A Philippine Airlines flight attendant has shared her experience breastfeeding a passenger’s hysterical baby after its mother ran out of formula. Social media responded with strident support – and concern.
Posting on Facebook, Patrisha Organo, 24, shared the extraordinary story of her “check flight”, the final hurdle before becoming qualified aircrew, which ended in her breastfeeding a stranger’s wailing baby. The post has racked up more than 117,000 ‘likes’ and over 20,000 shares in just 24 hours.
Organo said she approached the mother, who had run out of formula for the infant, and offered to feed the baby with her own milk – usually reserved for her nine-month-old daughter – which the desperate parent gratefully accepted.
The passenger and her baby had been in the airport since 9pm on Monday, and the flight didn’t depart until 5:10am the next morning, Organo told Smart Parenting. She was flying alone with the tiny infant, who was less than 1 month old.
While the reaction to Organo’s post has been overwhelmingly positive, several commenters have labeled the mother as “irresponsible” for running out of formula and for not breastfeeding herself.
A flight attendant breastfed a stranger’s baby bc the mother ran out of formula milk. Wow, that’s one for the books!! 👏👏
— AJ (@aprilvsgs) November 8, 2018
“That’s amazing wondering why the mother couldn’t do it though… so sad the breastfeeding rates are so low. And like how do you run out of formula? Irresponsible,” wrote one woman in her response to the post.
“Kudos to the flight attendant but it should be a lesson for the mom. Ran out of formula? Really? You are traveling with a baby, the first thing you pack and make sure you have enough is food/milk and diapers… What if there was no one available to nurse your baby?” another commented.
Other, more alarmed, Facebook users criticized the woman for allowing a stranger breastfeed a baby for fear of passing on illness or disease.
“I’m sorry but the mother who forgot the formula human error or not how could she be sure of this women, a stranger… things are passed in breastmilk,” one of the more concerned responses reads. “It’s a nice story and wonderful to offer but I just don’t think I could do that with my child that’s a big risk.”
A second said: “Heroic act but if it were my baby I would not let a stranger feed her. That’s just me.”
It was subsequently pointed out by many Facebook users that airport TSA agents have been “known to toss milk”, that it’s common for breastmilk to dry up, or it could all simply be down to a “miscalculation of time”.
“First thing to think is irresponsible, what if she dropped it and the whole can spilled, what if ants got to it – anything can happen. Our job as humans is just to be happy the damn baby got fed and made it threw [SIC] the flight,” wrote one Facebook user in the parent’s defense.
“Every single one of you bashing on this poor mama. You should feel ashamed,” another wrote. “You have not idea what circumstances lead up to her being on that plane with no formula.”
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