Pregnancy and birth are powerful experiences that can bring people together. But it also brings up powerful emotions that can cause strife.
Redditor airabreastfed has an issue with her sister. Because of a situation with her sister-in-law (SIL), her sister is demanding something that might be unreasonable.
The original poster (OP) denied her sister’s request, and now the situation is worse. To figure out whether what she did was wrong, OP took her story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for giving my [sister-in-law] some of my breastmilk but not my sister?”
What could have caused this situation?
“I(31, female) have an 11 week old daughter, my SIL has a 14 week old son (yes this was planned). My sister is currently 3 months pregnant. These are all our first children.”
“SIL and I are very close (known each other since primary type close), several years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and chose to have a double mastectomy. She had arranged to get collustrum from the hospital store for her son and the formula feed but due to the virus our hospital had very little in stock and they were rationing what they had so she would’ve only gotten a couple of mls.”
“I was lucky(?🙄) enough that I had been leaking since 33 weeks so I had started to collect it and had planned on donating my excess to the hospital. When she told me about her situation I offered her some of my oversupply.”
“This worked great(I actually still have some left over to give the hospital) and then she shifted to formula when her son was 4 days old. When my daughter was born I developed a very forceful let down and oversupply that made her gassy and spilly so my midwife recommended I pump before feedings.”
“This turned into a freezer full of stored milk and I offered some to my SIL as she was having issues with having tried 9 formulas and 2 he was allergic to and the others made him spilly and gassy.”
“This has worked really well for us over the last 10 weeks, both babies are doing amazing and no more upset tummies.”
This is a great situation that happened to work out.
“However, my sister has now asked me to do this for her when her baby is born because she doesn’t want to breastfeed as she doesn’t want to get saggy boobs or stretch marks.”
“I declined because by the time her baby is born I will be back at work and my daughter will be moving onto solids and my job isn’t pumping friendly for a variety of reasons. She has now gone apesh*t at me and put me and SIL on blast on various social media platforms for ‘deliberately excluding her’ and ‘wanting to see her baby suffer’.”
“No amount of explanation calms her down and I’m starting to wonder if I should just do it as her big sister.”
On the AITA board, people explain their story, what they did and are then judged for their action.
This is done with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP’s situation is more of a happy accident than anything.
She started producing milk early, and her SIL couldn’t breastfeed. And while their kids are both breastfeeding, OP is currently producing enough to help them both.
But OP’s sister is demanding a similar setup, not because she can’t breastfeed, but because she doesn’t want to.
OP has no responsibility to accommodate her sister in this situation, and is NTA.
“Your sister doesn’t have any medical problems where you need to give it to her. It seems you won’t even have any when she has her baby so there’s no point in your sister doing this. she can just get some from the store or hospital.”
“Definitely NTA” – maxdog3
“Wait, so your sister is upset that you are supporting a cancer survivor’s feeding journey because you won’t do the same for her and her reasoning is pure vanity?”
“So using her logic, you should continue to ‘make your boobs saggy and risk stretch marks’ so that she doesn’t have to? Oh and she wants you to do this towards the end of your breastfeeding journey with your own child.”
“This is laughable. You are NOT an a**hole but your sister is.” – whisperatmidnight
“NTA!!! NTA!!! NTA!!!”
“Your SIL needing milk for a valid medical reason is not the same as your sister not wanting saggy boobs. she actually doesn’t NEED to breastfeed at all if she doesn’t want to.”
“your body and whatever it produces is yours and if you don’t want to continue pumping far past when you would normally stop, you don’t have to. if she won’t listen, she won’t listen.”
“it sounds like everyone is able to see the fool of herself she’s making anyway. since she’s pregnant she’s probably hormonal as all hell so i would honestly just give her time and space to calm down and see if she even brings it up again once the baby is born. also, congrats!” – vjaurleila
“I mean, wow. You providing milk for your SIL was just a happy coincidence, not a planned favor.”
“Not to mention, she doesn’t want to breastfeed, and SIL is physically incapable of breastfeeding. It’s unreasonable of her to expect you to continue pumping after your baby no longer needs milk purely for her convenience.”
‘You’re definitely NTA.” – tergiversensation
Some of the other commenters discussed some of the myths surrounding pregnancy.
“Nta. You are not a breastmilk machine and if her priority is not to have saggy boobs over her child then its on her.”
“Fed is best. Her kid wont suffer.”
“Also, tell her to educate herself as breastfeeding or pumping doesnt cause saggy boobs.” – jasemina8487
“They can actually sag from pregnancy alone, not nursing. If she’s focused in appearance, nursing can help some women lose the baby weight (not all, nursing hunger is worse than pregnant hunger).” – JaPrufr0ck
“One thing is the situation your SIL has encountered (with the cancer, the hospital and the formulas), and an other deciding not to breastfeed because you don’t WANT TO, which I’m not judging but there’s no comparison at all.”
“If your sister doesn’t plan on breastfeeding then she doesn’t need anyone’s milk. She gets formula.”
“And if she believes that she can compare her decision with your SIL then she’s got some issues, such as no empathy at all.” – Andwhatabouttitties
OP is mostly trapped in a sense of responsibility to family. Her sister is kicking up a stink over OP sharing her breast milk with someone else, and she wants it too.
But OP doesn’t have a responsibility to produce breast milk for her sister. Maybe given some time, her sister can see that.