Investigated For Abuse & Neglect For Refusing Formula…

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I came across this heartbreaking story that was shared to my page.  A parents worst nightmare, getting investigated by CPS for doing what she knew was the best for her baby. For fighting for her right to breastfeed her son.  This sort of thing happens too often and it’s not okay. Moms being bullied into supplementing with formula or making them doubt their own ability to nourish their baby with breastmilk. Here is her story-

I share this story, not only to vent, but to put this out there in hopes to help someone else. During this last month, we have found that NUMEROUS people have experienced the same thing that happened to us, and it must come to an end.

We have been, and are still, being investigated by Child Protective Services since July 14th for “Abuse, and Neglect”. Yes, you heard that correctly, ABUSE AND NEGLECT. During my daughter, Niki’s stay at Halifax Hospital when she had her son Luke, they were very forcefully trying to make her formula feed Luke, she had chosen to breastfeed. They bullied her incessantly, tried telling her that she was “starving her baby”, he was “losing too much weight, it was unhealthy”, told her that he was “11% below his birth weight” – which was totally incorrect. 9.2 oz when he was born, 8.3 ounces when we left the hospital AMA (against medical advice). DO THE MATH, he was less then 9% below birth weight, which is TOTALLY normal. A mother’s milk does not even come in until the 3rd – the 5th day AFTER the baby is born. She held her ground, with my unconditional support, and would not be bullied into formula feeding her baby. At one point during her stay, she was nursing, the Pediatrician came in (this happened on 3 separate occasions) EACH time, they removed the baby FROM her breast, WHILE he was nursing to examine him. Making horrible comments to a crying baby “awww, what’s the matter, are you hungry? Is mommy not feeding you?” REALLY!?!??!

We knew that it he was in healthy limits of weight loss, we knew that her milk hadn’t come in, we knew that at 2 weeks postpartum he needed to be AT his birth weight. We were CONFIDENT that we were making the right choice, and refused to be bullied.

We left the hospital on Saturday morning AMA, my daughter was discharged, but they wanted to keep the baby, we said HELL no. Luke left with us. I told the nurse that I would be filing a complaint with the licensing division against the Dr. and her residents. As well as filing complaints about our stay at Hellifax! She agreed with us that we were doing the right thing. Our Midwife supported us…. so we left.

Four days later, on Wednesday, we went to the Midwife to have her staples removed. WHILE there, we received a call from CPS that Halifax Hospital had filed a complaint, alleging abuse and neglect, and needed to meet us at my house. (They didn’t call for FOUR days!) Such an “urgent” situation, yet the hospital waited to report for 4 days!

Our first visit was rather great actually, she stated that she knew she didn’t need to be there, it was a waste of her time, and she sincerely apologized to us for the inconvenience, and would have the case closed as “Patently Unfounded”.

At Luke’s 2 week check up, on July 24th, he weighed in at 9.5 oz, was “above average” in weight, length and head size. We were told that he was “PERFECT” and that Mom was doing a GREAT job. I asked the Pediatrician about a baby losing weight at birth, and he said it was PERFECTLY normal until the mother’s milk came in!

Our case was NOT closed as “Patently Unfounded” We were told that a Doctor TRUMPS a midwife, and we should have listened to the Doctor. This was NOT our Pediatrician, she was ASSIGNED to us at the hospital. That we were being investigated for neglect and abuse. And that we had to take Luke to Child Protective Services and have him examined by their Doctor.

TODAY, we had that appointment. After all was said and done, a million questions asked and answered….. it was determined that this entire situation was a waste of their time, that they couldn’t believe this had happened to us, and upon leaving the facility, the investigator told my daughter, “I’m glad you stood your ground, you continue to do what’s right for your baby.” Luke weighed in today at 10 lbs 3 oz and 22 1/2″ long!!! I’d say he is growing JUST FINE!

There is still a possibility that this “case” will remain open for the next 30 days, as they have to leave a case open for 60 days…..

This has been a very trying time, and a very emotionally draining time. During all our joy of having a new baby, it was constantly clouded by being “watched”, “monitored”, “questioned”, and the “surprise visits” to our home. It’s not a lot of fun having your entire life opened up, investigated, back ground checked, house inspections….. it’s invasive, embarrassing, humbling, and frustrating as hell! I know they HAVE to investigate, trust me… I am well aware how horrible their jobs must be. I do NOT blame the investigators for doing their job, although I do think it was taken too far. I blame the hospital for being so incompetent, unsupportive, and vindictive.

I guess through all of this, I’ve learned, yet again… that God does not KEEP us from the fire, but he holds us as we walk through it. When we stand up for what we believe in, and we do what’s right, we come out, unharmed, on the other side. A little wiser, a little stronger, a little more confident, and a lot more determined. Being a MOM, means you are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to do what is BEST for your baby!!

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