A woman breastfed her friend's baby, ruining a friendship in the process.
In a Reddit post on r/AmITheA**Hole — a group where readers share stories in an attempt to see if they were a jerk in the situation — user u/irritableseebass says, following the birth of her friend's bundle of joy, she had a tough go with postpartum depression. To try and offer some support, u/irritableseebass spent as much time as possible with the new mom, but recently, she had to stop because she had a bundle of joy of her own. She could tell that, despite having her own familial obligations, the other mother was still having problems, so the Redditor offered to watch both children in order to help the struggling mom relax.
So, they did just that, and the baby was dropped off along with a bag of items u/irritableseebass would need for the job. Everything seemed to be going as planned, but then the baby got hungry. The Redditor says that since her friend's child has a digestive problem, she can only feed him formula or breastmilk, but when she went to check the bag, there was nothing for the child to ingest. So, she panicked.
"I tried calling her about four times and she kept sending me to voicemail so I text her. She had read receipts on so I know she saw my texts," writes u/irritableseebass, saying she attempted several more phone calls and had no way to buy the formula. "So I sat down and breastfed him myself."
When the friend returned, the mom-turned-babysitter told her about the situation, and the friend got angry. After taking the baby home, the friend blocked our storyteller and proceeded to post some less-than-kind comments about the care her child received.
Turning to Reddit, u/irritableseebass wanted to know if she handled the situation correctly. While the post is too new for the group to have made an official vote as of this writing, it appears most users are on the writer's side, but they're also worried about the friend. It seems pretty agreed upon that if she exhausted every other possibility, this was the best option to ensure the baby doesn't starve, but the behavior of her friend could be a sign of severe postpartum depression.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Postpartum depression can occur within the first month giving birth, and can last for months — even developing into more chronic depression if left untreated. They say that a history of depression — whether personal or familial — can be a factor, but it's important that individuals suffering seek help. Treatments vary from cognitive therapy to antidepressants, but it depends on the individual.