A mom who says a judge told her to stop breastfeeding her baby so the father of her daughter could have overnight visits with the child is getting a lot of attention right now and a lot of support from breastfeeding advocates. After all, breast is best, right? But isn't having two parents also pretty important?
Jessica Moser is making the rounds of the media with the complaint that a judge has given her 10-month-old daughter Jasmine's father overnight visitations that will last two days. Mom says she can't pump enough breast milk to cover those stints, but it wouldn't matter anyway because Jasmine won't take a bottle.
But it sounds an awful lot like a lady who doth protest too much.
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The only one who's making her stop breastfeeding here is her!
While it's true that many exclusively breastfed babies don't like to take a bottle, 99.9999 percent of the time, babies can learn. It's not always a fun process, and it takes some hard work, but even the La Leche League -- pretty much the biggest breastfeeding advocacy group on the planet -- acknowledges on its website that sometimes babies have to drink expressed breast milk from a bottle. They offer tips on making it happen, even suggesting that older babies who can sit up might be better off going right to a sippy cup.
Not to mention, increasing supply can be done. La Leche League offers plenty of tips on that too.
It makes a great headline to say that a judge is interfering with a mom's right to breastfeed, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. There are options here for this mom and her baby to keep breastfeeding going. They're just not options this mom seems willing to hear.
Unfortunately for any mom who is breastfeeding and dealing with a custody battle, this is something they have to face. Pumping, bottle feeding ... that's what sharing custody of a child is all about: making compromises for the best of a child. Exclusive breastfeeding is a great thing, but there are ways she can increase her supply and ways to teach this child to take a bottle. They may not be super easy, but then neither is being a dad who hasn't gotten to spend one-on-one time with his baby girl because the child's mom is using breastfeeding as a weapon.
Ladies, breastfeeding your kids is important, but it does not trump a child bonding with their other parent. Sharing custody in and of itself is a compromise. YOU get the benefit of shared custody too. So now you need to give a little something to the other side.
Do you share custody? How do you handle breastfeeding your baby?
Image via Neeta Linda/Flickr