Breastfeeding for babies taken into care
The link is to BAILII and is to case reference 2003 EWHC 850 in which the following statement is made:
44. iv) If a baby is to be removed from his mother one would normally expect arrangements to be made by the local authority to facilitate contact on a regular and generous basis. It is a dreadful thing to take a baby away from his mother: dreadful for mother, dreadful for father and dreadful for the baby. If the state, in the guise of a local authority, seeks to intervene so drastically in a family's life – and at a time when, ex hypothesi, its case against the parents has not yet even been established – then the very least the state can do is to make generous arrangements for contact. And those arrangements must be driven by the needs of the family, not stunted by lack of resources. Typically, if this is what the parents want, one will be looking to contact most days of the week and for lengthy periods. And local authorities must be sensitive to the wishes of a mother who wants to breast-feed and must make suitable arrangements to enable her to do so – and when I say breast-feed I mean just that, I do not mean merely bottle-feeding expressed breast milk. Nothing less will meet the imperative demands of the Convention. Contact two or three times a week for a couple of hours a time is simply not enough if parents reasonably want more.
There are two key things that matter for the health of a baby. The first is to go as close to term as possible. Trafford Social Services acting in the usual manner that torments a pregnant woman that I have seen with other Social Services Departments have already threatened baby Jach's health by so upsetting the mother that she went into Labour early. What surprises me is that the authorities don't seem to worry about stressing pregnant women. They fail to recognise that there is a real baby inside the woman's womb. That is the child they claim to be protecting.
The second key thing is to properly breast feed. This is "on demand" in the early weeks. That means you should not separate the baby and the mother. Doctors know the babies that are breastfed by the fact that they tend not to be ill.
My understanding of today in Wythenshaw is that there remains a security guard stationed outside the ward. There has been a 24 hour police guard. Interestingly there is more security for this mother who has not broken the law than there is for a female prisoner in the same hospital. It took 45 minutes to persuade the authorities to allow the grandparents (father's parents) to see the baby.
The mother cannot go to court on Monday because that would mean leaving the baby. The authorites are not allowing her to take the baby out of the hospital.