During a live chat, a Slate reporter received a disturbing question from a reader. The reader shared that she discovered her daycare provider breastfeeding her baby without her permission. Her daycare provider was a “natural minded” mother that wanted to help remove the chemicals the baby received from the formula she was fed.
During the chat, the reader revealed that she was a single mother to an adopted child. Because she adopted the child and wasn’t lactating, the mother opted to feed her child formula.
Initially, when she found the daycare provider, the mother shared with her that she fed her child formula. Sanctimommy daycare provider was not ok with her decision.
The only bump in the road was on the first day when I pulled out the formula and bottles, and she wrinkled her nose and said, “You feed her that slop?”
According to the single mother, sanctimommy daycare lady has a child a little bit older than her daughter. For the past two months, the mother used the daycare without issue. However, last week she went to pick up her daughter, and the crap hit the fan.
“Two months later, this past Friday, I got off work early and decided to pick up my daughter early. There is a side door where parents can enter without knocking, so I did that. I started the sign-out process, and as I was doing so, the day care assistant walked by and saw me.
She tried to engage me with conversation, but I wanted to get my daughter so I brushed by her. When I got to the area of the house where my daughter was, I about fell over. The day care provider was NURSING MY BABY!”
The mother went on to say,
“I marched over, took the baby from her arms, and asked her if she was crazy. The provider said that she was saving my baby from chemicals I was trying to force into her body and I should thank her for doing it all these months! I didn’t say anything; I just grabbed the diaper bag and got the hell out of there.”
After leaving the daycare, the mother realized she needed to report the incident but wasn’t sure how. Additionally, she wondered if blasting the woman on social media would be appropriate.
Any mother that walked into this type of situation would naturally feel a mix of shock, disgust, horror, anger, and murderous rage. By the daycare worker nursing the child without permission, she crossed a major boundary. Not only did she cross boundaries, she completely broke the trust parents establish with caregivers.
Caregivers are entrusted to keep our children safe during the hours we work. Parents trust the daycare providers to keep their children safe and fed. No part of traditional contracts with daycares includes “wet nurse” services.
The caregiver put her personal belief about “chemicals” above the needs and wants of the parent. Additionally, she took steps to conceal the fact that she was nursing the client’s baby.
Nursing someone else’s child is not that off the wall. Wet nurses have a long history of nursing babies for mothers that are unable to breastfeed or can’t breastfeed. However, mothers that choose to use wet nurses enter an agreement with the wet nurse.
In this case, the daycare provider decided to be the child’s wet nurse behind the mother’s back.
Milk sharing is not an uncommon practice in society. However, there is a risk in a baby using milk from another woman. Diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and tuberculosis can pass through breast milk to the infant. Medications and substances consumed by the woman can also pass through the breastmilk.
Babies using donor milk can be exposed to medications, drugs, and disease through the fluid.
Because of these risks, most people use donor milk that is screened for contaminants. In this case, the mother has no idea what her child might have been exposed to nor did she consent to the practice.
If I were the mother, I would absolutely report the worker to the state licensing board, local police, and contact other parents at the daycare to warn them about the provider. Whether police could charge the provider with a crime depends on the state they live in.
Now, on a really snarky day, I would for sure make a post on a local bulletin board on social media warning the community about the provider. The daycare worker is a threat to children and parents. Nursing a child without consent is abusive and could be traumatic and confusing for the infant.
No matter what this mother decides to do, I hope someone puts this provider on blast. She had no right to nurse anyone else’s child without their consent.
Read the full post here.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
Buy Katie Joy a cup of Coffee.
Individuals wishing to help Katie with her expenses can become patrons. Patrons gain exclusive access to stories, new projects, and future books.