A woman has sparked a heated debate among parents after she revealed that she breastfeeds both her and her friend's son.
Jessica Colletti, from Pennsylvania, said nursing Charlie Interrante's son “seemed like the natural thing to do” because she was already breastfeeding her son.
Colletti told the Mama Bean parenting blog that she asked permission to nurse Interrante’s son when she began looking after him, after they met at a photoshoot for new mothers. Interrante agreed as her son had not taken to formula milk.
The arrangement has worked out so well that Interrante has moved in with Colletti and her husband, she told the New York Dail News (NYDN).
“Being able to breastfeed her little boy has created a special bond between us all, a bond I will always cherish,” Colletti told Mama Bean.
A grateful Interrante told NYDN that Colletti is “the best mom I’ve ever known”.
But a photo showing Colletti breastfeeding the two children caused controversy when she shared it on Facebook to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
“I watch her son while she works and have been feeding them both for a year! So much love between these milk siblings, it's a special bond between us all,” she wrote, according to The Telegraph.
“This looks like … a porn film,” one man wrote of the image.
“What the HELL is wrong with people?!?!?!” wrote another.
But Colleti defended her and her family arrangement, and hit back at those who were sexualising breastfeeding.
Meanwhile, parents on the Mama Bean Facebook page were more supportive of the two mothers.
“Good for her!! Totally normal and nothing wrong with it,” one woman wrote on Facebook.
“Wet nursing has been happening for thousands of years because women produce milk from their breasts to feed human infants. Where's the problem?” said another.
Rosemary Dodds, the senior policy adviser at National Childbirth Trust, told The Independent that milk-sharing has been a normal practice historically in many cultures.
She went on to argue that mothers should not be judged to their feeding decisions.
“The most important thing is that the mothers are comfortable with it. There is a very small risk of infection and they may want to be sure the person feeding their baby isn’t smoking or taking drugs," she said.
She went on to compare the Coletti's arrangement to receiving milk from an official milk bank.
“The UK Association for Milk Banking provides tested and pasteurised breastmilk from rigorously screened donors. This can be a life-saving service for premature and sick babies," she said.
However, she warned parents against buying breastmilk online from mothers they do not know, as there is a higher risk of contamination.Reuse content