'Chaotic' Breastfeeder Loses Custody of Baby

Spanish case attracts international attention
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2011 1:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Child-care experts are backing supporters of a young Spanish mom whose baby was taken away from her by authorities who complained about her "chaotic" on-demand breastfeeding patterns and habit of taking her baby into her bed at night. She "uses breastfeeding as a pacifier and a toy, offering her breast any time the girl cries and letting her take it anywhere, no matter the time and context," a social services report states. Pediatricians say the social services report was wrong to criticize both breastfeeding on demand and allowing the baby to sleep in the same bed as its mother.

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The mom's "attitude toward her daughter follows the current recommendations on infant feeding" said the head of infant care at a leading Madrid hospital. Authorities admit the mom is "very affectionate" with her baby, but insist that there were much more serious reasons for taking the 15-month-old girl into care, the Guardian reports. The 21-year-old mother has psychological problems, behaved aggressively toward other women in the home for single mothers she lived in, left her daughter alone in potentially dangerous situations, and had a violent relationship with the baby's father. (Read more Spain stories.)

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