to be happy for my child to receive someone else's breastmilk. The women who do donate must make such a difference to these babies and their parents.

I agree that the situation may be unlikely, but in principle I'd rather my baby was soothed by any means available if it happened to me. Ffs, bfing is not the same as 'getting off with'. It's not like being unfaithful!

onepieceoflollipop Mon 01-Jul-13 13:28:06

Goodness me, so apparently the op and the mother have disappeared.

In this position I would:

Ring someone else (baby's father/grandparent?) to agree a plan.This may include offer boiled water or formula. This baby may be in pain from hunger.

Actually I am somewhat surprised that a ex bf baby was left for 3 hours with no alternative plan re milk. Where is the mother, was it a medical emergency or something? Try the landline to where she is and be persistent. If she is at a hospital or similar ring and stress it is an emergency

MortifiedAdams Mon 01-Jul-13 13:28:15

Why did you takethe baby for threehours without asking for milk too?

skintandfedup Mon 01-Jul-13 13:29:33

I would bf a friend's if absolutely necessary but not without consent.

Someone mentioned up thread about bm containing possible toxins. Most toxins found in bm are unharmful and easily excreted by a healthy bf baby.

Formula contains a host of toxins most of which build up and are difficult to excrete even in minute quantity.

But op ur friend should have left a bottle of bm or formula. Don't bf baby. I wouldn't like it if someone bf my baby tbh. I would prefer a bottle of formula to be given.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 13:30:06

I wonder if the baby has been passed on like a baton to another breastfeeding mum ?

skintandfedup Mon 01-Jul-13 13:30:10

*friend's baby

BeanoNoir Mon 01-Jul-13 13:30:19

So many typos/grammar errors I don't even know where to start. I do love this site though for making me challenge and reassess my initial ideas/reactions.


Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:05

Ridiculous of her to have left him so long if he is ebf. If he was formula fed and the OP posted "should I go to tesco and get a carton of formula" we'd all be saying yes of course you can't let a newborn go hungry.

I can understand why people are uncomfortable with the idea but don't piss off and be uncontactable when you've left you any without food.

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:05

just feed the bloody baby already.

Its food, its not pollution

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:08

Threefeet, I dont give a shiny shite what you think so CBA to tell you my reason why i THINK it would have spoilt it for me smile

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:20

Okay I CANNOT believe people are saying it would be fine to give formula under these conditions...

In an exclusively BF baby, cows milk counts as a new food and you should be taking precautions against serious allergic reactions.

Never give a baby < 6 months a new food without the parents consent/knowledge, and that really does include formula.

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:30

people act like breastfeeding someones baby is akin to having sex with their husband ffs.

Feelingood Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:56

why even ask, weird

I know breastfed babies don't need water but that's if breastmilk is available on demand - this baby is demanding (maybe through hunger, tiredness or for comfort) and despite the want of trying from the OP it's needs are being ignored..don't know whereabouts you are OP but where I am it's a pretty hot day and my 8 month old is after much more milk than usual because it's a drink as well - to leave a 3 month old for 3 hours with no food or water is pretty inexcusable imo. I'd be offering water at the very least and I say that as someone who even now only does this when it's absolutely impossible to offer a feed. I really hope your friend (and her breasts which will probably be making more milk in this heat) gets back soon. that poor baby sad and poor you (and your lo presumably) not being 'able' to give it what it needs because you might offend. very tricky situation indeed sad

Maybe the OP can't bf and type at the same time.

chestnut100 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:32:37

Threefeet, I agree it's a difficult position op has been left in. Non the less, she agreed to take the baby for 3 hours without making any feeding plans with the mother. It may well be the baby normally goes 3 hours between feeds (not that unusual at 3 months, baby isn't 3 days) and so it wasn't anticipated as an issue by either.

I would also add that if the op did feed the baby without consent, and did infect the baby with something, there could easily be legal consequences.

And for those comparing to milk banks, it is not the same. I have no issues with babies being fed donated milk. Because it has been screened, and the mother given consent

FeegleFion Mon 01-Jul-13 13:36:00

Troll hunting much?

Is this really so out there that it's unimaginable? hmm

MiaowTheCat Mon 01-Jul-13 13:38:32

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I don't know feegle. My two never went more than about an hour between feeds even at 3 months, so I never went anywhere or left them with anyone.

But if I had, I would have left some instructions, expressed milk etc.

It is that which tests the boundaries for me. How many mothers of ebf babies give so little thought to them at 3 months?

I for one am hoping that the parents who are so concerned about bf someone else's child due to the risk of infection have been thoroughly tested for all infectious diseases each time they have any sexual contact with their partners, use a toothbrush which has been in a publicly accessible area, had any kind of medical treatment which could involve infection risk or administered any first aid to anyone who wasn't carrying a test certificate dated that day before feeding their own children... I mean imagine how bad you would feel if you infected your own baby with HIV hmm.

Teuchtermam Mon 01-Jul-13 13:40:19

When your friend gets back she will be full of milk and will need to feed the baby. If you are going to offer breast milk I would just do a short feed for that reason. I wouldn't mind if a friend fed my baby but they wouldn't have been left in your position in the first place.

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 13:40:52

Just wanted to point out again that there is more chance of an allergic reaction to formula than to another persons BM.

For what it's worth I would give water before BM before formula...but in reality if the friend was gone so long that anything more than water was actually needed to keep the baby safe I would have long since contacted the authorities.

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Mon 01-Jul-13 13:41:14

I would want you to feed if it were my baby. What do you think the baby would want? The child is more important than the parents here and if baby is stressed, hungry and frightened and you know your milk is safe and clean then do it.

"I would also add that if the op did feed the baby without consent, and did infect the baby with something, there could easily be legal consequences.

And for those comparing to milk banks, it is not the same."

I didn't. If you read what I wrote, you'll see I was talking about the milk being "tailored" to the individual baby.
And if the OP allow s the baby to become dangerously dehydrated there will also be legal consequcnes. I'd be giving water or formula very soon, as I hope the OP is.

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 13:44:04

Yeah I'm not sure how people justify in their heads that my BM is the absolute best possible first food for my baby but should not under any circumstances be offered to a different baby without extensive additional screening and a full family medical history being taken.

I mean either it's the good stuff or it isn't. There is nothing magical about one's own baby that makes it immune from all the imaginary BM nasties...

Jaynebxl Mon 01-Jul-13 13:44:41

Hope the mum came back in time.

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 13:46:24

"I would also add that if the op did feed the baby without consent, and did infect the baby with something, there could easily be legal consequences. "

If you give the baby formula and it suffers a serious allergic reaction there will definitely be legal consequences.

Give water if any sign of dehydration is seen and then wait...

BegoniaBampot Mon 01-Jul-13 13:46:27

Just Bf feed it. The babies needs are more important than the mums here.

raisah Mon 01-Jul-13 13:46:50

Next time you babysit him ask your friend to provide expressed breast milk and a bottle. Its v unreasonable of her to go off the radar & not contact you to find out how he is doing. He can smell milk on you which is why he is crying & become agitated. Is there anybody else who can cuddle him while you are waiting for his absent mother to turn up?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 01-Jul-13 13:48:01

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RobotBananas Mon 01-Jul-13 13:48:41

Ooh its been a while since one of these...

The OP has not been back. Personally I think without quite a lot more details we can't advise. Hopefully she has contacted her friend.

The OP has not been back. Personally I think without quite a lot more details we can't advise. Hopefully she has contacted her friend.

FannyFifer Mon 01-Jul-13 13:51:35

If something had happened to me meaning I couldn't be back to feed my baby, I would have no problem at all with one of my friends breastfeeding her.

Would have been preferable to me than formula.

aliasjoey Mon 01-Jul-13 13:57:17

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SoupDragon Mon 01-Jul-13 13:57:22

Some people need to read the guidelines about troll hunting. Besides, the OP does actually have a non-contentious posting history.

As to the question - not without permission.

NotAQueef Mon 01-Jul-13 13:57:27

pretty sure this is genuine - OP is not a name changer and has a posting history

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 13:59:16

im presuming its genuine. Bit of a boring troll post if its not

PearlyWhites Mon 01-Jul-13 14:00:32

Bit late now but I would have don't see the problem

chestnut100 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:01:40

At no point did I mention feeding formula as an alternative? And stealth, sorry, but I made no reference to you in my post, no idea why you presume I refer to you. Others stated milk banks would be obsolete if babies didn't drink other people's breast milk. That's what I refer to.

And I can guarantee if mother never came back and baby went into social services care this afternoon, it would be given formula over unscreened breast milk. As someone with a friend who contracted HIV from a blood donor (hes a haemophiliac) in the days before full blood screening, the prospect of injesting the body fluid of another person without it being screened, is frankly, horrific.

Yonihadtoask Mon 01-Jul-13 14:03:02

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OHforDUCKScake Mon 01-Jul-13 14:03:30

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dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 14:05:23

In response to the comments about HIV/AIDS-

(just to clarify- AIDS is a syndrome and as such it could not be transmitted through breast milk, HIV is a virus and can be transmitted through breast milk)-

I realise that I have been harping on about HIV, but that is because I work closely with HIV positive pregnant women and mothers.

Being advised not to breast feed their babies is often devastating for positive women. But the fact of the matter is that women that live in countries with access to clean water and unrestrained access to artificial milk are advised (WHO, NHS) to exclusively bottle feed, because of the risk of transmission.

Milk banks are wonderful resources that screen donations for HIV.

Doctorbrownbear Mon 01-Jul-13 14:10:30

Why would your friend leave her baby with no food for over 3 hhours at 3 months old? Why can you not see that it would be pretty wierd to feed another persons baby with your breast milk? This post seems very controversial, bound to get people talking... is that the idea? If your friends baby is screaming then why are you wasting your time posting on mumsnet?

I do hope this is all bollocks.

JazzDalek Mon 01-Jul-13 14:51:40

I'd want my baby to be fed in that situation (although would never happen as would never leave my 3mo for that long). And would far rather it was bm than formula. In fact I'd be super pissed off if my EBF baby was given formula.

FirstStopCafe Mon 01-Jul-13 15:18:56

I would rather my 3 month old ds was bf by a friend than left to cry. Having said that I wouldn't leave him without expressed milk.

I have donated breast milk to the milk bank. Even though it is tailored to your own baby it is still beneficial for others, particularly premature and sick babies in hospital

Wrong unless you have the express permission of the mother

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 15:23:49

"...before each batch is tested by microbiologists to ensure it is safe to use. Once that process is complete, the milk is pasteurised and refrozen for up to another three months, ready to be used at intensive care units for sick and premature babies."

milk banks screen donated milk

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 01-Jul-13 15:29:41

... and so it goes.

SoupDragon Mon 01-Jul-13 15:31:19

Why can you not see that it would be pretty wierd to feed another persons baby with your breast milk?

Probably because not everyone shares your personal opinion.

kali110 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:33:59

Dont do it.i would be horrified, purely because of health risks. Many diseases are symptomless and can be passed on! Also if he's allergic to anything or on medication you could pass it onto the baby.if your friend had said it was ok that would be between you two, but nobody just bf another persons baby without even asking!

TBH if the OP is also exclusively bf a baby the choices may be feeding the child, water from a cup or a trip to the shops with one or two screaming babies for bottles, steriliser, formula....

LookMaw Mon 01-Jul-13 15:36:30

I would have no problem at all if my friend BF DD in an emergency. And I would do the same for her. We've both donated milk so clearly have no infectious diseases.

Wouldn't find it weird at all. It takes a village and all that.

LayMizzRarb Mon 01-Jul-13 15:41:36

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ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 15:43:14

I am just wondering how the people who are saying no way imagine the conversation goes when they get back...

"hi friend, who I know BFs her own baby, WTAF do you mean you put your toxic infection laden milk into my PFB?!?!"

I mean is there a nice way to say "your milk is good enough for your poxy baby but not for my precious darling"?

The reason extra screening is in place at milk banks is that the milk from many mothers is mixed and given to many children. Any potential infection would be spread massively if not caught. The risk of giving something to a friends baby is exactly the same risk you take of giving it to your own.

There is no way I could look a friend in the eye and tell them their breast milk wasn't good enough for my baby.

Startail Mon 01-Jul-13 15:47:43

I wouldn't have minded if someone else, I knew well, BF DD2 as she would absolutely not take a bottle of anything off anyone, including very skilled nurses.

I simply didn't leave her until she was 7 months old and would eat yoghurt and drink weak squash or juicr from a cup. (At 12 years old water and milk are still refused).

MonstersDontCry Mon 01-Jul-13 15:51:26

I personally wouldn't mind but obviously your friend might. Keep ringing. She's an idiot for not leaving a bottle/staying out so long.

Oscalito Mon 01-Jul-13 15:52:43

My friend breastfed my baby when I was stuck in a slow moving taxi. Came home and baby was sleeping peacefully. Thought it was rather generous of her, actually.

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 15:56:13

Milk banks are incredibly important, however, it is equally important to make sure that people are fully aware of the lengths that the NHS goes to in order to ensure that donated milk is 'risk free'.

Having your breast milk accepted by a milk bank does not mean that you are necessarily HIV negative.

frissonpink Mon 01-Jul-13 15:56:15

Yes! I would be horrified.

But oh my goodness, where on earth is the mother! Who leaves an expressly bf baby for that length of time without an update?

Give him some water, or some formula if you have some in the house. (presume you may do if you're able to bf too?)

I really really do not think it's ok to breastfeed someone else's baby without their express permission first. Unless you were stuck in the middle of a dessert, without water, and without formula!

5madthings Mon 01-Jul-13 16:01:38

If it was my baby I would be happy for friend to bfeed it. But you really should have discussed what to do if baby was upset/needed to be fed. Did she not leave expressed milk or instructions on what to do?

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 16:03:46

dyslexic I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make. My milk was rejected for banking because I had a blood transfusion post birth. This is a ludicrous reason to prevent me donating, and at no point did anyone even HINT that having had a transfusion was a reason to consider not BFing my own daughter.

If the risks of Bfing my own daughter are outweighed by the risk of FFing my own daughter then how can the tables suddenly be turned when it is someone else's child?

The two plausible reasons for checking donated milk for infection beyond the checks made for new mothers and their own children. One is that the milk goes to prem babies so even mild bacterial and viral infections that are nothing to normal baby need screening for. Secondly the milk is mixed to you are putting maybe 10-100s of babies at risk instead of one. Neither of these arguments pertains to the OP's case where only one baby is under consideration and that baby is not premature.

SHarri13 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:04:43

Fine if your friend had agreed. Not fine if she didn't know anything about it.

Whilst I have no problem with it at all the child's mother really needs to know and be in agreement.

fuckwittery Mon 01-Jul-13 16:08:21

I think you should keep trying to comfort but if she is later than the 3 hours, to reconsider feeding
Why is she gone? What has she left with? Can a neighbour or anyone drop in formula if you don't have? Walk to the shop with buggy may calm baby anyway?

RiotsNotDiets Mon 01-Jul-13 16:17:20

I wouldn't have an issue with DD being fed by someone else (provided I knew them well, they did not have any transmittable diseases and there was no expressed milk of mine available), but I wouldn't feed someone else's baby without their permission. It's silly though, in a different culture they probably wouldn't bat an eyelid at this but Britain is so uptight about breastfeeding.

Is there not a shop nearby? Most sell formula, you ought to be able to buy one of those cartons of ready mixed stuff.

RobotBananas Mon 01-Jul-13 16:17:38

I wonder if the OP is ever going to come back?

valiumredhead Mon 01-Jul-13 16:29:35

I think its plain daft to bugger off for any length of time without leaving milk.

I do know woman who tried to feed her friend's baby as the baby was very distressed but she couldn't get let down. Friend was fine about it, they were very close so I presume she knew her well enough to know she'd be ok.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 16:50:56

Reminder about troll hunting

Buildershateme Mon 01-Jul-13 16:56:57

I wish I had a friend who would have been willing to breastfeed my bottle refusing monster baby. I had to leave him once for a day with my sister - he drank nothing all day, no formula, no EBF, not even weak sweet tea (don't judge, it worked with DD). I would have fricking loved a co-feeding buddy.

Tailtwister Mon 01-Jul-13 16:59:53

No, don't do it unless you have her permission.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 01-Jul-13 17:01:20

Id freak if someone breastfed my child.im not going to explain myself its just not right

LimitedEditionLady Mon 01-Jul-13 17:02:57

Dont they collect it in hospitals for premature babies?i think thats great though

Norem Mon 01-Jul-13 17:04:05

I had to leave my bf ds at short notice to go to hospital when he was 3 months old. My friend was bf her dd and I did I've her permission to feed him if she needed to while I was away.
She is as close as a sister and I knew she didn't have HIV so why not.

Norem Mon 01-Jul-13 17:04:37


I wouldn't have minded if someone had fed my baby (I don't think), never having been in that position it's hard to know. I think I would exhaust all avenues before taking such a step myself though. Have you heard from your friend yet OP? Is she OK? It seems odd that she hasn't shown up or answered her phone.

rockybalboa Mon 01-Jul-13 17:06:37

I'd stick with the rocking, cuddling and maybe sticking your little finger in his mouth for him to suck for now. I can't decide whether I'd mind if it was me or not, probably not but its a tough one.

PurplePidjin Mon 01-Jul-13 17:07:13

Id rather take the risk tbh. Mind you, the thought of being away from my 7mo, who eats solids like a gannet and drinks water, for 3 hours without providing food or being contactable is anathema to me.

OP, your mate is taking the piss! But I'd put my baby's needs above my preferences any day.

LastTangoInDevonshire Mon 01-Jul-13 17:07:56

The hospital gave my newly born baby someone else's breast milk while I was asleep. It was the first feed he ever had. I was furious and upset and have never forgotten nor forgiven it.

extra80 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:14:04

op. Hope your friend has turned up.

Is it the fact that it is breast milk that is an issue for some, or is it the delivery system? If it's the latter, would people be happier if the milk was expressed into a cup and fed to the bay that way?

I'm quite a long way past this, but I don't think it would have worried me if a friend had done this for my child - but unless it is an emergency I think the OP shouldn't feed the child without the mum's permission - but a hungry baby of that age is pretty urgent. If the mum didn't come back pretty soon after the OP last posted, and the baby was still upset (and getting hungrier), I MIT think that was urgent enough to justify feeding the baby.

<< Climbs down from fence, pulls splinters from arse >>

Ulysses Mon 01-Jul-13 17:17:20

I think given the circumstances it would be entirely reasonable to give a very young and hungry baby some sustenance. The squeamishness is most certainly cultural than logical.

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 01-Jul-13 17:19:39

I'm probably going to get a flaming for this, but for me the issue would not just be the breast milk, but the breast. I would feel deeply uncomfortable about my friend putting her breast in my baby's mouth. I am aware that feeding young is the biological reason for breasts, but for me that only applies for your own young. The idea of someone who isn't my baby's mother putting her breast into my child's mouth makes me feel sick.

I would however be happy for my baby to be fed donated breast milk from a bottle as long as that milk had gone through the proper screening. I know my own sexual and drug history and have been tested for HIV, I cannot be as certain about someone else. I also will have avoided any foods that cause a problem for my baby.

So no you should definitely not bf someone elses baby IMO. Hopefully the issue is long resolved by now snyway, or I would be speaking to the relevant authorities op.

FrauMoose Mon 01-Jul-13 17:23:45

Interesting article here


Whirliwig72 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:24:54

Ok as this post is looking increasingly hypothetical I'll add my tuppence worth. If you did this - with permission from mum - surely your babies would need to be at the same developmental stage roughly wouldn't they? I say this since I considered becoming a milk donor and then discovered I was ineligible since my baby was over 6 months of age. Presumably the milk changes quite radically as the baby grows? Secondly I'm pretty sure a baby might not be that agreeable to a feed from someone other than his mother - of course eventually hunger would overrule but I assume that initally there may be resistance and the baby might not latch easily to someone who smelt different / had different milk to mum?
As a breast feeding peer supporter I find the idea of sfeeding

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 01-Jul-13 17:26:30

SDTG for me it would be the other persons BM AND the delivery of it.

My reasons (I'll tell you because you havent been a twat about it unlike a PP wink ) - BFing was something I did for my baby, as the mother. Every BF was a BF that nearly didnt happen, for one reason or another, and was a lovely little moment just me and him that no-one else could do. If someone took one of those moments away from me without asking it would signify a certain arrogance that I wouldn't be able to forget about, and I'd never be able to forget that person seriously overstepped a mark. So tbh it would probably be the end of the friendship. If they could do something so personal and 'mummy' as that what else would they not see the boundary for?

Saying that I'd never be daft enough to leave a BF 3 month old for more than an hour without having some sort of provision for him.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 01-Jul-13 17:26:30

SDTG - for me it would be the 'bodily fluid' not the 'breastfeeding'. I think the 'breastfeeding' itself, if done for the right reasons (baby's need, not the other woman's desire), would be a lovely thing to do.

I would be pissed off if someone did it if I was a few minutes later than I said I'd be, but if I was hours late or had had to go to hospital or something then I'd be fine with it from certain people, but others I would prefer them to bottle feed.

In the OP's (ficticious) case, the mum was obviously happy for the baby to go without feeding for 3 hours, so I don't think the OP should have even considered doing it before 3.5 hours - it's not her decision in that situation. However out of line I think the mother's thinking/behaviour is.

SoulTrain Mon 01-Jul-13 17:26:56

I'm with Heffa, I completely dislike the idea of another woman putting their breast in my child's mouth.

I wouldn't however have left my EBF baby for, seemingly, a whole day.

Whirliwig72 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:27:43

Cut off.. As a bf peer supporter I find the idea of someone feeding another's child a lovely and giving thing to do but I think permission has to be sought and given in all but emergency situations .

I'm glad my question came over as non-twat-like, TheToys - that was my intention. thankssmile

tungthai Mon 01-Jul-13 17:30:42

Of course you should ask for her permission first. I'm shocked at the posters who don't think that permission is necessary.

cheeks123 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:30:45

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cheeks123 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:34:37

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chocolatemartini Mon 01-Jul-13 17:37:26

I'd be very grateful if a friend fed my crying baby. But I also wouldn't leave a 3 month old with a friend and no expressed milk/ means of contacting me.

BatwingsAndButterflies Mon 01-Jul-13 17:44:08

The disgust aspect is certainly cultural and unreasonable. Fear of disease less so but you have to weigh the risks.

Link to our guidelines here = we'd ask that you pay attention to the section on troll hunting

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 18:03:42

If the baby can be kept calm and happy in other ways, and the mother isn't too delayed, then I'd agree that permission should be sought before feeding the baby anything.

However, if the mother is unreachable, the time drags on, or the little one becomes distressed, I would feed the baby... ideally water to buy some time if the poor little thing would take it.

There are issues (legal and other) whatever you do, so its a case of weighing up the risks. When a child is left in your care, you are the one responsible for giving it that care, or neglecting it. I would rather potentially fall out with a friend than neglect a little baby that has only me to look after it.

pigletmania Mon 01-Jul-13 18:07:00

Very unreasonable for her to leavea very young bf baby for so long and to be non contactable. I would not do it for all those reasons raised by others on here. Next time raise it with your friend, and ask her how she feels about bf her baby

McNewPants2013 Mon 01-Jul-13 18:11:15

If i trusted a friend to look after my baby then i wouldn't have an issue with her feeding my baby.

topsi Mon 01-Jul-13 18:23:35

Sorry but why has she left such a young baby with you for so long knowing that he exclusively breast fed, very strange behavior

Rowanred Mon 01-Jul-13 18:27:57

I would feed the baby. Better that than have it distressed and crying. I would rather my baby had bm rather than formula if under 6 months ( although I wouldn't leave a baby without milk either!)

Whirliwig72 Mon 01-Jul-13 18:56:59

I have to add that I find the whole HIV argument nonsensical - yes if someone was knowingly HIV positive It would be a stupid thing for them to feed someone else's baby but this is a very very unlikely scenario since they would have been screened in pregnancy and discouraged from breastfeeding their own baby so no milk. As for a mum passing on the virus unknowingly she's at risk of passing on any bug she is carrying just by babysitting. Accidents happen, germs are spread, she might for example be a SARS carrier. There are lots of things that can be passed just through pure human interaction that are just as dangerous as HIV.

Turniphead1 Mon 01-Jul-13 18:59:17

Where's the OP. hope the Mum is ok.

chocolatemartini Mon 01-Jul-13 18:59:28

whirliwig I think in an emergency with a healthy 3 month baby the breast milk of anyone (who didn't have any communicable diseases) would be fine. I also had the same answer when I tried to donate milk but they said because preemies are just so sensitive, they can only use newborn milk to feed them. I am sure a healthy 3 month old would be fine with any human milk

LimitedEditionLady Mon 01-Jul-13 19:04:57

I think why cant you just ring her?you telling me she left a baby so young with no contact number

Where is the OP?

Personally I don't know how I'd feel about someone else breastfeeding DD.

However, I wouldn't leave her without food and if I ever did and it was an emergency I'd suck up my feelings and be glad that she wasn't starved.

I think my problem with it would be the breast. I don't know why, as I'm pretty easy going and am perfectly happy with nakedness and other such non conventional things. I just feel it's something special just DD and I share, iyswim; but if I had to go to hospital for example and had nothing left for her, I'd be glad my DD was fed.

Limitededitionlady perhaps you'd be so kind as to read the op which clearly states that she has tried to ring her hmm

Hrrrm Mon 01-Jul-13 19:16:12

Ackshully the WHO recommends feeding choices in this order

Mother's breast milk
Mother's expressed breastmilk
Someone else's breastmilk

Interestingly, breastmilk can actually protect a baby from HIV if the mother is positive. But only if it is absolutely exclusive bf and no cracked nipples etc. I thought the recommendations regarding HIV positive mothers had changes recently. With support and knowledge this is possible.

BUT: I do not think it is right to feed someone else's baby without their knowledge and consent.

It is unlikely that this would harm the baby, but it's one of those things you Just Don't Do.

Milk banks screen milk for all sorts of things and pasteurise it.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 01-Jul-13 19:16:41

I think your friend is irresponsible - that's a long time to leave a little baby who is only breast fed!

No, don't breastfeed him. Just try to comfort him as much as possible and make sure he is not left like this again.

GoofyIsACow Mon 01-Jul-13 19:19:18


SHarri13 Mon 01-Jul-13 19:19:19

So saddening to hear people have issue with the breast in mouth over other things. I'd much prefer a nipple than a finger, the latter is used for all sorts!

MrsMook Mon 01-Jul-13 19:24:28

I've been thinking while reading through and feeding my 11 wk old. I'd rather my baby was fed than allowed to get distressed.

DS 1 had a milk allergy. He was also a bottle refuser so he would have been better being fed at ther breast.

I have given DS2 a small amount of formula on a couple of occasions, but with DS1's history, on the off-chance that DS2 had a reaction, I'd rather it was me that faced it than a friend who was already stressed out by the feeding baby dilemma.

Similarly, if I was in the OP's position, I think I'd feed. The baby getting distressed would stimulate my milk production making me engorged, uncomfortable and leaky. I'm also not used to sterilising and using formula, so would feel safer about feeding baby correctly at the breast.

The friends I have who I trust to leave my children with (who happen to be pregnant and therefore could potentially have this issue) are highly likely to be in excellent health. The chances of them infecting my baby (or vice versa) with anything serious are incredibly low. The most likely situation would be something easily treated like thrush.

Emilythornesbff Mon 01-Jul-13 19:33:42

Ooh. What happened?

inneedofrain Mon 01-Jul-13 19:35:36

Ok my tuppence

If op has tried to contact mum with out success
Tried to contact someone else ie father (if possible) without success
If baby is distressed
If baby would not settle for some else ie husband if I had one just on the off chance baby was being stimulated by my breasts

I would probably go with a very small amout of expressed bm rather than formula

I would be very worried about this I case friend was upset but I would be more worried about a very hungry baby crying in distress for some period of time

I would also tell the friend in no uncertan terms that I should not have ever been put in that position and not should her baby. I'm sorry but having not been able to contact you having done x y z I was out of options

But thankfully I have never been put in that position

Mouthfulofquiz Mon 01-Jul-13 20:11:50

I had a friend drop her newborn off for about an hour and a half a few weeks back. Well, she just came out with 'shit, I've forgotten the bottle of expressed milk - oh well, you can just feed her can't you??'
After the shock subsided i thought 'why the hell not?'
As it happens she slept the whole time, but I would have done it if she had been desperate. :-)

SaveWaterDrinkMalibu Mon 01-Jul-13 20:14:53

I can see this from both sides

Screaming baby needs feeding - so feed it
It's not that baby's breast milk though

TidyDancer Mon 01-Jul-13 20:19:01

Just for the record, a very similar thing happened to me once. I had my friend's small baby for what I was told would be a short while. I can't remember exactly how long she said she would be or how old the baby was at the time, but she was extremely late and her baby was screaming and inconsolable with hunger for a long time. I didn't have the choice to breast feed the baby (I was pregnant with my DD at the time) but I understand the OP wanting to do this. There was literally nothing I could do to help.

My friend swanned in at whatever time it was claiming to have been stuck in traffic (she wasn't, I don't know wtf she was doing). I couldn't give two shits if someone is late picking their child up if I'm babysitting, but if it's an ebf tiny baby, there's no excuse.

TidyDancer Mon 01-Jul-13 20:20:22

Oh, and I would happily have breastfed the baby if I had the mother's permission and if I could physically have done it. I have no problem with sharing milk.

LizTerrine Mon 01-Jul-13 20:20:42

I'd be grateful if you fed my baby.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 01-Jul-13 20:27:50

I'm surprised by how many people would just breastfeed the baby with no prior permission. I feel like if I ever have a newborn, ill have to have some sort of pre babysitting discussion about not breastfeeding my baby if the milk I provide runs out. That's a conversation I never imagined I would have to have! Mumsnet always opens my mind to the world grin

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:38:12

Honestly, I'm surprised how many people would rather the baby to be hungry and screaming instead. hmm

BegoniaBampot Mon 01-Jul-13 20:41:09

Yip, screw what's best for the baby and the poor baby sitter.

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:41:47

Don't know where that stray 'to' came from!

TidyDancer Mon 01-Jul-13 20:44:24

AmyFarrah - what if you were massively delayed? What if the option was your baby screams and cries for ages vs your friend's breast milk?

I can't believe anyone would seriously want their baby to suffer.

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:45:24

Perhaps you could shag her husband as well? Save her a job hmm

Sorry, but no. No way

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:49:14

Having sex with someone else's husband isn't remotely comparable to giving food to a hungry baby that is wailing for it, and won't understand having to wait or anything beyond that it is feeling pain and no one is doing anything about it.

If its the 'breast to mouth' contact that is so bothersome, the milk can be expressed (and this is what I would do in the absence of any alternative).

libertyflip Mon 01-Jul-13 20:49:21

In this situation I would go to the nearest shop and buy formula. Would no way feed somebody else's baby.

Nagoo Mon 01-Jul-13 20:49:23

I would BF the baby, I'm not going to starve it.

Sacrebleu Mon 01-Jul-13 20:51:11

I'd much rather my baby was breastfed by a trusted friend than given powdered, reconstituted cows' milk.

I can't believe people really think the breastmilk of a trusted friend is riskier than feeding a previously EBF baby formula. shock

I agree it's strange behaviour by the baby's mother. What if she's been in an accident though?

TidyDancer Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:15

catgirl, that might be the most ridiculous post I have seen in the three years I have been posting on this site.

How dare you compare shagging someone to feeding a baby.

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:25

Solaria - it is to me.

In terms of intimacy and the exchange of bodily fluids

But I am shock anyone would leave an EBF baby for 3 hours with no expressed milk and not answer their phone.

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:28

I agree that I would buy formula first personally if it were available, but if not, this would be my course of action until the mother showed up:

comfort and rock baby -> give baby teaspoons of water, let it suck something -> give formula if available -> give expressed breastmilk if formula not available

Never would I leave that baby screaming without any nourishment. That's neglect.

Signet2012 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:54:17

My dd is bf.

If I left her with someone without appropriate means to feed her and she was distressed I would be ok with my friend feeding her. I certainly wouldn't go mad. If I felt funny about it I would hopefully accept my lack of foresight and organisation causes the situation and my friend acted in what she thought was best to do.

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:54:40

catgirl1976 But how do you feel about children drinking cow's milk? Does that imply a level of intimacy with the cow? I'm not being sarcastic, I genuinely simply cannot understand that way of looking at it. The 'breast to mouth' contact I can get, but that can be worked around (expressing).

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:55:11

Tidy - It's the level of intimacy I think. My post was not meant to be offensive, but it would feel on the same level to me somehow.

I would feel really upset if someone else fed my baby. I can't explain it rationally, it's an instinctive thing.

But I wouldn't leave my baby without food in someone elses care, so I am unlikely to have to face that issue.

TidyDancer Mon 01-Jul-13 20:56:53

I'm glad you can see its not rational. And I would hope that you'd realise it's better for a baby to be nourished than to scream just because of a mother's feelings.

I still maintain your original post was ridiculous and offensive tbh.

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:57:40

I get your point Solari - but the health risks would bother me too (however unlikely)

Of course, I would rather someone fed my baby than let it starve, but if I was the OPs friend and I walked in the door just before the 3 hours was up and found her feeding my DS I would be very upset.

I still don't understand someone leaving a tiny baby with no expressed milk so I am sympathetic to the OP - must be horrible hearing a small baby cry with hunger

I just have a strong, gut reaction to someone else feeding my baby which doesn't really stand up to logic, but I can't help it

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:58:20

I still maintain your original post was ridiculous and offensive tbh.

Then I apologise.

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 20:59:33

TidyDancer I agree with you, it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach that someone thinks their feelings about 'intimacy' with their baby should be more important than their baby screaming with hunger pains.

But I thought your reply was more open and thoughtful than your first post catgirl1976, and I'm genuinely interested in understanding where the point of view stems from.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 21:00:39

Did the OP come back ?

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 21:00:55

X-post catgirl1976 smile

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:01:35

I honestly dont know Solaris

I appreciate it's not rational, it's just my gut reaction

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 01-Jul-13 21:05:49

No sign of OP?! shock

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 01-Jul-13 21:06:16

I suppose its kind of a moot point really for me thinking about it because I'd always leave extra milk just in case. But as horrible as it sounds, I would rather the baby cry for one time for half an hour or so until I got back, than they drink my friends milk. My friend may be lovely and clean and think she is free of HIV etc but I still wouldn't want her milk in my baby.

Solari Mon 01-Jul-13 21:07:02

I wonder if its something to do with that deep down visceral protectiveness/possessiveness we all have over our own children, and the strong desire to assert ourselves in the mother role, and prevent anyone else from 'taking over'.

Just speaking from my own experience, I know after my baby was born, it took me a while to get used to other people even holding him. I just didn't like it, on a deep 'gut' level, and felt like I was growling inside every time someone took him from me.

Of course, that wasn't rational on my part either, but it did exist nevertheless. <ponders>

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 01-Jul-13 21:07:15

I'd be wondering "what if" for ages afterwards and if would feel like a violation of my trust for her to do it without permission.

Chunderella Mon 01-Jul-13 21:12:30

ICBINEG 'If you give the baby formula and it suffers a serious allergic reaction there will definitely be legal consequences.'

I don't know that there would be, to be honest. Likely the standard would be what the reasonable person would have done in the circumstances (or possibly the reasonable person with the same level of knowledge the accused had). One could make a pretty strong argument that it was reasonable to feed a screaming baby in these circumstances on any of the three things that would be appropriate for it- someone else's breast milk, formula or water. There's never been a case like this that I know of, but my guess is that if you stuck to one of the sensible options you'd be fine. If baby were to get ill due to salt from you feeding them a bottle of gravy, or choking on a bone from when you gave them a whole salmon, not so much. Of course, it's possible that OP's milk, water or formula could be harmful to the baby, but odds are that any or all of the three would be fine. I mean, OP might have undiagnosed hepatitis or the baby might be terribly allergic to water, something OP has eaten or something in formula. It does happen. But none of these things are the norm.

Hrrrm the recommendations are still not to bf a baby when HIV positive unless the alternative is more unsafe. WHO says there's a 10-20% chance of transmission. Obviously horrifyingly high. But if you have no access to clean water etc, formula is probably even more dangerous, so bf is the lesser of two evils. It's thought that ebf is safer than mixed feeding in these circustances, but it's not safe per se. 10-20% is still not a chance most people would take if they had a better option, but many women don't. Whereas in the developed world, of course we do, hence NHS advice in these circumstances is to formula feed.

As for the OP, if the friend stays away long enough I think bf would be the best option, though if there's formula there I'd probably use that. If I were stupid enough to leave DD with no suitable milk and be uncontactable for several hours, I like to think I wouldn't have the cheek to be upset if she'd been fed one of the suitable milks for babies. It's true that friend might have HIV, hepatitis etc (and there most certainly are HIV positive people who bf even against medical advice, there was one in the US who'd also refused a section, both she and daughter died soon after- really sad). However, I think anyone I knew well enough to leave my young baby with would also be someone I knew well enough to discuss intimate health issues with. Obviously they might not feel the same, but that's the risk you take.

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:15:20

I think that's exactly it Solari

And, having given it some thought, if I was rushed to hospital or something, and a friend fed my baby because he was hungry and there was no expressed milk etc, whilst my first reaction would be to be upset and distressed my lasting reaction would be relief my baby got fed, not matter how I might feel about it

Does that make sense?

Mind you, I feel a bit funny when he comes back from nursery and smells of someone else, so perhaps I am a bit PFB. I always feel like a ewe whose lamb has been handled by humans and smells wrong or something confused

If I had to leave my ebf baby with a friend and an emergency prevented me from getting back in time to feed her, then I'd be incredibly grateful if said friend breastfed her.

In fact, what would touch me most would be the risk that my (hypothetical) friend would be taking that I'd be pissed off with her for doing it, if that makes any sense...

thebody Mon 01-Jul-13 21:22:03

Anyone can be HIV positive. You may not know that about your dearest friend or even about yourself.

It's not ever a good idea to bf someone rises baby unless the parent agrees.

Why would anyone leave a baby for 3 hours anyway without feed either express or formula. Very silly.

Go to nearest shop and buy some.

Mind you hope she's back now, haven't read last few pages.

Gruntfuttock Mon 01-Jul-13 21:25:46

"If I had to leave my ebf baby with a friend and an emergency prevented me from getting back in time to feed her, then I'd be incredibly grateful if said friend breastfed her."

That's precisely how I feel.

NinaJade666 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:28:14

If I was in the OP's position then this is what I would do. As I breastfeed my own child still I have an electric pump so I would express some milk and try the baby with a bottle of my expressed BM, if that didn't work I'd try it in a doidy cup. If that didn't work I would breastfeed the baby all the while still re-dialing to try to get in contact. If I was the mother who had disappeared/got stuck in traffic with dead phone battery/been in an accident, then I would be happy with the steps above to be taken to console my baby.

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 01-Jul-13 21:28:48

Solari, I think you might be right about the gut feeling of protectiveness and possesiveness. I also feel it has to do with the sexualisation of breasts. To me, anyone but a child's biological mother putting their breast in their mouth is repulsive because the biological link does not cancel out that side of things if that makes sense?

I will however admit that I personally have struggled with the idea of putting my breast in my baby's mouth when the time comes (I'm currently pregnant and very much want to bf). This is because until now, the only time anyone has put my breasts in their mouth has been in a sexual situation. Its difficult to stop looking at breasts in that light anyway.

NinaJade666 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:32:31

I have to say I find it puzzling that many posters seem to think giving the (exclusively breast fed) baby breast milk without 'permission' is out of order, but giving it formula is perfectly fine...

Gruntfuttock Mon 01-Jul-13 21:35:06

Heffalump, then you have completely lost sight of what breasts are for. I remember being asked by my midwife whether I was planning to breastfeed and replying "Of course! That's what they're for" and the midwife said "Oh it's so nice to hear someone finally say that. So many younger (I was ancient) mothers say that they think breastfeeding is disgusting because they associate breasts with sex".

Gruntfuttock Mon 01-Jul-13 21:36:49

NinaJade666 I agree with you, it's an incomprehensible attitude to me.

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 01-Jul-13 21:41:09

Grunt - in my first post I made it clear that i know that feeding is exactly what breasts are for. However that really doesn't change the fact that before i fell pregnant my breasts were very much a part of my sex life. I would be lying if I said the transition in my mind had been anything but confusing and actually quite difficult.

I don't feel though that I have totally lost sight of what they are for as I am not in any way disgusted by bfing, and desperately want to feed my baby that way. It has just taken some adjustment of my view of my breasts.

AndHarry Mon 01-Jul-13 21:47:07

I think the OP has disappeared but FWIW I would have done these steps until something worked:

1) Offered the baby water in a bottle;
2) Offered the baby water in a cup;
3) Expressed some milk and offered in a bottle if the baby had had any idea of what to do with it when I offered water, if not then in a cup;
4) Breastfed the baby.

Today was baking hot. I couldn't go 3 hours without a drink, let alone a tiny baby.

If the situation was reversed and I'd been held up and uncontactable hmm I'd have no problem with my friend breastfeeding my baby.

fengirl1 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:02:15

Fwiw, I would have loved for someone to be able to feed my dds when I couldn't (as long as they were healthy) and would have loved to do the same for someone else. People did years ago and never thought twice about it.

Chunderella Mon 01-Jul-13 22:02:27

Don't beat yourself up too much heffalump. We may well have developed breast tissue for sexual purposes, nobody actually knows why we have it. We have nipples and milk ducts for breastfeeding, but tissue is not required- so we know why we have part of the breasts, but not all. Primates have no breasts, just nipples, and that doesn't stop them from lactating fine. Totally flat chested humans can and do bf. Humans probably evolved breasts, as opposed to merely nipples, for a reason, as we presuablydidn't have them in our primate days. But it's difficult to know what that is. One popular theory is that it's to attract males ie for sexual purposes. My own personal guess is that it might be something to do with comforting children- they all seem to love being cuddled to breasts, even when they're not bf. But anyway, anyone who says you've lost sight of what your breasts are for isn't conversant with mainstream evolutionary theory on the matter. The issue isn't you seeing your breasts as sexual, it's seeing them as only sexual (of course they are your breasts to do with as you choose and there'd be nothing wrong at all with you seeing them as wholly for either breastfeeding or sex, when I say 'issue' I mean from an evolutionary perspective).

For the record, I loathe having my breasts touched and therefore don't use them for either feeding or sexual purposes, lest anyone thinks me biased. They just fill out/ruin the line of my tops, according to one's preference.

Flossie82 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:08:37

Why express? If you are going to give the baby your breastmilk, how is it better expressed? Just more hassle and more potential for the baby to refuse it. Same risk of transmission of anything that may be in the milk

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 01-Jul-13 22:17:48

That's really quite interesting chunderella, I find evolution fascinating. I think I personally would go with the idea that breast tissue has evolved to attract a mate.

Although I didn't agree with grunts judgement of my attitude towards my breasts, I do agree with some of what she said. I have spoken to quite a few friends who are disgusted by the idea of breast feeding and I do feel that they have lost sight of one of the main purposes of breasts. A large proportion of my friends (mainly in their early 20's if that's relevant) have chosen to ff, as bfing is seen as a bit gross. It's a shame really.

Chunderella Mon 01-Jul-13 22:30:42

For me the issue with the idea that breasts are ornamentation is that there are lots of people and some cultures that don't find them to be so. The theory doesn't really explain that, to my mind.

I agree there are people who think bf is somehow dirty, which is wrong. Anyone who thinks that should keep it to themself.

weakestlink Mon 01-Jul-13 22:35:26

I would be very upset if someone else breastfed my baby without talking to me first!!!!

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 01-Jul-13 22:37:15

Ooh good point! You may be right on the snugglyness factor then (to put it ever so scientifically).

scottishmummy Mon 01-Jul-13 22:39:11

Good grief,it's intrusive and inappropriate to bf someone baby without consent

AndHarry Mon 01-Jul-13 22:41:11

Flossie I'd express first because if my friend did have a problem with me breastfeeding her baby I'd want us both to know that I'd exhausted the other options first.

urmydarlings Mon 01-Jul-13 22:43:02

op where are you? update please

tungthai Tue 02-Jul-13 07:15:50

Where does it say that the baby is exclusively bf? The OP doesn't state whether he is bf or ff.

SoupDragon Tue 02-Jul-13 07:23:41

thepigflu Mon 01-Jul-13 12:58:19

He's three months old and exclusively breastfed

Chunderella Tue 02-Jul-13 08:01:21

Surely it's inappropriate and intrusive to feed a baby in any way without parental permission? But in this case, OPs hand is rather forced. To listen to some of you, you'd think she was wandering the streets jabbing her tit into the mouths of unsuspecting infants the moment their carers backs are turned.

kungfupannda Tue 02-Jul-13 08:15:31

I suspect that this is all a bit hypothetical since the OP has posted and run, but who in their right minds agrees to look after a 3 month old EBF baby without any discussion about how said baby should be fed? Surely it's the first thing you would ask? The OP hasn't suggested that this was an emergency of any sort.

But, if there genuinely was no discussion, and the baby had been crying for food for nearly an hour, I would absolutely feed it. Ideally with expressed milk, but if there was none, or the baby wouldn't take a bottle, I would feed directly. And if the baby's mother had a go at me about it, she would be finding herself another babysitter and another friend.

What kind of person leaves a small baby for a planned 3 hours absence without making any sort of provision for the baby to be fed? And is then uncontactable? If the mother has that little care for whether or not her baby is hungry and distressed, then she can shout and yell all she likes after the fact.

At some point the baby has to be fed. How long should it be left in distress before it is acceptable to take whatever measures necessary to do so? The mother's feelings do not take priority over the basic physical needs of a 3 month old baby.

Polyethyl Tue 02-Jul-13 08:26:15

If you trust a friend enough to leave your baby with them in loco parentis, then you should trust them to make decisions about feeding a distressed baby.

I would be ok with my friend feeding my baby - in the unlikely event of me not having left a bottle of expressed milk. After all it wasn't long ago that wet nurses were common.

I'm sincerely hoping that if the mother still hasn't shown up, that the OP has fed the baby! Where are you OP?

Fairyegg Tue 02-Jul-13 08:38:16

I would far rather someone bf my baby than gave him formula. By expressing and trying to cup feed you are making it slightly less personal than bfing, however if that didn't work I would be happy for someone I Knew well to bf direct. All these people posting about just giving baby a bottle clealy have no idea that most bf babies just wouldn't know what to Do with one.

Shamoy Tue 02-Jul-13 12:25:51

If you agreed to look after a tiny bf baby for 3 hours then you need to do that until the 3 hours are up!
I would never take a baby that age to look after for 3 hours without asking what should I do if he becomes distressed and hungry...
If that was my baby and I came back within the 3 hours agreed to find you'd breast fed him, I would be furious!!!
If on the other hand I was delayed and couldn't be got hold of, and returned at least 3.5 hours after drop off say,then I'd find it acceptable that you fed him.
You really should have sorted it out though when you agreed to babysit!!!

UnicornsPooGlitter Tue 02-Jul-13 12:41:04

There was another thread recently about a woman BFing someone else's baby.

Disappearing Tue 02-Jul-13 12:47:50

Breast milk is a bodily fluid, so to feed someone else's baby is akin to having a blood transfusion or similar, this is why cows milk is pasteurised. Human milk is way more pathogenic to humans than cows milk as obv we are the same species, think of transmission of bird flu between humans vs. between birds. A baby has been inside its own mother before birth, so has already shared all blood/germs/viruses etc. before birth, someone else's baby is obv not in that position.

ICBINEG Tue 02-Jul-13 13:48:46


"Breast milk is a bodily fluid, so to feed someone else's baby is akin to having a blood transfusion or similar,"

No it isn't. Completely different things are transmissible through blood and milk. The vast majority of things you could catch from a transfusion you cannot catch from milk.

"this is why cows milk is pasteurised."

No it isn't. Cows milk is pasturised because it has to travel a long way before being drunk, and all milk contains as small amount of bacteria at point of origin. If you wanted to store breast milk for a week while you got it to the shops you would have to pasturise that too, but seeing as it is used straight away, you don't.

"A baby has been inside its own mother before birth, so has already shared all blood/germs/viruses etc. before birth, someone else's baby is obv not in that position."

This is total shit. Unless something went wrong during birth or there is an internal bleed, the baby has not shared blood with the mother, and hence has not shared any blood based viruses. For evidence of this consider that not all babies born to HIV positive mothers are HIV positive. Consider that this is also true if they BF their babies

Apart from that what you said was accurate.....

ICBINEG Tue 02-Jul-13 13:50:46

BTW milk is a bodily fluid, but it is most closely related to sweat. Anyone think you can get HIV by getting someone's sweat on you?

RibenaFiend Tue 02-Jul-13 16:46:00

In that position I would like to think that I would be incredibly grateful that someone would offer to nurse my ebf child. Of course HIV etc is a real consideration but I can't believe I would leave a 12 week old baby with anyone other than my closest friends and we all know each other as well as ourself.

tiktok Tue 02-Jul-13 17:09:59

* Human* milk is way more pathogenic to humans than cows milk

hahahahahahaha - where are you getting your info from, disappearing???

However, you are right that babies don't get foot and mouth disease from formula.....

RiotsNotDiets Tue 02-Jul-13 19:38:33

Apart from that what you said was accurate.....
<snorts> Well said ICBINEG!

I've done it in the past and same mum fed my DD. they are 3 weeks apart in age. Was never an issue and it meant no bloody expressing which I hated.
I'm quite shock that people are so upset as we never gave it a second thought. We have been v good friends for over 20 years though.

well, we'll never know will we...

Blarhdy OPs never coming back to update. It's vair rude.

I would be happy with someone else BFing my baby.

melika Wed 03-Jul-13 14:36:21

Just no.

stopprocrastinating Wed 03-Jul-13 14:49:42

It wouldn't bother me, but understand why it would bother others. I could never have left my 3 month old baby for three hours though. An hour tops.

Emilythornesbff Wed 03-Jul-13 14:54:52

Has anyone fed that baby yet? grin
Fwiw. I wouldn't mind a close friend bfeeding my baby.
I would be livid if someone gave her formula.
But whatcha sposed to do in op's situation??

LouiseSmith Wed 03-Jul-13 17:20:55

@AnyFucker - was hardly a shit storm.

claraschu Wed 03-Jul-13 17:35:24

I have breastfed friends' babies, and they have breastfed mine. I would be grateful to you for feeding the baby, but I would never have left a baby that age without discussing feeding ahead of time (never would have left the baby at all actually).

Why is it not horrifying to people that you are drinking the milk of a cow? To me, this is much more strange.

chocolatemartini Wed 03-Jul-13 17:38:12

Glad someone could be bothered to put disappearing right. People do make up random stuff and try to pass it off as fact hmm hope the baby got fed anyway and the mother returned. I'd have fed it if the mother was later than she said he would be. Poor thing.

zeeboo Wed 03-Jul-13 17:40:53

I'd never leave a babysitter of mine in this situation but if someone gave my ebf baby formula it would be the last time I spoke to them. I'd be incandescent. Do people not understand about the virgin gut?
Always, breast milk from mothers breast, mothers breast milk expressed, donor milk, and formula as a very last resort.

Chunderella Wed 03-Jul-13 18:59:01

I understand that it's a theory.

I just want the OP to come back - I'm feeling like a stalker on this thread! blush

TeamSouthfields Wed 03-Jul-13 19:19:53

Why wud someone leave there 3 month old baby for 3 hours, knowing they maybe Hungry !?

scottishmummy Wed 03-Jul-13 19:58:23

Well it's not reckless abandonment.maybe had to go out,had appt,maybe wanted break

Emilythornesbff Wed 03-Jul-13 20:11:56

I guess she was just over optimistic about feed times.
Maybe baby only f every three or four hours.

OHforDUCKScake Wed 03-Jul-13 20:40:41

Its just dawned on me.

The OP never mentioned whether she was lactating. Perhaps she has no children, but wondered if she should just give it her breast?

I watched a film like that once, THAT was weird.

OHforDUCKScake Wed 03-Jul-13 21:11:51

<tumble weed>

Now Im stuck trying to remember the name of that film.

loismustdieatyahoodotcom Wed 03-Jul-13 21:16:07

the hand that rocked the cradle maybe?

OHforDUCKScake Wed 03-Jul-13 21:30:11

That sounds familiar.

Jaynebxl Wed 03-Jul-13 21:30:14

That crossed my mind too,

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