Oz mums divided over revival of breastfeeding each other's babies

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Melbourne, Nov 02 (ANI): Mothers in Australia have been supporting one another by breastfeeding each other's babies, but some have disagreed with the practice and are not very keen with its revival.

An eastern suburbs mothers' group recently split when some mothers wanted to share both babysitting and breastfeeding.

Frankston mother Sarah Langford, 27, whose daughter, Harriet, is 2 and a half, said she and a close friend were accused of child abuse for breastfeeding each other's children.

"One woman threatened to call the authorities and have our children taken away from us," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.

"But when I am not able to be with her, my daughter still has the comfort of a breast and the important health components of breastmilk. It gives me joy to be able to lend a breast to a friend in need," she revealed.

Langford, who has difficulty expressing breastmilk, said it was a natural and practical way of supporting trusted friends.

Her friend, Sarah McLean, 25, a single mother, said she couldn't always cope with breastfeeding both her daughters, Iris, 3, and Eloise, 16 months.

"Sometimes I'm busy with Eloise or too tired from the constant demands of two children that I don't feel like I can cope with feeding a toddler at that time. If Sarah is there then Iris doesn't miss out," she said.

Women are now offering on the Internet to donate their milk or "cross-nurse" - breastfeed babies other than their own - in a bid to help desperate mums in need.

Advocates of cross-nursing say while it is not widespread, busy lives, mums returning to work, health issues and a growing acceptance that "breast is best" were among reasons for those embracing it.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association says it supports cross feeding if all parties are aware of possible risks and informed consent is given. (ANI)

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