A photo of a mother breast-feeding her own child and her friend’s son is receiving mixed feedback from social media users.
Jessica Anne Colletti, 26, of Pennsylvania, posted the photo on a breast-feeding advocacy page on Facebook. The photo shows her nursing her 16-month-old son and her friend’s 18-month-old son. She referred to the boys as “milk siblings” in the caption.
“Happy World Breastfeeding Week!” Colletti wrote. “I watch her son while she works and have been feeding them both for a year! So much love between these milk siblings, it's a special bond between us all.”
Colletti told the Daily Mail Australia she’s been breast-feeding her friend’s son since he was 5 months old. She said he struggled with formula and that her friend is 100 percent “on board” with the idea.
“She was breast-feeding but didn't have time to pump — I was already (breast-feeding) my son and it just made sense to nourish him in the same way,” Colletti explained. “My friend and her son live with me and my husband. She knows everything about me and trusts me with the care of her child. She knows I want nothing but the best (for) our boys, which is why she supports me breast-feeding our babies.”
The photo has been subject to both positive and negative comments from Facebook users.
“I wish that I could like this a million times!” wrote one user.
“Sorry but that's strange,” wrote another.
Colletti said she is not surprised by the mixed reactions.
“I'm glad to get so much support from breast-feeding advocates and am not surprised by critics — a lot of people are misinformed about breast-feeding relationships,” said Colletti. “The (sexualization) of breasts and the belief that breast milk is gross because it is a bodily fluid has been ingrained in us through society, media and lack of breast-feeding in our daily life.”
Colletti went on to say that she considered deleting the post due to the negative feedback and sudden surge of male friend requests.
Regardless of what people say on social media, Colletti said she will continue to breast-feed her friend’s son for as long as he needs.
“It's healthy to nurse a toddler, it's healthy to extend breast-feeding until a child self weans, it's normal for healthy women to nurse each other's babies when the mother can not be present,” Colletti said.