Rebecca Wanosik and her husband, Anthony, are parents to six kids, including one tot who is still breastfeeding.
In others words, she might know a thing or two about parenting.
And, as a longtime parent with six kiddos to show for it, she’s an enthusiastic supporter of making sure that moms who want to breastfeed get the support they need, and that kids who are still nursing have access to breast milk.
At the end of September, Wanosik and her husband managed to carve out a Friday night for a rare dinner date.
As she put it to LittleThings, “My husband and I were on our first real date in about a year… We have six children, so as you can imagine our alone time is sparse.”
Still, even though the date was a rare treat, she didn’t hesitate when — halfway through dinner — a text arrived from a friend.
The text asked if Wanosik, still breastfeeding her baby, might be able to help a little baby girl whose mother was in surgery and unable to nurse.
Wanosik had never met the baby girl’s mother, but there was really never any question; of course she would step in if she was needed.
That little baby girl was at Wanosik’s house within a couple of hours, desperately exhausted, but too hungry to let herself sleep.
“Her poor face looked so sleepy and puffy. It was obvious that she was exhausted and just needed to sleep,” wrote Wanosik.
Wanosik let the two babies nurse in tandem, meaning one baby at each breast.
The two babies, more than happy to share, adorably linked their little hands together in a sweet moment that shows they both found a lot of comfort and happiness in nursing together.
Wanosik captured the sweet moment in a photo, which she posted to Facebook. The image quickly went viral, racking up 195,000 reactions and more than 82,000 shares.
But despite the many positive reactions, however, the images of Wanosik’s breasts were deemed inappropriate by Facebook and flagged as sexual content.
Many angry comments came rolling in, including remarks like, “Cover up!!!! Nobody wants to see your breast. This is Facebook not sexbook.”
Others said, “Ew, I would not feed another’s baby and don’t want anyone feeding mine… Gross.”
Eventually, Facebook pulled Wanosik’s entire page down because of complaints leveled against the mom.
But Wanosik insisted she was using her breasts exactly as they’re intended to be used: to nourish babies.
“I did what I hope any person would do for my child in a time of despair,” she said. “I fed a stranger’s baby.”
Thankfully, the caring mom’s Facebook page has since been reinstated, and to counter all the negativity, there seems to be no end in sight to the amount of positive comments pouring in.
Unfortunately, she’s just the latest casualty of viral media outrage around breastfeeding, particularly tandem feeding and serving as a wet nurse.
For almost all of human history, women have stepped in to nurse babies that they didn’t carry.
But in recent decades, a taboo has sprung up around breastfeeding a child not your own, as we saw with the woman pictured above, who became a subject of vitriol after photos circulated of her nursing her nephew.
Historically, serving as a wet nurse for another woman’s baby wasn’t just acceptable, it was totally normal practice.
The average woman in history would happily nurse another’s child, with the understanding that there would always be another mom to do the same for her own child, if necessary.
It’s worth noting that tandem breastfeeding has a long-standing historical precedent of its own.
But it’s not always possible; often, women who are nursing will switch sides when one breast is “tapped out.” But if you have milk to spare, it’s often the most efficient option.
For Wanosik, in turn, tandem feeding allowed her to nurture her own child and also support another mother in need by feeding her little one, demonstrating the sisterhood of mothers at its finest.
If you’re interested in learning more about breastfeeding or serving as a wet nurse, check out La Leche League for more information.
And please, don’t forget to SHARE this awesome mom with all of the powerful women and mothers you know!