Sunday, April 2, 2023
HomeNewsUS mum ordered to stop breastfeeding in custody dispute with dad

US mum ordered to stop breastfeeding in custody dispute with dad

- Advertisement -

A US mother in the midst of a nasty custody battle with her ex has been ordered by a judge to stop breastfeeding her six-month-old daughter.

Arleta Ramirez has been breastfeeding her daughter since she was born in July and previously breastfed her older son for two years.

But after splitting from her now ex-husband, Mike Ridgway, the dad complained about breastfeeding “interfering” with his time with the children, New York Post reports.

His issue with Ms Ramirez breastfeeding their youngest child during his visits led them to court where a judge has now ordered the mum to “make every effort” to bottle-feed the baby.

“Mother is to make every effort to place the child on a feeding schedule and use a bottle,” a judge wrote in an order seen by the Washington Post.

The order began in November ahead of overnight visits which begin in February – however Ms Ramirez agrees with the assessment by health experts that “breast is best”.

She also has trouble pumping milk.

Ms Ramirez, who said the baby initially rejected bottles, is now preparing evidence for a hearing in April from breastfeeding experts as well as a letter from her paediatrician explaining that her daughter is exclusively breastfed.

“Why are they forcing me to stop breastfeeding?” she told the Washington Post. “Isn’t that her right? Isn’t that in her best interest?”

Mr Ridgway told the outlet in an email that he had given Ms Ramirez “space to both nurse and to pump milk for me to bottle-feed our daughter while she is in my care”.

He added: “Past the age of six months I will continue to support breastfeeding and bottle-feeding our daughter breast milk as much as possible, while also supplementing with formula only when absolutely necessary.”

Mr Ridgway’s lawyer, Tara Steinnerd, accused the mum of trying to use breastfeeding “as a weapon”.

“They come up with a myriad of excuses,” Ms Steinnerd said, referring to women who refuse to pump.

“It’s about using breastfeeding as a weapon against visitation.”

Official guidelines in Australia recommended breastfeeding until at least 12 months or beyond.

“Breastmilk can continue to provide an important source of nutrition in your baby’s second year of life,” NSW Health states.

“Breastfeeding will benefit you and your baby, even for years beyond the time that you stop feeding.”

There have been Australian cases where courts have intervened in breastfeeding schedules during custody disputes, but it is rare.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Story Credit:

- Advertisment -

Most Popular