Aunty Lactivist is all of us so if you can help with any ideas, links or experiences please leave a comment.
Sarah is asking this for another lady in the UK, can anyone help?“I may be going mad – always possible but I am SURE I saw a solictor who specialises in breastfeeding support in separation cases but she’s split from the ex. Baby is 11 months he’s requesting 9-6 contact days babe is still fed a lot in the day – is she protected by anything? Everyone involved is so clueless saying he should have formula or she can pump etc no one is taking into account the baby feeds at the breast not via a bottle. Even the solictors and so on have said just express or wean or give cow’s milk ( he has dairy issues)”
This question was originally posted on the Lactivist Facebook wall and here are some of the answers given, I’ve made them anon -
here in TN it makes no difference, they don’t respect bfing. I was told, “he can just be given formula and you can pump during the days he’s gone!” UGH…….it was rough and he was sick all the time!!
- what about the rights of the child, why should it be forced to feed in a way it is not used to! You would have thought the father would want what is best for his child, that said you would hope the mother is not using BF as an excuse to stop the little one having time with its father, both loved each other enough to make a child surely one would hope they can find away through this until the little one weans.
- It depends partially on the state for the laws, but I would hope they can come to an agreement. There SHOULD be something that protects the baby when it comes to feeding. I know in Michigan there are guidlines with parenting time in regards to the child’s age and feeding behavior.
- I am in uk and went through a similar situation. Father took me to court when our son was 8 months old, his dad wanted long periods of unsupervised contact leading to overnights despite our son still bf frequently including during nights. The judge ruled only short contact sessions of 3.5 hours with me supervising and this stayed the same right up until our lo turned 18 months last month. His father now has no contact (his choice) as the judge would not order unsupervised and overnight contact yet as our son is not ready. Just remind judge that WHO recommends bf until 2 years and beyond and that is what is in best interests of child. 9-6 is a long day for an 11 month old and time needs to be built up accordingly.
- What would the mother do if she went back to work and LO went to nursery? I’m not saying she should be forced to express, I’m just wondering.. I think 9-6 is a bit too long for a young baby to consistently be away from their mother anyway but maybe the day could be shortened slightly and the baby could have some expressed milk during the day? I don’t think she should have to give formula or cows’ milk, or wean, but I don’t see why a little expressed milk is such a bad thing? She chose to make a baby with this man, she sort of has to accept that he wants to see his baby too. Can they not meet somewhere in the middle? Shorter days away from Mum, expressed milk, still gets time with Dad but isn’t away from fresh milk from source for too long?
If we had continued going through courts, overnights would not have even been considered until age 2 at the very very earliest. If the judge is told that the baby does not take milk from a bottle and has dairy allergy issues then the judge should take all that into account and just order short and frequent contact sessions, possibly with mum on hand if baby needs feeding. We used to meet at a soft play and I would sit out of sight with my mum while my ex and his mum sat out the way with our son and ex would bring our son to me if he needed a feed during the 3.5 hours. Judge was happy with this setup and like I say it stayed the same from 8 months until 18 months. The only problem your friend may encounter would be if the visits are already quite long, as the judge will often go by what the parents already have in place and increase from there. For example we already had a schedule of 2 hour contact sessions in place before he took me to court, the judge then ordered 3.5 hours.
- A judge should not order a child to have formula when the child is breastfed
- The only thing I will say is that every judge is different and it is a very nerve racking and stressful time that I would never ever wish to repeat (but would do again in a heartbeat if it meant protecting my baby boy) but as long as the mother genuinely has the childs best interests at heart, is open to compromise and is appreciative of the childs needs/right to a relationship with their dad, then the judge will see this and will hopefully order something which suits everyone but most importantly the child.
thelactivist.blogspot.co.uk /2007/02/ custody-battles-for-breastf eeding.html
The Breastfeeding Relationship and Visitation Plans http://www.llli.org/nb/
I went through the courts with my ex for nearly 4 years over my son and to be honest they will not refuse a further visitation or contact on any grounds even if that means it being supervised or supported! Its all about compromise im afraid.. Thats all there is to it! X
A court will not order a child to have something that goes against the childs best interests e.g. Formula… And the lawyer wants it the baby to have cows milk instead us silly, expressing is the only realistic option and more frequent but shorter visits, let it go to court no judge in their right mind would order a mum to substitute breast milk… Good luck to your friend x x
- Can she ask her local lactation consultant to write a letter stating the importance of breastfeeding in the first year and beyond? Not just from a nutritional point of view but for the child’s emotional development and attachment. Cow’s milk not advised before 12mths. When I went through my divorce I was advised that overnight stays were not expected with the non resident parent until the child was at least 2yrs unless the mum/baby were happy to allow this.
- i know GP Jayne Donegan has helped with custody court cases re vaccination. dont know if she will help with breastfeeding, but worth contacting her as she may, or know others who do? http://
- I know someone who went through this and she was successful as she was breastfeeding and as long as she decided to breastfeed, her ex had to work round it!
Expressing is all well and good but my children would never take milk from anything but the breast. I can’t add anything about legalities but you do need to get people to understand how a BF baby works. When ill i have been told to just not feed for a few days, not exactly possible even now and my DS is 2! People are clueless unless they have experienced it themselves. I know many BFing single mums and none of the children have overnight visits to the other parent. I would be happy for my DS to stay with his Dad now but he is older and we still get along ok