Stefani Tatavitto, 23, has a 2-year-old son while and Chrystal Klein, also 23, has a 19-month-old daughter.
They both are breastfeeding mothers, but the odd thing is, they share their milk, and they encourage fellow mothers to do the same.
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Whenever Stefani is away, her friend Chrystal nurses her baby boy as if he was her own. And Stefani would do the same for her whenever she goes to work at the factory.
The only setback to their unusual arrangement is Stefani’s son Gage gets jealous when Chrystal’s daughter Ariana latches from his mother.
The two young mothers met on Facebook and started the agreement five years ago when Ariana was only ten months old.
Both women’s partners are at ease with the situation, and since Stefani nurses her friend’s daughter out in public, passersby are aware that the kid is not hers.
Stefani feeds Ariana up to six times a week, but Chrystal isn’t bothered about her friend forming a closer bond with her daughter than her.
Chrystal said, “I am not worried about my daughter becoming too attached to Stefani. I believe my daughter realizes that I’m mommy, and Stefani is just offering her milk.Whenever we are both with her and she wants milk, typically she will ask me to nurse. I would say there are no drawbacks. I only see positive from this.”
For Stefani, she believes breastfeeding is just normal.
“I think it helps Ariana, it keeps her calm and helps her when she’s teething. It’s a big comfort and helps keep her settled. If anyone has a problem with it I have not nice words to say to them. You drink breast milk from animals, it’s not that weird to drink breast milk from another human. I don’t care what anyone else has to say; we do what’s best for our families.”
Chrystal says that Stefani continues feeding until her daughter weans because she doesn’t need to pump milk or worry about her not having any milk.
“It also makes me feel better to know that my daughter still has that comfort even while I am away from her,” she added.
So far, the two young mothers haven’t heard any criticism for their strange feeding arrangement, though they understand if others see cross-feeding as an issue.
Chrystal’s family and friends don’t know much about the breastfeeding arrangement, but they’re very supportive of every decision she makes.
Chrsytal has a message to those who might question their choice: “If anyone has ever brought up to me that if it’s unnatural that I allow someone else to wet-nurse my daughter, I would point out the fact that we drink milk from other animals.”
At first, Chrystal’s partner was wary of the getting someone to wet-nurse for their baby. Infections such as HIV and hepatitis can be spread through breastfeeding, but the two women trust each other.
“But we know Stefani has a pretty well diet and she doesn’t smoke or drink. We were both pregnant at the same time and we were tested for infections and both of us were clear. The fact that Ariana is getting milk from the tap, I mean that’s exactly how we should drink it,” Chrystal adds.
Stefani has another son, four-year-old Noah, while Crystal also has a five-year-old son named Aiden.