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Prosecutor's Response To Drunken Breastfeeding!
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Prosecutor's Response To Drunken Breastfeeding!

I told you guys that I would talk to a prosecutor about the case in North Dakota! Well, her and I had a lengthy discussion today and she stated without more evidence she would never prosecute the case. Some research is suggesting that breast is best no matter what, so without scientific proof of harm cased to the baby, criminal charges would not be possible. However, this is 100% a case for the Department of Human Services or Child Protective Services.

After talking to her, I still do not believe that drunken breast feeding is okay, and would always pump and dump, but I agree with her that there is no scientific evidence to prove any harm came to the child!

Hmmm, we are both anxiously waiting to see what the end result of this case is :-)
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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167_tn?1374177417
I would have to agree with her, UNLESS they tested the baby and the baby had alcohol in its system? Could that help prosecute then?
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93532_tn?1349374050
I think it is child endangerment plain and simple. There is proof alcohol kills brain cells and we know enough to know that children should not be drinking it, right?

I think it is irresponsible to drink and nurse, irregardless of pumping and dumping. It is a short period of time to abstain from drinking, do it for your child. If for some reason you cannot, you need to seek help.
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193609_tn?1292183893
She said it depends on the state's level of neglect. She said that some states can prosecute a "no harm neglect" and other states you have to prove harm was done. In this case, she said there is no scientific studies on the effects alcohol has on children that they recieved through breast feeding. That would require a group of women to drink and breastfeed, and the researchers to follow the children for a significant period of time to form a correlation between alcohol in their system through breast milk, and any lasting effects. Since no such study has been conducted, there is no proof the alcohol was causing any harm to the baby.
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167_tn?1374177417
Or choose not to breasfteed if you want to drink.

Here is an interesting article from Kellymom.com. I did not know that only 2% of alcohol consumed enters the breastmilk. Still there, but that is a minute amount. I thought it would be a lot more.

***********************/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html
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Avatar_f_tn
i have to go with you cheyenne. even the POSSIBILITY of ANY alcohol getting to my children was enough to make me pump and dump. no matter how drunk i was before i went to sleep i'd pump for at least an hour to get some out and i'd start pumping again when i woke up. you would think that just knowing that some alcohol could get into her babies blood would be enough for her to not breast feed.
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193609_tn?1292183893
I have no problem with people pumping and dumping, but I think the "unknown" of what damage this could do to the child would be enough to keep any woman from nursing a baby with alcohol in her system!
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167_tn?1374177417
C rap, it didn't post. Well, anyone can go to kellymom.com and look it up, or do research. I find it to be an interesting topic. I know many, many women who choose to breastfeed, are great, loving, responsible mothers and do enjoy alcoholic beverages occasionally. Me being one of them. Now, breastfeeding while intoxicated is one thing, but after having a glass of wine or a beer or two...well, you just can't compare that. I just think many mothers will choose not to breastfeed if they don't think they have ANY freedom to enjoy a drink or two occasionally if this sparks such a great debate. That would be a great loss. It's not as restrictive as being pregnant.
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127124_tn?1326739035
I agree with Andi on this.     It's such a short time frame why would anyone want to put their infant at risk for a drink or two??   No one knows for sure how much alcohol a nursing infant would receive and I think any amount is too much.  No one knows exactly how long alcohol stays in the system- everyone processes alcohol differently.                                
        
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167_tn?1374177417
Copied from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which many people use as a resource here:

"Breastfeeding mothers should avoid the use of
alcoholic beverages, because alcohol is concentrated
in breast milk and its use can inhibit milk production.
An occasional celebratory single, small alcoholic
drink is acceptable, but breastfeeding should be
avoided for 2 hours after the drink."

I would just hate for some women to see this post and choose not to breastfeed because they can't have a drink once in a while. There is a difference in binge drinking and having the occasional beverage. As long as you are following the guidelines, you should be fine. Breast is best!!
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127124_tn?1326739035
I still don't see how they can say after 2 hours it's ok to breastfeed because everyone processes alcohol differently.   Especially if you go 9 months without drinking that drink is going to hit you harder.
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93532_tn?1349374050
I agree, this may be an average. It is just not worth the risk. Not only that, it alters your reaction time as a mom.

I think if you are responsible enough to abstain while pregnant, what is a few more months for the sake of the baby's developing brain? I would hate to look back and wonder if my drinking, even just one glass, contributed to neurological issues.

This is just one point where i am definitely an "old cow" and very conservative in my views.

BTW, it is unethical to test on pg women and babies, thus the study would never, ever be done. They would go with a reasonable medical opinion on the subject or some sort or retrospective study similar to those done with FAS. Besides, is seems a majority of nursing moms seem to opt for abstaining from drinking while nursing.
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172023_tn?1334675884
This particular incident involved a GROSSLY drunken mother.  No one charges a nursing mother with this if she just had a glass of wine or two.

There had to be plenty of evidence, and it had to be pretty severe.  Remember, there was also domestic violence included.

Stumble-drunk nursing mother + domestic violence = abuse/neglect charges.  Whether they will stick is another matter.
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163557_tn?1244116542
i totally agree with you, jen.
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134578_tn?1404951303
The charges will stick because she pled guilty.  If she had fought them, the issue would have been child neglect, not poisoning the baby, because the latter (while egregious) would be so hard to argue for the reasons given.  I don't think we are going to see police give tickets to sober-seeming moms who may have had a glass of wine with dinner and have nothing else going on.  
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193609_tn?1292183893
Well, that is pretty much what me and the prosecutor decided Peek. We agreed that the media probably focused on the fact that she was drunk and nursing, instead of explaining the house was a mess, the kids were being abused, and the offender was a convicted child molester. (Not really, but you get my point).
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry but I think Andi's point of view is a little extreme.  To be honest I didn't really drink while I was breast feeding but it was not because I didn't feel I had the option.  There are responsible ways to enjoy your beer or wine and still give you baby the nourishment that is best... From the breast.  There is lots of scientific evidence and studies that have laid out what is safe.  Of course there is always going to be an exception to ever generalization and a handful of bad apples who are irresponsible. But Peek and Cheyenne are reminding us that this situation was an extreme case, this women was more than just a little intoxicated and there were authorities called to the home for a good reason and it was not the breast feeding while drunk.  She obviously is irresponsible in more ways then one.  And I think most can agree regardless of the situation, generally speaking the law should have restrictions on how much control it has over the choices of it public.  Moderation and responsible behavior is the key and many women would probably choose not to breast feed if they felt it would limit they from making their own choices and became too big of a deal.  Which is not what anyone wants.
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