Chrystal Klein and Stefani Tatavitto are more than just best friends. They are also “breast friends” — because they breastfeed each other’s babies!
The 23-year-old mums from Connecticut USA, who first forged their friendship five years ago via Facebook, are now encouraging other mums to similarly share their milk.
According to Metro, Stefani will often nurse Chrystal’s 19-month-old daughter along with her own two-year-old son when Chrystal needs to work night shifts at the factory where she is employed. In fact, Stefani breastfeeds her friend’s daughter up to six times a week.
And Chrystal returns the favour whenever Stefani needs to go out.
Chrystal says, “I don’t think it’s shocking to nurse another woman’s child – breastfeeding is natural”.
She adds, “If anyone has a problem with it I have not nice words to say to them. You drink breast milk from animals; it’s not that weird to drink breast milk from another human. I don’t care what anyone else has to say – we do what’s best for our families.”
Chrystal also says that it’s reassuring to know that her daughter still has the comfort of breastfeeding and the goodness of breastmilk when they are apart. She also isn’t worried at all that her child will become overly-attached to her friend.
Picture on the left: Chrystal breastfeeds Stefani’s youngest son while Stephani holds Chrystal’s daughter.
Picture on the right: Stephani breastfeeds her own son and Chrystal’s daughter.
Are there risks?
Medical experts caution that giving your baby another mother’s breastmilk may pose some health risks. For example, certain viruses and infections including hepatitis and HIV can be spread through breast milk.
But, Stefani and Chrystal say “they trust each other and what they put in their bodies.” Chrystal knows that Stefani eats a well balanced diet and that she doesn’t drink or smoke. Also, both of them were pregnant at the same time and tested for infections — neither have any.
The practice of giving your baby another woman’s breastmilk is actually not new and is known as “wet nursing”. It was done quite commonly in many cultures in the past.
However, what Stefani and Chrystal practice is probably better described as “cross nursing”, which the experts at La Leche League International define as “the occasional nursing of another’s infant while the mother continues to nurse her own child, often in a child care situation.”
Watch the video below where the two mums talk about their decision to breastfeed each other’s babies.
So mums, the million dollar question is, would you nurse someone’s baby? And would you let someone else breastfeed your baby? Let us know in a comment below.