Wet nurses have been a cornerstone of communities for thousands of years, and this mum is tapping into their modern incarnation using social media to feed her newborn.
Sydney mum Joanne Campbell found herself in a tricky spot when she was unable to breastfeed her son Hayden, or feed him with formula.
Hayden was born tongue-tied- a condition where the tongue is attached closely to the bottom of the mouth – so couldn’t breastfeed, and formula caused stomach pains.
The desperate mum took to social media in a bid to find breast milk donors, and the response she received was overwhelming.
“After writing my first post about needing milk for Hayden, I was inundated with messages from women who were willing to help,” she says. “Hayden has benefited so much from other women’s milk.”
Now Joanne picks up almost 1 litre of stranger’s breast milk everyday, and leaves the excess in the freezer.
Joanne says had she not tapped into this somewhat unusual resource things could have gotten bad.
“The mums on Facebook have been a huge lifeline,” she said. “…without them Hayden would still be facing agonising stomach cramps from the formula milk.”
The new mum has faced some backlash from those who find the unusual method offensive.
“Some people find it disgusting and don’t understand why we’d share another human bodily fluid,” she admits, adding her and partner Adam find it ‘normal’ now.
Others are concerned by the use of unregulated donors, but Joanne insists she trusts the women who give her milk.
“I don’t believe any mums on the Facebook group would donate their breast milk if they had anything that could harm another baby,” she says.
Joanne also claims that hospitals in Sydney do not provide breast milk for babies unless they are born premature, leaving her with no choice but to reach out online.
“Ideally we’d be able to access it through clinics and hospitals as we’d know it had been screened for diseases but I trust the mums I meet online,” she says.
Sharing is caring after all, but would you be comfortable with using another woman’s milk?
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