A story to make every natural mama pause, a tragedy is unfolding in France, and vegan-ism is being put on trial. An 11-month-old baby who was exclusively breastfed by her vegan mom is dead, and now the parents could face up to 30 years in prison for their lifestyle choice.
Parents Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou called for an ambulance after their baby girl became listless, but by the time the ambulance reached their home, the baby had died. Baby Louise weighed only 5.7 kg (@12.5 lbs) when the average 11-month-old weighs 8 kgs, and also suffered from a vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiency at the time of her death. The deputy prosecutor, who is charging the couple with neglect and food deprivation followed by death, believes it was a direct result of her mother's diet, which excludes any animal products.
But that's, of course, not the whole story.
While the Le Moaligous are very strict vegans -- they even run an organic food company -- we all know vegans who successfully breastfeed their babies. Being a vegan is a healthy choice, as is breastfeeding. However, this particular family did make a deadly mistake with their baby, and it had everything to do with lifestyle. One that parents all over the world have been making, and some with disastrous consequences: they think that information they find in books, over the Internet, or from friends is to be trusted more than their own pediatricians.
After baby Louise's nine-month checkup, where the baby was diagnosed with bronchitis, the pediatrician advised the couple to take the baby to the hospital, as she was sick and losing weight. Instead, the parents chose non-traditional methods of healing their baby such as clay baths and cabbage poultices. For two months this baby was sick and struggling, and instead of treating her, the parents decided they knew best and ignored a doctor's advice. Baby Louise died of a pneumonia-related illness.
For two months this couple, suspicious of traditional medicine, slowly let their baby get sicker, and sicker, until she died. Two months this baby suffered, because her parents couldn't trust actual fact-based science. Now they face jail time for neglect, and they should. Their baby is dead, and they leave behind a 13-year-old daughter as well.
The couple admits they made mistakes, and while being a vegan isn't one of them, rejecting proven medication to the detriment of your child certainly is.
Do you think this couple deserves to be thrown in jail?
Image via ilovemypit/Flickr