My sister in law breastfed my son before I did

my sister in law breastfed my son 7

Yes you read the title right. I feel strongly about the experience, I want to share it, mostly because I am proud of it. I stand by my choice and I would do it again.

When I gave birth to my son I had a lot of problems, which I won’t go in to detail about now. If you want me to do a post on this specifically, just leave me a comment below and let me know.

The placenta is your babies support system in the womb, it provides nutrients and feeds the baby as such, my placenta showed deterioration (premature aging), in a scan before birth.  I don’t feel my son had adequate amounts of food stores before he was born, my milk also took a while to come in after birth, I feel these contributing circumstances made my son hungry faster, the colostrum just wasn’t enough for him.

Hours after he was born he would just scream, for long periods of time even after suckling at the breast for a long time. I know he was trying to get my milk to come in, but it was more than that, I had already breezed through this with my daughter having no problems with my milk coming in I knew something was up, he just wasn’t content.

He would be on my breast for what felt like all day, never satisfied. After getting discharged from hospital we were sent home, he still didn’t stop crying. I knew my milk hadn’t come in because I know the feeling you get in your nipples when you get the let-down. But I knew I had colostrum. However I wasn’t sure why he kept crying so badly, he was devastated.

So late one night, well at about 3am in the morning, no formula as back up, no shops open selling formula. I was breastfeeding him, and heard his tummy rumbling loudly. My mother in law was with me and I told her straight away that he was hungry. I was crying: “I’m not producing any milk for him. He is starving.” I didn’t know what I could do at this point. I had him at my breast constantly, I am a second timer at breastfeeding and know how much they feed at the beginning stages. But this was not a happy contented baby. When I heard his tummy it confirmed for me what I already knew, my boy was starving hungry. I was in bits at this point.  My mother in law immediately went in search of an open shop for some formula.

When she had gone, a thought popped into my head that my sister in law Gemma was still breastfeeding her 6 month old daughter. I just instinctively knew I needed her to come over and feed my son for me.

So we called and asked her. My mother in law wasn’t too sure she would agree and my husband was a bit upset with me for asking, he too wasn’t sure. But I sat down and explained my views on it.

It’s natural fresh milk, from a family member, in actual fact probably a more realistic alternative to formula. My wonderful sister in law left her warm bed and sleeping baby to come and feed my starving four day old boy.

As soon as she arrived she sat on the sofa, and I passed him over, he was crying so much. She placed his little mouth to her breast, he latched on straight away and guzzled down her milk.

I have to say it was a very emotional experience watching my sister in law feed my new-born, but it felt so utterly natural. My little boy was filling his hunger pangs and that in itself made me so happy. Tears filled my eyes as I saw how contented he was at her breast and in her arms. You could tell he was starving from the speed at which he suckled. I literally looked at my sister in law at that moment and I was so thankful for such a wonderfully loving person. So thankful she could be there, so thankful she was still breastfeeding, and so thankful she could give my son what I couldn’t.

Completely milk drunk he fell straight into a heavenly sleep. My baby was happy. I was happy, my sister in law, mother in law all happy. (As a side note, my milk came in a couple of hours after)

Of course I made the best decision. I couldn’t have asked for a better person on this earth, who I would have loved more than my sister in law, to be able to bestow the beautiful gift of being the first person to feed my 4 day old boy; a special bond between them that will last forever. Breastfeeding sure is magical, beautiful, and sacred, it really is a gift.

In that moment I understood why some woman wet nurse and life is so amazingly vast with such wonderful choices available to us all at our own will. Whichever a mother chooses for her child, if it is for love and in the child’s best interest, who are we to judge?

All I can say is in that moment of need my son, starving, I willingly, with pleasure, gave him over to be fed by my sister in law and I would do it again.

Love is what makes the world go round and breastfeeding is love.

So I urge all mums, parent with your intuition, with your motherly instinct, because those feelings are never wrong. As a mum you just know and you always will know.

I would love to know your thoughts on this, please share how this made you feel.

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  1. jenny
    January 19, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    My granddaughter was 3 months old when my youngest daughter was born, she was 9lb 12oz, very hungry and did severe damage to my nipples during her first day as I still had so much pain relief in my system, I fed and fed and fed but she was a big hungry baby, my daughter having plenty of milk for her baby expressed many bottles and we topped my baby up with her sisters milk, my daughter has since had another baby, a little boy, she tandem feeds both her children and I have fed them both too, all breastfed at 15 months, 12 months and 4 months, long may the boobie milk continue!

    • Tanita
      January 19, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Hey Jenny, that’s amazing. Beautiful beautiful to hear. Thank you so much or sharing x

  2. Ticki
    January 19, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Beautifully told. An emotional time for you all. x

  3. naomi powell
    January 19, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Wow wow wow i think your an amazing mom who met the needs of her baby you have an amaxing family to do that for each other with open arms and hearts, i think it makes yiu closer as a family too and your sister in law gave you a wonderful gift xxxx

  4. leonie
    January 19, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    this made me feel emotional! I think that’s such an amazing moment. so lovely xx

  5. January 19, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Oh wow, what an amazing experience for you to share and who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t been there? x

  6. Gemma
    January 19, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    This made me cry, I never knew exactly how you felt, I just remember coming over and saying shall I express but he was screaming, and you said please just feed him now. I felt uncomfortable initially as this is a mother and child bond but it was a different bond for me, an auntie and nephew bond :).

    Love you Tanita xxx

  7. Roxanne Pellew
    January 20, 2015 / 4:21 am

    Beautiful xx

  8. January 20, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    What a lovely story. X

  9. Kelly Stewart
    January 20, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    What a wonderful sister in law, how heartwarming xx

  10. mummyandmonkeys
    January 21, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    Aww this is lovely, what a brilliant sister in law you have x

  11. January 22, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Wow what an incredible story, and what a lovely sister-in-law. Thanks for linking up to the list (although it isn’t technically a list, it was lovely to read) x

  12. Annie
    January 23, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    This brought a year to my eye! Such a beautiful story, thankyou for sharing

    • Annie
      January 23, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      I meant tear!

  13. January 23, 2015 / 4:28 pm

    Aww this is such a lovely post. Your sister in law is such an amazing woman and I’m so glad you’ve spoken out about it. I would totally do the same in your situation x

  14. January 23, 2015 / 6:56 pm

    What a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing. Your son & sister in law will always have such a precious bond x

  15. Baby Toddler Me
    January 27, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    Tanita, thank you for sharing this. You showed selfless love in what you did for your son. Well done for trusting your mother’s instincts. And your sister-in-law sounds amazing! x

  16. travelingchristie
    February 6, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    Ah this is lovely and yes the priority is the babies health you are so right to have asked her, xx

  17. Baf
    March 28, 2015 / 10:06 am

    I have never heard this story Tanita! What a loving and sharing experience to ensure Archie was well and happy. I think you are both amazing and caring and so true to your little ones. So proud of you both my beautiful cousins x love you
    Your blog is brilliant x x x

    • Tanita
      April 1, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      Aw thank you Baf! love you too x

  18. June 22, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    T this is one of the most beautiful blog posts I’ve ever read … very moving, very honest and very beautiful … thank you for sharing such a personal and intimate part of your lives. I agree that I’d have let someone do that for me when small person was poorly, or would be happy to help someone else.
    You are a lovely writer and a true inspiration

    • Tanita
      June 22, 2015 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you so much Ellie, your comment really means a lot to me. I felt compelled to share it as it was something that was almost normal to me and I feel more people needed to be aware that there is nothing wrong with it, and I was lucky enough to only get positive comments from this post, so it seems we are living in a world with very many beautiful mothers. x

  19. July 23, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    I agree with you completely. If a loving family member is able and willing – why spoil the relationship between baby and breast with a bottle?
    I had the opposite problem – I had plenty of milk, but my Little Miss just wasn’t hungry. He blood sugars dropped and we ended up force-feeding her formula from a cup to keep her out of SCBU!
    Very brave for sharing – great post xx

    • Tanita
      August 8, 2015 / 8:32 pm

      Oh wow bless you and baby. Well done you for doing the best you could for your little girl. xx

  20. Milly
    September 21, 2015 / 9:16 am

    Hi Tanita, I’ve just read this post and it spoke to me so loudly. I have IGT which means I don’t have enough glands in my breasts to make enough milk, and Bryony was just like your little Archie was, but for the first two weeks of her life. Those first two weeks for me were honestly hell on earth hearing her cry in desperate hunger for hours on end. She lost 13% of her body weight before we eventually gave in and supplemented with formula. I wanted to use donor breast milk but my other half wasn’t supportive as we wouldn’t know the donor personally. If I would of had a family member willing to donate milk to my daughter to top up instead of formula, I would have jumped at the chance. How lovely that your sister was so willing to help you! A wonderful story to read xxx

  21. January 25, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    This is such a beautiful post Tanita, I felt really emotional reading I can only imagine how that felt but I think it’s truly wonderful. I am crying xxx

    • Tanita
      January 25, 2016 / 9:55 pm

      Aw bless you Amy! Yes it was a moment indeed. My son has a very special bond with his aunty. I feel very privileged to have been able to experience that x

  22. August 15, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this and your title of the post admittedly me me first go “whaaat”, but I just knew I had to read it! I sooo struggled with my milk coming in too and totally understand why you chose to do this, if I’d have been you I would have done the same. I just love it and think its great to go against what people think is the ‘norm’!

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