can a judge tell me to stop nursing my one year old?

Ashly - posted on 05/04/2010 ( 279 moms have responded )

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I'm in the midst of a custody battle and everyone, even y lawyer is giving me a hard time about my breastfeeding. ts ridiculous and I feel threatened because he is my son and I should be able to nurse him as long as we both want to right?

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Kristin - posted on 05/07/2010

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Well, that's just horrible! I hope someone from LLL can help you. You could look into some help possibly from API as well (Attachment Parenting International). I have seen articles there on this very thing. Hopefully you are, or will be soon, armed with all the info on the health benefits of bf-ing until at least age 2!! Best of luck and best wishes to you!

[deleted account]

Kelly, yeah, hormones are wicked! Like I said, I don't know what the case is w/ Ashly's story either... or her ex's involvement in the child's life. I only know my situation. :)



I'm sure if my ex had been involved w/ my son from birth things would've been different, but he saw him maybe 4 times from the age of 2 weeks til 16ish months. The judge was very supportive of me still nursing my son at that time and we worked visitations around a mid day nursing and nap session. Now my ex gets him for an 8 hour day... when he shows. It's going well, but I know my son won't be ready for overnights for quite a LONG while yet.



I think I projected some of the fear in my situation on to this situation, so I may have overreacted a tad as well..... ;)

Cheyne - posted on 05/07/2010

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That is possibly the most mental thing I have ever heard. This is your son and your god given right is to breastfeed him! It's why we lactate!!! The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding until two years of age!! Who know's what is put into formula, anyways. Good on you hun and the best of luck with the custody battle.

[deleted account]

You could be right, and if I'm jumping the gun and assuming the wrong here, I will certainly apologize for doing so. Honestly, I was just kind of offended (and I'll admit, it's likely an irrational thing to be offended by, I'm 23 weeks pregnant, it happens!) by the fact that her first post ever to the circle of moms community is in the breastfeeding forums, the question is vague, it gets everyone up in arms, and after 2+ days she's yet to come back to answer questions to clarify peoples' concerns. Obviously people who post here are much more prone to side with anyone wanting to breastfeed, no matter the situation, sometimes blindly agreeing .. as if by choosing to breastfeed, you've got to instantly side with and unconditionally support anyone else who says they're going to do it. I don't know, I'm having a hard time explaining what I mean .. it's just I've had my decision to breastfeed used against me in the past, and it's ridiculous to let this situation effect me this way, but I felt almost like she was doing the same thing that the person IRL (who used my decision against me) did.

Stupid, yeah. I'm hormonal. I know that shouldn't be an excuse, but still. I do wish she'd have bothered to check back and clarify, rather than letting it stew for so long.

I *do* always want to side with other breastfeeding moms, but I don't want to do so blindly, and I don't want to do so at the expense of someone else who may be innocent.

I mean, your situation with your ex is awful, and I'd tend to agree with you that your child should never be forced to wean if the dad wasn't in your son's life. But assuming that this dad WAS in his son's life, I have a hard time saying he shouldn't be able to see his son, you know? I mean, if she won't agree to compromise and just send breastmilk when baby is with dad, how else could the dad see his son?

Idk. I don't deny that I overreacted. My feelings are just very strong about these kinds of issues.

/book

[deleted account]

Kelly, I can't speak for Ashly's situation, but my ex was virtually non existent in my son's life for the first 16 months. I have full legal custody of my children and have been nursing my now 2 year old son strictly from my breast since birth. He is VERY attached at the moment. Would you then suggest that I allow my son to be traumatized simply for his father's 'rights'? Sorry, my kids and their well being come first regardless of what current 'whim' to play daddy my ex may have. Thankfully he hasn't pushed for overnight visitations yet, but I have a feeling he will before my son is ready and it is very concerning to me (among many other things, but don't want any false assumptions made about me simply because I'm not going to post our whole life story here).



Maybe Ashly hasn't provided anymore info cuz she hasn't been back on.... Let's not assume the 'worst' simply because we don't know the whole story.

[deleted account]

It's breast milk that's repeatedly been proven to be so beneficial for development, not necessarily self-weaning from the breast. She would not have a case!

It's great that her intention is to self-wean, that's her goal, her big desire for her baby, but what if a father were to say, "It's been proven that learning another language is beneficial to development [which it has] and that living surrounded by the culture dramatically helps language acquisition [which it has], so I'm going to take my son to France for a year to learn French." That'd mean that the mother really would have no custody, unless she were to go with them. It's the same thing you're asking the father of this child to do, basically.

She's being selfish, plain and simple. Again I feel the need to point out, since people think this should become some huge legal issue rather than looking at the bigger picture -- You can still provide your baby with breastmilk without your breasts being present!!

Would it be GREAT to be able to self-wean your child? Absolutely.

But should you deny the child's father any custodial rights at all just to self-wean? Absolutely not.

April - posted on 05/07/2010

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what an interesting question. everyone else is right. we do need more details. i am certain there isn't a legal precedent for this. maybe you can be the first to make a law to protect breastfeeding moms from being forced to submit their child for overnight visits with another guardian. i say that if a judge does grant overnight visits and is indirectly telling you that you cannot breastfeed during this time...take it to the supreme court! if your intention is self-weaning...clearly this situation would probably prevent you from allowing your son to self wean.

[deleted account]

So are you saying that this child's father shouldn't be able to see him? Because if she were to strictly feed from the breast, and not allow breastmilk being fed from a bottle, he would never be able to see his son unless she's also there.

Note, please, that she's yet to respond to anyone's request to provide further information, which completely proves that there's more to this story that she's just refusing to give us.

Desiree - posted on 05/07/2010

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Your lawyer can't do that, and he/she should know that! breastfeeding is very important for your child and should not be interfered with regardless of the situation, it's what's best for your child.

Sara - posted on 05/07/2010

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I don't believe they have any legal (or moral) right to tell you to stop breastfeeding. You can cite the American Academy of Pediatrics (at least 12 months, and for as long thereafter as desired by mother and child) and World Health Organizations' (recommended for the first 2 years, and as desired by mother and child) stance on breastfeeding.

I too am guessing there is more to this story that we're not in on.

Nicola - posted on 05/07/2010

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If you feel threatened then you should report their behaviour. Simple as that. Breastfeeding at that age is perfectly normal and NO ONE has the right to make you do any different. If your own lawyer is treating you badly I would seriously make a complaint. Look online to find out the correct way to go about it.

[deleted account]

I think if it gets in the way of the baby's father being able to see his child, then I have no doubt it's legally possible to tell you that no, you can't breastfeed the child when he's with his other parent. I mean .. obviously you can't be there to breastfeed, and they can't deny their father visitation just because you're breastfeeding. I'm certain it's hard, and definitely not ideal for you, but you may need to consider pumping milk to send when your son stays with his father?

I feel like there's got to be more to this story that we're not being told. Really, it's unfair to ask a breastfeeding community for an opinion without providing all the details. Not only would the answers be biased towards breastfeeding anyway, but then you're leaving out crucial elements to the story.

Amanda - posted on 05/06/2010

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ur mom & u know what's best for ur child...u can breastfeed ur child however long u want!!! people piss me off so bad. why is it that everyone is so fine w/ formula but the second a woman pops out a breast to feed her baby its seen as something uncomfortable & sexual!!! I've had friends kicked out of public places because they needed to feed their children but refused to do it in a bathroom!!! would u eat in a bathroom? Power to ya girl!! ur doin' right by ur child and u can tell that sorry excuse for a judge to go to hell & squirt breastmilk in his/her eye!! :)

[deleted account]

Good luck! My lawyer doesn't understand either.... HE even suggested I pump and provide a bottle... for a 1.5 year old! Of course, my son IS 2 now, but I'm hoping to let him self wean. Fortunately my ex hasn't asked for overnights w/ him yet, but I'm not sure how to handle it in court if he asks before my son and I are ready.



IMO, you (and I) are both in the right, but I have no idea what the laws are on this. I know they can't 'force' you to wean, but they may be able to enforce visitations that make weaning the only real option. Someone w/ actual legal advice/experience on this subject would be much more helpful than just opinions cuz obviously we'll ALL be on your side as far as opinions go on this one.

Wendy - posted on 05/06/2010

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wow ppl are crazy.i wish the best for u and ur baby!no ones rippin my kids away from me ESPECIALLY when im breastfeeding!NO one can stop you and for that i would think about gettin a different lawyer! cuz apparently the one u have doesnt have ur kids best interest!

Erica - posted on 05/06/2010

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Omg! You are right! Get consent from you rpediatrician! I feel so bad for you! Ppl are just jealous of the breastfeeding bond and that's why they try to stop it! God Bless and good luck!

Barbora Milena - posted on 05/06/2010

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Just keep strong and dont let them bully you!!! You are doing the best for your baby, dont let them spoil it... Keep nursing and be proud of it, you are giving your son THE BEST and noone else can do it... Fight for his right to get the mother's milk,the best nutritions he can get... If necessary, get somebody from the LLL to go to the court and explain to the judge, your lawyer and the other side (ur ex to be and his lawyer) how important and healthy breastfeeding is and that you have the right to breastfeed as long as you want!!!

Lisbeth - posted on 05/06/2010

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Sorry baby interfered with what I was saying but I was saying both legally from lll and emotionally from here We have your back don't let anyone pressure you into weening.

Lisbeth - posted on 05/06/2010

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No one I don't care how important they think in their little minds has a right to tell you to stop bf. Kepp strong you are doing the right thing for your baby and if they keep harrassing you contact lll organizations and the media and start a protest against this judge gather the local bf women in your city to breast feed in front of the court house What city are you in I am sure you can get a lot of support both lev

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2010

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ahsly, definatly contact your local LLLL (lll.org). they are a great resource and can help guide you through the legal stuff. you may have grounds for discrimination and harrassment claims. and do remind everyone of the WHO's recommendations and ask them why they are recommending you jeopoardize your son's health by early weaning.

Can you provide more details? are they giving you a hard time about taking time during the proceedings to beastfeed? are they not considering your son's need to breastfeed when deciding custody/visitation arrangements? How exactly are they giving you a hard time?

Kristin - posted on 05/04/2010

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I don't believe so, but contact a La Leche League leader. They will know more about local and state laws regarding breastfeeding. They, and lactation consultants through a hospital, are also an excellent resource for information about breastfeeding and why breastmilk and breastfeeding itself are best. Get your child's pediatrician involved too, as long as he is supportive. Get a new one if he isn't.

Really talk with your attorney about how important this is to you. You are paying them to fight this fight for you, not make it harder and more stressful. While yes you can begin introducing cow's milk to your child, he's still getting lots of wonderful stuff from you.

Good luck.

Cat - posted on 05/04/2010

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Stay strong to your convictions!! You have rights! This is important enough for you to stand up for yourself and your child!! You are fortifying your child's immune system, bonding and providing the most necessary thing for your child, food! You are in the right, don't back down or give in! Its your body and your child's best interests and welfare are at stake! Good Luck!!

[deleted account]

What?! That is just crazy. The WHO recommends breast feeding for 2 years.Wow best of luck, keep on nursing your baby!

Marissa - posted on 05/04/2010

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Um, NO. It's your child and your his mother and you can breastfeed him as long as you want and you should! It's what's best for him. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't want to do.

Amanda - posted on 05/04/2010

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I'm not sure where you live but in most places NO ONE can interfere with your breastfeeding. It's against your rights and they especially should know better

Amberlee - posted on 05/04/2010

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You are doing what is best for your child I dont think ANYONE can tell you to quit and for back up ask your ped to come to court as a witness, i cant see why they wouldnt

[deleted account]

I agree, if it's too inconvient for you to breastfeed then too bad, they will either have to wait or put up with it during the proceedings. Let them know on no uncertain terms either you are given time on the side when needed or they have to be in the same room. Your child has to eat and that's the food source right now, don't let them bully you. They have two options, they may pick one.

Shayla - posted on 05/04/2010

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uh yeah! NO ONE can make you stop breastfeeding. Don't let anyone bully you into formula feeding your child. I give you props and wanna congratulate you on doing it that long. My daughter is 5 months and probably will stop soon cause I just went back to work. They don't give me all the time I need to pump.

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