VIDEO: Young mums breastfeed each other's kids
TWO young mums who breastfeed each other’s children are encouraging other women to share their milk.
Stefani Tatavitto, 23, regularly feeds both her own two-year-old son and her friend Chrystal Klein’s 19-month-old daughter while Chrystal works at a factory.
And when Stefani goes on a night out, Chrystal, also 23, returns the favour – nursing both tots as if they were her own.
The friends, from Connecticut, USA, – who met on Facebook five years ago – started their unusual arrangement when Chrystal’s daughter, Ariana, was just ten months old.
However, the shared nursing does cause problems for Stefani’s son Gage, who lashes out in jealousy when Ariana nurses from his mum.
Neither women’s partners are fazed by the wet nursing and although Stefani nurses Ariana in public, passersby are oblivious to the fact that the child is not her own.
Now Stefani breastfeeds Ariana up to six times a week, but Chrystal insists she isn’t worried about her friend forming a stronger bond with a daughter than she has.
Stefani, who also has a four-year-old son, Noah, said: “I don’t think it’s shocking to nurse another woman’s child – breastfeeding is natural.
“I think it helps Ariana, it keeps her calm and helps her when she’s teething. It’s a big comfort and helps keep her settled.
“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, who also has a five-year-old-son, Aiden, says that she is happy for Stefani to continue feeding her daughter until Ariana weans.
Chrystal said: “Because of Stefani wet nursing I don’t need to pump milk for my daughter or worry about her not having any milk.
“It also makes me feel better to know that my daughter still has that comfort even while I am away from her.”
And despite the bond that comes with breastfeeding, Chrystal isn’t worried about Ariana becoming overly close to her friend.
Chrystal said: “I am not worried about my daughter becoming too attached to Stefani.
“I believe my daughter realises that I’m mommy and Stefani is just offering her milk.
"Whenever we are both with her and she wants milk, typically she will ask me to nurse.
“I would say there are no drawbacks. I only see positive from this.”
So far Stefani and Chrystal haven’t received any criticism for their arrangement, but they realise that some will regard cross-feeding as controversial.
Chrystal said: “My family and friends don’t know that much about our wet nursing arrangements.
“When it comes to breastfeeding though my family is supportive with every decision I make.
“Some people might question it, because I know it’s not ordinary to wet nurse nowadays.
“They probably would just wonder why I would allow someone else to breastfeed my child.
“If anyone has ever brought up to me that if it’s unnatural that I allow someone else to wet-nurse my daughter, I would point out the fact that we drink milk from other animals.
“We don’t know what’s going into their body."
Breastfeeding can spread infections, such as hepatitis and HIV, but Stefani and Chrystal trust each other and what they put in their bodies.
Chrystal said: “My partner was sceptical because she's unsure about what Stefani is putting into her body. Not Stefani specifically but just anyone wet nursing her.
"But we know Stefani has a pretty well diet and she doesn’t smoke or drink.
“We were both pregnant at the same time and we were tested for infections and both of us were clear.
“The fact that Ariana is getting milk from the tap, I mean that’s exactly how we should drink it.”