Commenters have defended a mother who admitted to removing boxes of formula from another couple’s cart after emptying the shelf for themselves.
The anonymous woman, known only as u/throwawayformula893, posted about the incident on Reddit’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum where it received nearly 10,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments. The job can be found here.
In the post titled “AITA for removing several containers of formula from a couple’s cart due to shortage of formula?” the woman, 26, said she had a baby last month and could not find formula.
She explained that her newborn is on a sensitive brand of formula because she was unable to produce enough milk to breastfeed him.
Many factors contribute to breast milk production, one being overall stress levels. Studies show that hormones released during times of stress can significantly reduce an individual’s milk production. For many, the only option for nourishment is formula.
In February, Abbott, the nation’s largest infant formula supplier, issued a recall of several of its brands. The recall came after an investigation was launched into concerns that bacteria may have been present in the products.
The recall has led to a nationwide formula shortage that has left parents desperate and panicking about how to feed their babies.
On May 16, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it had reached an agreement to allow Abbott Nutrition to resume production, which had been halted since February.
In the viral post, the woman said she recently had to drive two hours to buy formula for her newborn baby.
“The shortage has been very exhausting and stressful to deal with, so when I finally said my local store had some in stock, I immediately rushed it,” the post read.
Inside the store, the woman said she saw an older couple removing formula from the shelf.
“The driveway was small so I just waited patiently,” the post read. “I realized they weren’t stopping and eventually had about 40 boxes of formula in their cart, emptying the shelf.”
The woman asked the couple if they could have four cans for their newborn, but said the man “frowned” and walked away. When she told them they couldn’t just take all the formula, they said they got there first and had twins to feed.
“I was stressed and pissed at this point so I cut in front of their cart and started grabbing a few cans. I figured they didn’t pay anything for it so why not,” we read in the message. “I wasn’t going to let my baby go hungry because they wanted to take all the formula.”
She said the couple started calling her selfish and an asshole. A manager approached and told her that next time she should ask for help instead of catching it in another customer’s cart.
“He explained that there was a limit and they couldn’t have bought everything anyway.
I feel vindicated (sort of) in my actions but I don’t know if it was totally right. AITA?” the post concluded.
More than 1,600 users commented on the post, with the majority supporting the woman’s choice.
“You know, sometimes the question isn’t whether you’re a TA, it’s that it’s not always morally wrong to be a TA,” one user commented.
“I would do the same as OP, and I don’t care if I was TA. Would I be a bad person? Maybe. Would my baby be fed? Yeah, so I don’t care “, replied another.
“I can’t condemn someone as an asshole for taking a few cans of formula from a huge treasure trove to feed their baby,” another user commented.
Other users mentioned that it was likely the couple planned to resell the formula online.
“People stocking up like this are definitely part of the problem and the reason for this formula shortage,” one user wrote. “There’s no reason to buy 40 at a time for two babies. I’m willing to bet they resell it for a higher price and have no kids.”
“Donut dollars that this older couple has no kids and was going to sell it online at a massively inflated price,” another user commented. “People like that should be named and publicly humiliated.”
Newsweek contacted u/throwawayformula893 for comment.
In another viral post on Reddit, a man was praised for banning his wife’s best friend from seeing her while she was breastfeeding.
Another woman recently received support for confronting her brother-in-law over an inappropriate comment he made about her breastfeeding.
Commenters also praised a woman who in October said she gave her sister-in-law formula milk because she was struggling to breastfeed.