Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breast Feeding And Alcohol

While reading the paper this morning I came across an article about a woman from North Dakota.It seems the police were called for a domestic disturbance,when they got there the woman was not just obviously drunk but breast feeding her 6 week old infant.She was brought to the police station where she pleaded guilty to child neglect and can get up to 5 years in jail if found guilty.
Now some women's groups are up in arms because they feel that just because she had been drinking does not mean she should have had child neglect tacked on because she was breast feeding when the police we're interviewing her.The question seems to be can breast feeding mothers risk criminal charges if they drink even modest amounts.One doctor ask "since when is breast feeding while drunk a crime?"
They feel that if the 26 year old woman had been bottle feeding her baby no one would have checked to see what was in the bottle.
The breast feeding advocacy group,The LaLeche League International advises women to nurse only when completely sober.After drinking one glass of wine or alcohol a women should wait 2 to 3 hours before breast feeding.
It is unclear just how much this woman had drank since the police never conducted a blood alcohol test.The police captain said that his officers handle intoxicated people so much that they pretty much have general knowledge of when someone is intoxicated.I'm thinking that one won't hold up in court.
When police came to the home on April 13 the woman,who has a criminal record,told them that she was assaulted by her boy friend.She had some facial swelling and scratch on her cheek.The boyfriend was not home and at present has not been charged.
So just how far can the police and state go before they cross the line.
29 years ago I breast fed my own child at that time you were encouraged to have a small glass of wine or beer once a day they felt then that it helped you relax and bring your milk in.
I think if this woman had more then one drink then yes she holds some guilt of neglect,since what goes through your body goes into your milk.But I do not think the police should have a right to go after you for child neglect especially when they are guessing your drunk and not doing any sort of alcohol test.My question is what about the boy friend? Why has he not been charged with assault which is,by the way,a crime.

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