Commenters on a popular internet forum criticized a woman after her son-in-law found out she was trying to breastfeed her four-month-old daughter.
The anonymous father, known only as u/SammyandMe35, posted about his mother-in-law on the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole and received nearly 11,000 upvotes and 760 comments, many of which denounced the woman for crossing various important limits. .
In the post titled “AITA, my MIL was transferred to me after she broke into my house and fired my nanny,” the man explained that his wife Anne, 34, died after giving birth to their daughter, Sammy.
Due to a difficult pregnancy, the man already took an indefinite leave of absence for three months before Sammy was born.
The man said Sammy is now four months old and needed to find a babysitter so he could go back to work. When he asked his mother-in-law, Sandra, 56, if he could recommend a babysitter, she insisted on doing it herself.
He decided to give Sandra a key to the house with the agreement that she would come to the house 30 minutes before he left for work and stay for dinner after putting Sammy to sleep.
“Everything was fine for the first few weeks until I realized Sammy wasn’t feeding as much. His formula had barely been touched,” the post read. “I asked Sandra about it and why Sammy isn’t feeding right. He said he was trying to breastfeed my daughter. At first I thought she was kidding but then I realized she wasn’t.”
The man said Sandra told him she needs Sammy to “turn on for a few minutes every day” to “activate her milk supply.”
Breastfeeding without pregnancy, also called induced lactation, is more common than some think, and many adoptive parents use various methods to breastfeed their baby, even if they didn’t deliver.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lactation can be induced by replicating the hormonal process that causes milk production.
“If you have months to prepare, your health care provider might prescribe hormone therapy, such as estrogen or progesterone supplementation, to mimic the effects of pregnancy,” Melissa A. Kurke wrote for the Mayo Clinic.
Hormone therapy can last for months and requires preparation, about two months. Although milk can be produced, health care providers recommend supplemental feeding with formula to ensure that the baby gets enough food.
“I almost lost him, I told him he can’t do that and he needs to stop,” the post read. “She said she would, but I caught her again when I walked into my daughter’s room and she was forcing Sammy to latch on. I confronted her and told her she was no longer babysitting my baby. I didn’t ask her to bring me back. the key like her.” Still, welcome to visit us at any time.”
She said she took a week off to find a babysitter and take care of her daughter. Finally, she found one, but after two days she did not return. When she called to ask what happened, she told him that her “mother” fired her the day before.
“I asked him to describe the woman and I was furious when I realized it was Sandra. She entered my house using her key and fired my babysitter,” the post read. “I was about to call her when she showed up and she told me a convoluted story about how I hired an incompetent babysitter… I told her to get the hell out of her but she refused and told me she would call CPS.” [Child Protective Services] because I’m putting my son in danger.
The two got into an argument before he called the police and Sandra was charged with trespassing. He said that he knew Sandra was grieving for her daughter, but that she crossed the line by ignoring her wishes.
“She is very upset with me. My SIL and BIL call me ruthless and now I am doubting myself. Have I gone too far by calling the police? AITA?” she concluded the post.
In an update, the man said he contacted CPS to let them know about the situation and that his mother, a retired family law attorney, also helped him discuss his options. He also said that he updated the security system on his home.
“BIL and SIL know the whole story and also think forcing Sammy to breastfeed was wrong, but they are mad at me for calling the police on MIL and having them raid it,” the update reads. “They said it was unnecessary and cruel to do it to a grieving mother.”
More than 760 users commented on the post, with almost all calling Sandra’s behavior inappropriate and dangerous as she was not feeding her granddaughter properly.
“NTA. Your attempt to breastfeed your daughter without your permission is disgusting and completely wrong,” one user commented. “Beyond that, DID YOU FIRE YOUR BABYSITTER? She would ask for the key back and set some serious boundaries.”
“Oh… My… God… NTA. Keep that crazy man away from your son, who cares if he’s his grandfather,” another user commented. “Not only was it so disgusting, but he was also starving his child.”
But other users criticized the commenters for saying that it was not possible for the grandmother to breastfeed.
“I’m not saying I should have breastfed if dad said no, but please stop saying people can’t produce milk,” one user commented. “There are entire cultures where the grandmother reactivates her mammary glands to feed her grandchildren and while in our culture that is not the norm, it is in theirs.”
news week contacted u/SammyandMe35 for comment.