This article first published on Practical Parenting.
People are losing their minds over a strange breastfeeding column published in The Globe.
Titled, The joy (and politics) of breastfeeding someone else’s baby, Canadian author and newspaper columnist Leah McLaren recalls the first time she tried to breastfeed someone else’s baby.
“The breastfeeding incident occurred at a Toronto house party," McLaren, now 41, writes. “I was about 25 and did not have a baby – or even a boyfriend – at the time.”
Walking into a bedroom and spotting what she describes as the “cutest” baby she has ever seen, McLaren picked him up for a cuddle.
“Somehow, my pinky finger ended up in his mouth and I was astonished at the strength of his sucking reflex. 'C’mon lady,' said his eyes. And I suddenly knew what he wanted. And I, of course, wanted to give him what he wanted. The only problem was, I had no milk. But would it be so bad, I wondered, if I just tried it out – just for a minute – just to see what it felt like?
“I began to unbutton my blouse. Just as I was reaching into my bra, a shortish man with a navy suit walked into the room," and asked for his baby back.
“The man, of course, was Michael Chong," a conservative member of Canada’s parliament, McLaren explained.
“I realise now that it was wrong and rude and frankly a bit weird of me to think I could breastfeed a stranger’s baby just for kicks.
“I hate to think what would have happened if Mr Chong – or worse, his wife – had walked in while I was in the act.”
Years later, McLaren now has children of her own and says, “I have two or three times breastfed my friends’ babies and let my babies, in turn, be fed by them.
“And here’s the odd thing I found about breastfeeding another mother’s infant: It doesn’t actually feel odd at all.”
She finished her post with a word of encouragement for anyone who hasn’t tried co-feeding.
“In any case, this is all to say that breastfeeding is a lovely and marvellous thing, as is co-feeding and everyone should do it. Just don’t try it with a stranger’s baby in a bedroom at a party if you are 25 and stupid.”
The reaction to the article wasn't positive and The Globe decided to take it down, however, an archived copy was discovered.