We all know a content baby is a fed baby and, if ever there was a photo to sum this up, it’s this sweet snap shared by mum and volunteer wet-nurse Rebecca Wanosik.
The precious picture shared on Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk shows two babies happily feeding from Rebecca’s breasts side-by-side and hand-in-hand.
And, as the caption explains, at least one of the children she is feeding is not her own.
“So last Friday night while I was carving and building a cake, I received a random text from one of my friends asking if I could feed a stranger’s baby. Was there ever a question? The baby’s mother was having surgery and the baby is exclusively breastfed and refused a bottle,” Rebecca writes.
“When the baby arrived you could tell she was hungry and exhausted and just needed some milk. I did what I hope any person would do for my child in a time of despair. I fed a stranger’s baby.
“I was so surprised by just how many people thought it was weird, or unnatural. They are boobs, they are meant to feed babies. Also, in case anyone forgot, they are mine, so I’m fairly certain I choose what happens with them.
“Regardless, I took an amazing photo tandem nursing these two babies together and it shows that hungry babies don’t care, they just need to be fed.”
The post on Breastfeeding Mama Talk’s page came after Facebook shut down Rebecca’s own account when someone complained about her sharing the sweet picture to her friends.
Rebecca’s husband Anthony Wasonik reposted his wife’ picture and encouraged the rest of the world to share it too, declaring his unwavering support for her selfless act of breastfeeding.
“I am very proud of this woman and everything she stands for. I am proud to call her my wife!!” he wrote.
But wet-nursing, where a woman breastfeeds a baby that’s not her own, is not a new phenomenon.
Western Sydney University School of Nursing researcher Karleen Gribble wrote an article for The Conversation where she explained wet nursing is “as old as history itself”.
During her research she found women shared milk with one another for many reasons, from those battling breast cancer to those with chronic low milk supply.
Her research also revealed women are aware of risks with using another mother’s milk, but saw similar risks associated with using infant formula, which many in the study had tried with adverse results.
Kathleen says women, “should be supported in their decision rather than censured”.
And we, and many who commented on Rebecca’s post, couldn’t agree more that when it comes to babies, fed is best – no matter how it happens.
“Great job! My grandma nursed a baby of her neighbour who passed away during labour. Grandma nursed that baby for six months while nursing her own baby who is my mum! Kudos to you for being an amazing human being!” Facebook user Krish SP writes.
“My sister breastfed my newborn while I was in hospital having surgery. Some thought it was weird. I just wanted my baby fed. We can do amazing things,” another user Jessica Doyle wrote.