Breastfeeding is crucial not only for a newborn but also for the mother. This is because a mother has to remain healthy in order to properly nourish her child through her milk.
This point is driven home in the case of one Australian mother who, after going on a water-only diet, nearly kills her newborn.
Curiously enough, it began when the mother, a university-trained midwife at a Sydney hospital, attempted to put an end to her child’s discomfort.
Said a Guardian report: “The infant was often covered in blood from scratching his eczema and the washing line was constantly full of bloodied sheets that had to be washed, a close friend of the woman said in evidence.”
The mother then sought advice from naturopath Marilyn Bodnar, who advised a “raw food diet” and eventually “water-only” diet.
At one point during the course of her diet, the mother exclusively ate watermelons for three straight days and not much else.
In fact during a doctor visit last year, the doctors found that her then eight-month-old was emaciated and severely dehydrated, had sunken eyes, dangerously low sodium levels and flexed hands and feet.
On May 2015, her baby boy was admitted to Westmead hospital; he was found close to death.
The mother has since been facing charges due to endangering the life of her child.
“The case against the defendant demonstrates a serious example against her training and against the telltale signs which would have been blindingly obvious to anyone,” said Magistrate Ian Guy.
“I accept she was following advice,” he said. “That does not mean that she was somehow seduced, tranced into blindly following.”
Meanwhile, according to the mother’s lawyer Richard Kouchoo, his client was a loving mother. She only sought advice from a naturopath after orthodox medical treatments failed to improve her son’s condition.
Because of the case, the mother can no longer work as a midwife.
The Guardian report also said that the naturopath is facing charges. “Bodnar is due to face trial next week on reckless grievous bodily harm and aiding the failure to provide care to a child.”
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