I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In OZ ~ Breastfeeding mums forced to share care

Ed: note - There's that old "forced" word again. She doesn't say it but implied is the patriarchy is making this happen against the oppressed breast feeding mom. The solution for 1 week off is using a breast pump. She could give some of it to dad. Why do these reporters not mention obvious solutions? Are judges so unaware it doesn't come up? Somehow this is not as big a deal as Overington seems to want to imply.MJM

Caroline Overington | June 10, 2009

Article from: The Australian

THE Family Court is placing infants who have not yet been weaned from the breast into shared care arrangements with their separated parents.

A study by academics at Flinders University has found that infants less than a year old are spending one week on a diet of cow's milk, and one week nursing at the breast, so that parents can share their care, as recommended by the Howard government's shared parenting law.

Others are spending up to three hours a day in a car, shuttling between homes.

The shared parenting laws, introduced in July 2006, are attracting complaints from a range of professionals at the coalface of family law.

The study on the shared care of infants after divorce was conducted by Linda Sweet, of the Flinders University School of Medicine, and Charmaine Power, an associate professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Their report said the shared parenting law placed "expectations on both parents to participate equally in care, regardless of the child's age".

The report said there was "ample evidence that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants" and the Australian government's dietary guidelines espouse breastfeeding as the optimal food for children for the first six months of life.

"It would be expected that breastfeeding infants would not be ordered into substantial shared parenting arrangements," the report said. "However, many infants regularly are."

One mother, "Georgianna", separated from her husband when their child was seven months old. The magistrate ordered week-about shared parenting, saying the boy could have his nutritional needs met by means "other than breastfeeding".

"Georgianna's milk supply became erratic as a result of these week-long absences," the report said. At the time of interview, her son was receiving breast milk while with her, and cow's milk while with his father.

"Trish" separated from her husband when their child was five months old. The court ordered shared parenting of seven days a fortnight, but no overnight stays, with dad. The distance between the homes meant the child spent three hours a day in a car seat.

The authors concluded that "national and international guidelines on optimal duration of breastfeeding" have less sway with judges than the benefits of time with fathers. "This in itself is not a bad thing, and all women in our study encouraged father contact," they said.

Breastfeeding was at issue in a Family Court matter heard in Cairns last year, involving a couple who had been married for less than a year when they separated. Their daughter was five months old. The mother was committed to "attachment parenting" and demand feeding, and would not allow the child to stay overnight with her father.

The judge said the mother had "no time set for the child to be weaned" and allowed the father to see the child only when a mothercraft nurse was present (the father had an annual income of more than $280,000, plus a $350,000 annual bonus, so hired help was no problem).

The judge said the father "wanted to take the child out and have her stay overnight but could not "because the mother insisted that the child be breastfed".

The judge said the shared parenting act made it necessary to "consider whether it would be in a child's best interests" to spend such limited time with her father, and concluded that overnight visits should begin three months from the date of the hearing.


Anonymous said...

I don't now about the cow milk...I believe that "formula" milk can be used. Even married couples feed their infants "formula" milk when a mother can't breastfeed. This was an obvious blind spot and missed by the writer - strange.

Michael J. Murphy said...

A great deal of willful blindness occurs when a person is put in the position of not being able to control a situation they believe is by a "writ of God" theirs to possess. What could be closer to that than breastfeeding. In a recent Canadian case a women was deliberately alienating her child from the father by insisting she could not hand him over because of the demands of breast feeding. The child was 29 months. "If you refuse to wean, then get a machine, an Ontario Superior Court judge has told a mother who used her breastfeeding schedule as a technique to deny access to her baby's father." http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com/2009/04/globe-mail-judge-rules-mom-is-milking.html.

What utter bunk. The Judge saw through it, a big surprise in and of itself, and ordered access for the father. Formula is a multi billion dollar industry world wide, for good reason, many working moms don't want to breast feed or simply can't. Its just another excuse for the victim maternalists/feminists to keep dads away.

Some of my most gratifying moments were feeding my daughters with either pumped moms milk or formula. To see them at peace and then fall asleep in your arms after a big burp was very rewarding and nurturing for parent and child. Its a wonderful way for both parents to bond with their children. Overington and others of her mind set would appear to not want this.

Anonymous said...

While I sympathize with the situation, it is an interesting problem. If a mother wants to breastfeed for up to six months exclusively, she is making this commitment for her baby, not herself (and, yes, while not all women can or want to breast feed, it should be an option that is supported by our institutions, since it is best for baby). Not all women can pump enough to sustain a week's worth of supply (babies are much more efficient than pumps). It seems to me the parents (and judges) need to come up with a more creative solution. At this age babies shouldn't be alienated from EITHER parent for a week at a time. If I hated the father of my child, I'd learn to deal really fast, because I am not going to be separated from my newborn more than 10 hours. I think the father should also be able to say that, which means we'd have to set aside our issues for a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

Just read some of the stats listed on this site and realize I'm dealing with an extremist. I get the anger toward feminists, but that's not the issue here. Stats based on real research show that women do more of the child care in general. Not to mention put our bodies through 9 and a half months of pregnancy. We should honor women, not attack them. Do some women purposefully alienate fathers? Sure, but far more abandon women and children. I'd love for fathers to get on board more often, and I applaud your commitment. But don't report false domestic violence stats--that's just plain cruel.

Michael J. Murphy said...

Anonymous June 17/09 9:37 You are making at least two unsubstantiated statements. 1:) I am an extremist (you haven't obviously met one if that is what you think) and 2:) I post false stats. You have not identified which are false so I'm thinking you are just shooting blanks. Neither is true. Every stat on this site can be verified and if it can't I will remove it.

You have shot any credibility with me and I will not bother to respond further.

Michael J. Murphy said...

Anonymous: June 17, 2009 9:25 PM (I shouldn't do this at 2:00 AM) You have a reasonable approach and it sounds to me like you would be able to work something out. I can say from having raised my two youngest daughters from infancy for 10 years as a stay at home dad it was the most gratifying period of my life. Those tender moments of feeding a helpless infant, listening to their breathing and the gurgling noises, the burping and then the sleep (some times walking around with them resting on my shoulder for a period) were precious moments of bonding no parent should miss.