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Woman secretly dry-nurses granddaughter behind daughter's back - and people feel uncomfortable

Elizabeth Gooden was faced with a dilemma when looking after her granddaughter, and did what felt best

Elizabeth Gooden is a mum of four, step-mother to another four children and also a grandmother.

Not only this, but there's only 11 months between her youngest daughter and her two month-old granddaughter.

She's dealt with her fair share of crying babies and poorly tots, but it was only recently that she dealt with a colicky baby for the first time - and the solution which came to her instinctively has divided opinion.

"Having a child and grandchild less than a year apart certainly has its advantages," she tells Scary Mommy .

"My daughter and I have the same pediatrician and belong to the same Mommy group. Our girls even have matching car seats.

"But there was one thing we did not have in common: None of my children ever had colic, so when my daughter asked for advice, I had none to give."

Fast-forward to a few weeks later, and her daughter, who was still at wits end with how to deal with her baby's colic, was getting ready to go back to work.

Elizabeth naturally offered to look after a granddaughter, but was still struggling to think of ways to soother her granddaughter while also having to juggle her own crying baby daughter.

Eventually, it came to her.

Following her instincts, she offered her granddaughter her breast to suckle on, even though she was no longer producing breast milk.

"Taking a seat on the sofa, I took my granddaughter out of the Bjorn and held her close in my arms," Elizabeth explains.

"She was rooting around, and I felt the letdown even though my milk had been dry for months. It was a phantom sensation, but my maternal instincts kicked in and so I latched her on my breast.

Breastfeeding baby

"I didn't think about it really. She rooted, I offered, she accepted. Within a few minutes, she was sound asleep."

When her husband walked in, surprised at the sight that greeted him, "He asked if it was OK to do that, and I couldn't think of a reason it wouldn't be.

"All my children had comfort-nursed. I was used to being a human pacifier, and I was sure my daughter would be happy I soothed her baby by any means necessary."

As it turns out, her daughter was happy with her mum's dry-nursing.

While Elizabeth stand by her actions, however, others have expressed their doubts.

"Ehhhh the ick factor comes in because there is no milk. To each their own, but to me dry nursing isn't exactly a sensible solution to a crying baby," wrote one woman on Facebook.

"As a mother who breastfed, I would flip out if any other woman besides myself breastfed my son!" fumed another.

"She asked after the fact?!? Unbelievable. And the mother said it was OK?! I doubt it."

"Another mum agreed, "You don't just put your nipple in another child's mouth. Grandma or not. she just got lucky her daughter was OK with it."

Whether this outrage is merited or not is up for debate.

Elizabeth wasn't trying to replace her daughter, she claims she simply did what came naturally to her - albeit using a practice which has not been prevalent in the UK for a long time.

 

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