Vegans Charged Over Baby's Death

Alyssa - posted on 03/29/2011 ( 99 moms have responded )

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http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/823041...



Two vegans who fed their 11-month-old daughter only mother's milk went on trial in northern France on Tuesday charged with neglect after their baby died suffering from vitamin deficiency.



Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou, whose vegan diet forbids consuming any animal product including eggs and cow's milk, called the emergency services in March 2008 after becoming worried about their baby Louise's listlessness.



When the ambulance arrived at their home in Saint-Maulvis, a small village 150km north of Paris, the baby was already dead.



The ambulance workers called the police because the child was pale and thin, weighing 5.7kg compared to an average 8kg for her age.



The baby had only been fed on the milk of her mother, who was aged 37 at the time.



An autopsy showed that Louise was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency which experts say increases a child's sensitivity to infection and can be due to an unbalanced diet.



"The problem of vitamin B12 deficiency could be linked to the mother's diet," said Anne-Laure Sandretto, deputy prosecutor in the city of Amiens where the trial is taking place.



The parents, who also have a 13-year-old daughter who did not suffer vitamin deficiencies, became vegan after seeing "a television programme about how cattle were taken to abattoirs," said the mother's lawyer, Stephane Daquo.



They distrust traditional medicine and prefer to treat their children using their own methods, in accordance with advice from books.



"The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to hospitalise the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up," Daquo said.



"They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong thing at the wrong time," said Daquo.



The parents are still vegan and "are completely aware of the mistake they made," said the father's lawyer, Patrick Quenel.



The couple has been charged with "neglect or food deprivation followed by death" and face up to 30 years in prison if convicted













Hmmmm, maybe this is why the Greek adoption agency wouldn't let the vegetarian couple adopt.



The bottom line is though they didn't follow reccomendations for the baby to be hospitalised at 9 months...and two months later she dies! How on earth could you not see your baby dying before your eyes?



They thought they were doing the right thing but were obviously blinded by what they thought was right and what was actually happening to their child. Yep, they are naive for believing everything they read...but how often does this happen to other parents and children? Probably more than we like to think.



For me it also highlights the importance of a well balanced diet through pregnancy and breastfeeding...if the mother cannot achieve this, or does not want to then the old saying that breastmilk is all they need until 12 months ISN'T ACCURATE!

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Ez - posted on 03/29/2011

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I saw this earlier this morning. I think it's inaccurate to blame the exclusive breastfeeding. This baby died because her parents failed to get her proper medical attention when she became ill.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/31/2011

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Omg, this has nothing whatsoever to do with breast feeding, solid food, vegan solid food, vegetarian solid food, whole cow's milk etc. That poor little girl was killed by 2 willfully ignorant self-absorbed mentally ill adults neither of whom know their arse from a cabbage poltice. I can only hope the people of France rally to ensure the safety of their surviving child and take her to freaking Disneyland Paris and feed her lots of yummy though inappropriate food. Can you imagine what that poor kid is going through right now?

Lucy - posted on 03/30/2011

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To me, this story isn't about the evils of veganism, or the debate on when to start solids, but simply two parents who are wilfully misinformed and neglectful.

It isn't the fact that the mother was vegan which destroyed the quality of her milk, but the fact that she clearly had a poor diet. You can be vegan and have a great diet, in the same way that you can be a meat eater and have a crappy one. This particular mother chose not to educate herself appropriately about how to enhance the quality of her breast milk within the confines of a vegan diet. If she had done this, solely breast feeding until 12 months would have been fine for most children.

These parents also clearly ignored the signs telling them how ill their child was, and ignored medical advice which would have saved her.

This case is plain old child neglect. The veganism and breast feeding are side issues.

Krista - posted on 03/30/2011

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I'm with Tara on this one. Being a vegan isn't the problem. Nursing an 11 month old exclusively isn't the problem .

"The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to hospitalise the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up," Daquo said.

"They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong thing at the wrong time," said Daquo.


THIS is the freaking problem. They thought they knew so much better than the doctor that they denied their baby necessary medical care. They're idiots. And now their poor little baby is dead because of their pride, stubbornness and idiocy.

I swear, I'm going to quote this case the next time I'm in an argument on COM and someone hauls out the "parents always know what's best for their kids" bit of bullshit.

Jodi - posted on 03/30/2011

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Melissa, my daughter didn't start solids until she was about 7 or 8 months.....how disgraceful of me. Sorry, but there is no research that says you MUST start feeding your child solids at 6 months.



Edited to Add: I am not being snarky, just making the point that not every baby is ready for solids at 6 months, and it is not neglect to decide to start them on solids later. In THIS case, I don't agree that it was the delayed solids that caused the problem, it was the mother's milk and ignoring advice to get medical attention.

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Casey - posted on 03/31/2011

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I'm shocked to read this I can't believe someone sat there and watched their own child die because they felt they had far better medical knowlege because they read a freaking book!!! what a pair of clowns and I do hope they end up in prison cause that poor child basically starved to death.
I totally agree with Alyssa's closing statement if your not going to follow a healthy diet while breastfeeding then the old saying that breast milk until 12 months is all they need just isn't right.

Christina - posted on 03/31/2011

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I agree with you Jocelynn, thats what the other lil one needs and deserves!!!!

Christina - posted on 03/31/2011

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OK old school mom here. My kids rnage in age from 5 yrs - 23 yrs. I breast fed one till she was a bit over 2 and another till he was only 7 mth and then switched to formula due to him wanting to feed to often. They all stared on solids at differant times to anywhere from age 4 mths to 15 mths. It all depends on the baby and when they are ready. If they cant curl there tounge to pull the food back to swallow then they arent ready for solids...THATS ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS TO LOOK FOR!. Also if they just dont want it then they arent ready. And OK people what do you think they fed babies way back when a mom couldnt breast feed or couldnt find a wet mom.....COWS OR GOATS MILK. So if it doesnt bother the wee one then whats wrong. It has the vit D and you just need to make sure to get the whole milk for the fat content as well as the vit D. Every child is differant as well as every mom. Babies have been having food at differant ages and cows milk for as far back as dang near dirt. Oh and guess how my babies got there meat.....I would take a piece and chew it really really good and then poke it into there mouth after I knew they were ready for it and had a couple of teeth. Ready for it to me was when they were showing chewing action.....Yep old school here. All in all as long as the kids get a balance diet, is healthy and happy all is good. Be happy to have a healthy lil one and be thankful!!!!

Tracey - posted on 03/31/2011

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Parents upset by seeing a programme about cows going to an abbatoir. No matter how upset I was about this if my childs' health was affected, if its a choice between watching a cow die and a child die then I would put my beliefs on hold and give my child what they needed to be healthy.

ME - posted on 03/30/2011

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Vegetarians and Vegans are different! I am a vegetarian and Mayah who was exclusively bf'd until about 6 1/2 months is and always was perfectly healthy. Besides...adoptive parents rarely/never breastfeed their babies :) I don't see how this story relates to the previous one at all.

[deleted account]

Yes i still introduced solids at 6 months, but it was only for practice, the amount she ate wasn't nearly enough to provide her with any nutritional benefit.

Minnie - posted on 03/30/2011

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LLLI recognizes that different babies have different needs and maintains its position that breastmilk is the most complete source of nutrition until a baby is ready for solids- which is -about- the middle of the first year.



One readiness sign for solids that LLLI lists is being able to pick up food, put it in the mouth, chew it and then swallow it. Some babies are ready later than six months, as quite a few posters here have noted.



Research shows that if a mother was not anemic during pregnancy and that the cord was not prematurely clamped that most babies will have sufficient iron stores to last at least until nine months.

Ramona - posted on 03/30/2011

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Julianne, I guess it depends on the baby! But typically, solids should be introduced at around 6 months.

[deleted account]

Actually it depends on the baby. Gabby didn't really need food until a year. She is perfectly average size and is super healthy.

Ramona - posted on 03/30/2011

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No, breastmilk is all they need until SIX months. After six months, it is important to supplement, whether breastfeeding OR formula feeding.

[deleted account]

This is not about exclusivel breastfeeding, nor is it about the mother's diet. Mothers have breastfed their babies for thousands of years, through poverty, famine and all sorts of disasters which affect the mother's diet. And the human race is still going strong.
It's about neglect and stupidity and arrogance. That poor child.

Tara - posted on 03/30/2011

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Idk about forcing medical care either. In a life and death scenario or repeat visits to the doctor/er for the same infection etc. is different, that kind of thing warrants a call to Child services.
Not admitting your child into the hospital after it was recommended should warrant a call too.
But not filling a prescription or not following all doctors orders should not warrant a visit from child services.

Kate CP - posted on 03/30/2011

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Yea, this isn't about veganism OR feeding solids before a year of age. It's about stupid people. The kid had lost a ton of weight because of being sick and rather than do EVERYTHING humanly possible to get their kid healthy (including things that they may not have liked or agreed with) they just kept plugging on. There comes a point in every parent's life when you have to go "I really don't like this and I don't agree with it...but it's best for my child." These folks didn't do that and it cost them their beautiful daughter.

Merry - posted on 03/30/2011

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Idk about forcing medical care, I mean in life or death situations I understand the right of the child overshadows the parental right to choose how to raise their kid. But like my sons dr prescribed him an antibiotic for an ear infection, I chose to not fill it right away,I wasn't sure if I would fill it at all. And it's my right to not use the drugs if I choose not to. But that was an ear infection, not a 12lb one year old who was dying of malnutrition and bronchitis. Parents have alot of rights as to how to parent their child, but the child has a right to survive!

Amanda - posted on 03/30/2011

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Jocelyn Beard thats what i mean why wasnt childrens aid called when they refused medical treatment? Here in Canada that is what is done, if a parent refuses medical treatment that can save their child, and without that medical treatment the child is endangered it is a doctors repsonsiblity to call CAS. Its actually law! So why wasnt this handled that way? This child would be alive today if someone FROCED these parents to take the medical care offered to them.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/30/2011

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This isn't about veganism - it's about stupidity and ignorance. If you are going to be vegan, you have to do your fucking homework. You don't just stop eating animal products and keep everything else the same. People with half a brain cell are aware of this. These people are obviously lacking in the smarts department because they ignored their baby's illness. I hate stupid.

Sarah - posted on 03/30/2011

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I agree with those who have said that it's not the exclusive breastfeeding, or entirely the lack of vitamins that was the problem. I think the major problem here was the parents completely ignoring the advice of their doctors!!

It seems crazy to me to ignore a doctor that is telling you your child is so sick it needs to be in hospital. Parents do NOT always know best.

Merry - posted on 03/30/2011

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I just did the conversion from kg to pounds and this baby was 11 months old and weighed only 12lbs!!!
What the heck did this poor baby look like? I mean thats absurdly tiny for 11 months. My son weighed 12 lbs at 6 weeks! I wonder what was her birth weight, how had she gained the previous months, had she lost weight? This weight is a seriously obvious reason the parents were at fault. No healthy 11 month old weighs 12 lbs if they were born at a normal weight.

[deleted account]

Oops... another post I shouldn't have opened. I've only read til the first few posts on page 2 and I'm not reading anymore or I'm going to say some mean things that I'll regret.



This poor baby did NOT die because she was exclusively breastfed. This poor baby died possibly because her mother's diet was inadequate, but mainly because her stupid parents refused to get her the medical attention she needed. IF the mother's diet was lacking, then exclusively breastfeeding was a contributing factor, but it most certainly was NOT the cause.



You all know my son barely ate any solids up to and even past a year. He is stronger, healthier, and bigger than his cousin who is 11 months older than he is who was started on solids around 6 months (forget exactly when) and off of breastmilk around 10-11 months.



Now, I DID start my girls on solids at 3.5 months.... and 9 years later we've still never had any problems, but my son was NOT interested and I refused to force feed him. There were even days up til around 18 months where he wouldn't touch a bite of solid food. So what? I dare anyone to look at him and be so bold as to say 'shame on you for depriving him of what he 'needs'. That's crap.



OK.... I'm done now. If I calm down I may come back and read the rest of what happened between pages 2 and 4.... ;)

Jocelyn - posted on 03/30/2011

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I was preparing a long response, but then decided to quote Krista because this is EXACTLY how I feel. Bang on.

"I'm with Tara on this one. Being a vegan isn't the problem. Nursing an 11 month old exclusively isn't the problem .

"The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to hospitalise the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up," Daquo said.

"They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong thing at the wrong time," said Daquo.

THIS is the freaking problem. They thought they knew so much better than the doctor that they denied their baby necessary medical care. They're idiots. And now their poor little baby is dead because of their pride, stubbornness and idiocy.

I swear, I'm going to quote this case the next time I'm in an argument on COM and someone hauls out the "parents always know what's best for their kids" bit of bullshit. "

Merry - posted on 03/30/2011

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Eric was not eating solids until about 10-12 months and WIC was worried about his iron levels, so they checked his blood and guess what! His iron levels were great! They warned me I should get him eating baby cereal so it didn't get worse, but he hated the stuff and it's nasty and so unnatural! I didn't feed it to him and his iron has always been fine. I'd think the parents would notice their child dying in front of them....
Solids, veganism, exclusive breastfeeding, these didn't kill the baby. The baby died from lack if proper care.

Medic - posted on 03/30/2011

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I feel that these people were just too stupid for their own good and sadly at the cost of an innocent childs life. I feel bad for their 13 year old who had to witness all of this and now live through the news reports. I do not think it was the mom being vegan or the lack of solids but the immense amount of stupidity. Mt 14 month old does not eat meat and my 4 year old only really eats fish and eggs from the meat category.

Noreen - posted on 03/30/2011

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Breastmilk is enough for the first 12months. The thing is though, the mother didn't have a proper diet and vitamins in HER diet. She might not have been feeding her baby enough, or the baby has some kind of illeness that wasn't caught. Just because 1 baby out of 1,000,000 dies from vitamin deficiency from being fed only breastmilk doesn't mean that breastmilk isn't enough for the other 99,999 babies.



My daughter was fed breastmilk ONLY on a "vegan" diet with meat for the first 9mo until she started eating solids occasionally (5-7x a week). My daughter is severly allergic to cow's milk and eggs. If I eat any milk or egg she becomes very sick. But I still eat meat. I just make sure I take good vitamins because my body was being depleted of them to give to her. We are still nursing strong at 18mo and her diet is about half breastmilk half solids. All her blood work came back WONDERFUL, so good infact, that the doctor told me to not give her a multi-vitamin in fear it would be overload. My daughter is a vegan. She refuses to eat meat.

[deleted account]

My second did not eat anything for 12mths.Her milk kept her going.She was getting by from her formula.She was under weight but not by to much.We were under the care&advice of both a gp& nurse.

Minnie - posted on 03/30/2011

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I know some vegans who have personally told me that they 'don't believe in taking B12 supplements because it's not natural.' Yeah...

Anyways LLLI recommends B12 supplements for nursing mothers who are vegan.

[deleted account]

Very sad.A waste of a precious life.

They truly failed as parents in so many ways.

Its nothing to do with her being a vegan, b/f and solids.

They failed to see clear signs and refused there child medical treatment.

There the ones who will forever have to deal with the loss, that could of been so easily avoided.

Alexis - posted on 03/30/2011

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What's funny is that a natural healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables and meats, basically everything that was available to humans before agriculture and the technology to process food. While I agree that watching how many mainstream farms\slaughter houses treat the animals may not be humane, there are other options to get one's meat from a humane place, usually local farmers. Another thing that bugs me about this, is couldnt the mom have taken a multivitamin or supplements to help with the deficiency in her breastmilk?

[deleted account]

None of mine showed much interest in solids till after 12 months. Bad mum! (slaps wrist.) They're all healthy young women now.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/30/2011

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This couple are obviously wack jobs who most likely are vastly more concerned with providing adequate nutrition to their cabbages than their children. The saddest part of this story is there is absolutely nothing to prevent them from creating another life and putting it at risk. There is no punishment or therapy to help people this daft. Considering the FACT that the majority of children on this planet belong to parents who would do ANYTHING to provide adequate nutrition for them, including facing the wrath of warlords and drug cartels! Many of those parents would give anything for the cabbages in the idiots' garden! A child dying of malnutrition in the industrialized west is the ultimate expression of sociopathic narcissism. Ugh.

Minnie - posted on 03/30/2011

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It really isn't about breastfeeding or solids at all. It's about how idiotic these people are. My second did not have a crumb until 10 months. And she's not a rare case where we are sooo lucky it worked out for us. It's normal- she began solids when she became interested in feeding herself.

Anyways- I'm betting that formula or solids wouldn't be the solution here either- mom and dad are too stupid to eat a healthy diet, and too stupid to get medical care for their child- they would be too stupid to mix formula and feed it properly as well, I bet.

Minnie - posted on 03/30/2011

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I'm thinking how severely deficient the mother had to have been for her milk to not have B12 in it. She must've been having some neuromuscular issues if she was that deficient.



Agree with most everyone else- it's not about veganism or breastfeeding, but a parent who wasn't intelligent enough to keep her own body healthy and get her daughter medical help when she needed it.



Like Julianne pointed out- omnivores can be quite deficient in B12 as well. I'm sure Julianne, as a vegan, is not a rare case regarding her health. I bet many vegans are very conscientious about staying healthy. It's always the whackos that make the news.



One thing: did they ever test the mother's milk?



I suspect that since they weren't intelligent enough to be aware of their daughter's health issues that the mother probably wasn't nursing adequately either.

Mrs. - posted on 03/30/2011

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Bodies are all different. The mother may have been eating exactly what another healthy vegan might have been eating and still be suffering a B12 problem.

It might also be how long she was a vegan and missing out on the B12 aspects. Another vegan might also be neglecting the B12 in her diet but maybe she's only been vegan for 6 months and is not as depleted.

It is your responsibility was a vegan to check your levels. I was a vegan during pregnancy and the time I was breastfeeding (3 months). My baby was healthy and did not lack B12. Of course, I had myself tested regular like because I have issue absorbing B12 generally. I have to get shots. This is not fun. I still need to get them now that I started added some meat in my diet. Still, it's what I had to do to make sure my baby was well.

This is a horrible story.

Stifler's - posted on 03/30/2011

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@ Julianne - I don't think a vegan diet is to blame, but their diet may not have been as up to scratch on the vitamins as yours.

Jenni - posted on 03/30/2011

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I consider myself to be a hollistic mama but there are definitely times when it's completely valid to take vitamins, prescriptions and medical intervention. Luckily for me, I have a hollistic doctor, but he will advise me when those things are necessary. I take his advise seriously because he is far from being 'drug pusher'.

Mel - posted on 03/30/2011

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I wish the doctors and everyone would have followed through made sure they were looking after her right. So So many cases where babies die because their not being looked after properly and people report it and nothing gets done :(

Jocelyn - posted on 03/30/2011

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You're assuming that children's care was aware. People who put cabbage leaf poltices on their kids probably stay as off the grid as possible.

Jodi - posted on 03/30/2011

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http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world...

"The couple's lawyer Stephane Daquo said both Mr and Mrs Le Moaligou were also opposed to traditional medicines and used alternative therapies.

"The couple did not follow doctor's advice to take their baby to hospital when she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up," reports quoted Daquo as saying."

Their own lawyer is saying this.......

Tara - posted on 03/30/2011

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This baby did not die because she was exclusively breastfed until a year.
She died because she was exclusively breastfed for a year by a woman whose own diet was suffering. And whose diet while pregnant was likely lacking in Vitamin b12 to start with.
I know lots of women who did not feed solids until after 9-10 months, all those babies were completely healthy and at their target weight.
This is not an example of a baby dying because they drank breastfmilk.
This was a baby who died because it was sick and it's boneheaded parents had their herbivore brains shoved too far up their asses to do what was right when their child was ill.
This is a case of parents being misinformed, or uninformed enough to make sensible and logical choices for their child.
This has nothing to do with breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding. This has to do with dumb parents who thought they were doing what was right.
Another case of people "thinking" they know what is best.
In this case, because of some books they read and a movie they watched, rather than something someone told them or something they heard somewhere. But again, not based on real information, real studies or real advice.

Jodi - posted on 03/30/2011

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I saw another news article on this somewhere where it noted that she died from pneumonia, which developed because of her weakened immune system, caused by deficiency. It ALSO said that the doctor had advised them 2 months PRIOR to this that she had been suffering bronchitis for the same reasons. So evidently, that bronchitis developed into something far more serious because the parents TOTALLY ignored medical advice, and evidently chose to continue breastfeeding only. Had she done something as switch the child onto formula (as it takes time to develop a decent appetite for solids), this could well have been avoided.

Jenni - posted on 03/30/2011

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Oh my. That is scary. I've always heard that breast milk alone is sufficient until around 12 months. My doctor even told me that. I did introduce solids at around 6 months but I always believed they were more for taste and practice.

Ok. What the HELL is wrong with these parents???? How the fuck did they not notice their daughters deteriorating health????? Where was her pediatrician in all this??? There is far more going on here than her parents believing what they read and being vegan.

[deleted account]

My vegan baby didnt a large amount of solids until she was over a year. She is perfectly healthy. Vegans do not NEED to supplement under a year or ever actually unless they have some other health problem. My breast milk was enough nutrition for her. Shes in the 50th percentile. she gets her iron protein and vitamin b12 and other vitamin levels checked (all perfect) just so i make sure she is getting adequate nutrition. I don't take a multivitamin, i get all of my nutrition from food.

Her child was sick and needed medical attention. Any meat eater could have went through the exact same experience. Besides Vitamin A is from yellow veggies not meat. Her diet doesnt restrict veggies.

Amanda - posted on 03/30/2011

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This has nothing to do with lack of soilds, and prob has nothing to do with the mothers diet as well. This child was clearly sick and started losing weight, that is where these parents went wrong. What I dont understand is when the parents deyned their child medical care, why childrens aid didnt step in right then and there to help this child.

Jodi - posted on 03/30/2011

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I can understand Mel, and I guess you have seen it a lot because of the experiences you have. But it isn't as common an occurrence as you may have seen. In 99% of cases, a baby who eats solids later than 6 months will be perfectly fine and eat those solids when they are ready. Every child develops differently and I think to impose and exact 6 months on that is difficult. It is extremely unlikely that delaying solids beyond 6 month, even as late as 12 months, will cause ongoing issues.

Sal - posted on 03/30/2011

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being vegan wasn't the problem being too closed minded to commonsence is....the dr says my baby needs hopital i don't stick a cabbage leaf on her.....as i have said many times if you look hard enough you will find an expert to back up your ideas no matter how wrong they are, no food for 12 months, where did that come from.....i do think they should face manslaughter charges,

Cassie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Sorry Cathy. ;)

Back to the OP, while the mother's vegan diet may have affected her milk content which could have affected the baby, I believe it was the parents' negligence to attend to the child's illness using modern medicine that resulted in her death. Not the fact that she was exclusively breastfed.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/30/2011

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And more than lacking in accuracy, it lacks in critical judgement. People stupid enough to make major life decisions based on a tv show shouldn't breed. Period.

Mel - posted on 03/30/2011

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I just see it alot, with these babies who cant eat for the same reasons as mine, and so its a subject thats kind of close to my heart you know

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