Leah McLaren was at a party when she breastfed a stranger's baby 'to see what it'd feel like'.

Leah McLaren was about 25 years old when she found a baby at a house party, picked it up and attempted to start breastfeeding it “just to see what it would feel like”.

The columnist – who wrote about her experience online in a piece called The Joy (and Politics) of Breastfeeding Someone Else’s Baby – was then caught by the father, who has ended up becoming a prominent Canadian politician.

In the piece, Leah said she went upstairs at the party to reapply her lipstick, when she spotted “the cutest baby I’d ever seen”.

Leah McLaren. Image via Twitter.

After smiling at the adorable baby boy, Leah felt an "instant connection" and picked him up for a cuddle.

"He felt gorgeous in my arms, all warm and lumpy and milky-smelling in the way small babies are," she wrote.

"Somehow, my pinky finger ended up in his mouth and I was astonished at strength of his sucking reflex. 'C’mon lady,'said his eyes.

breastfeeding her newborn
"I was astonished at strength of his sucking reflex," Leah wrote. Image via iStock.

Leah said she instantly knew what the baby wanted: he was hungry, and he wanted to be fed.

"The only problem was, I had no milk. But would it be so bad, I wondered, if I just tried it out – just for a minute – just to see what it felt like?

"Then slowly, carefully so as not to jostle the infant, I began to unbutton my blouse. Just as I was reaching into my bra, a shortish man with in a navy suit walked into the room," she said.

LISTEN: Would you let someone "dry nurse" your baby? Mamamia Out Loud discusses. Post continues... 

Many years later, Leah admits that it was "wrong and rude and frankly a bit weird" for her to think of breastfeeding a stranger's baby "just for kicks".

"I think if I found a strange woman – one who was both childless and milkless – nursing my baby at a party I’d be inclined to give her a swift smack upside the head and then call the police," she said.

But, she wrote, having had her own babies, she said she has breastfed her friends' babies, and let hers be breastfed by her friends, many times.

public breastfeeding
Since becoming a parent, Leah said she has breastfed her friend's babies many times. Image via iStock.

"All to say that breastfeeding is a lovely and marvellous thing, as is co-feeding and everyone should do it," she wrote.

"Just don't try it with a strangers baby in a bedroom at a party if you are 25 and stupid."

The column has caused quite a stir on social media, which probably explains why the post was deleted from the site it was originally published on (too bad we all know the internet never forgets...).


Michael Chong - the father of the baby at the centre of the story - clarified that the incident did indeed happen, and that it was "no doubt odd, but of no real consequence".

What do you think - is breastfeeding a stranger's baby ever a good idea?

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???