One mom has found herself in an awkward situation after offering breastmilk to her neighbor who is unable to breastfeed her newborn.
In a letter to Slate’s Dear Prudence advice column, the anonymous mom detailed the situation. According to the column, she and her neighbor, who is named “Tara” in this story, grew closer when the two got pregnant around the same time. Shortly after Tara delivered her baby, however, the two started talking, and that’s when the new mom told her neighbor she couldn’t breastfeed. To help ease her mind, the anonymous mother offered some of her own breastmilk to get her started. The two worked out a delivery time, and shortly after, the next-door baby had some natural breastmilk to feed on.
This was the beginning of a pretty big misunderstanding. It turns out, the mother who penned this Dear Prudence considered this a one-time gesture, while Tara thought this would be a regular occurrence. Expecting more deliveries, the desperate mother began texting her neighbor about another delivery.
“If I said I didn’t want to spend any more time pumping or nursing, she said I could pump on one breast while feeding my son on the other.” says the mom (in a slightly edited post). “When I didn’t give in, she started texting me pictures of her crying daughter with captions like ‘Faye is so sad that her bottle has yucky formula! She misses her yummy breastmilk!'”
Not wanting to cause a situation, the anonymous mom is unsure how to handle the situation. If she blocks Tara’s number, she could come by the apartment, and moving seems like an extreme situation. So, she looked for some advice.
Unsurprisingly, the column sided with her, saying the next door baby is fine using formula. But she did stress the anonymous writer needs to set up clear boundaries, and if things get too bad, contact the landlord.
On that first note, the formula is actually a perfectly reasonable substitute to natural breastmilk. In fact, Health Harvard says that while breastfeeding is ideal for babies, formula is not as bad as Tara is making it seem. There is a reason it was created, and for mother’s who can’t breastfeed, so it’s perfect for her situation. They also say formula is a good way to ween a baby into breastfeeding.