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Judge Orders Mama to Change Breastfeeding Schedule

Posted May 14 2009 5:00pm

In a hot custody battle, every little action is scrutinized. Or in this case, every big action: the act of breastfeeding.

In Toronto, a Canadian judge ordered the mother of a 29-month-old girl to adjust her breastfeeding schedule or begin pumping so her biological father could spend time with the girl. The girl is now 34 months old.

The woman, Jennifer Johne, had allegedly been limiting time for her daughter to spend with dad, Carl Cavannah, because the girl was still breastfeeding.

But Justice Alan Ingram said that must change. The law says that mothers and fathers are equally entitled to custody of a child.

Cavannah has tried to take an active role in his daughter’s life, the court said, quitting his job and moving closer to her, as well as taking parenting classes. Still, his time with the girl was limited.

I say “girl” because although I wholeheartedly believe in extended breastfeeding, the toddler is clearly old enough to grab an apple, a sandwich and a bottle or sippy of breastmilk during her time with dad.

Though I don’t know what kind of father Cavannah is, he should be given a reasonable chance to try to be a good one. As far as the parents’ relationship, their daughter was conceived after a brief affair.

But I don’t agree that there should be a timetable for breastfeeding to end. (It’s not always our choice; kids sure do like to have their say in the matter!) In this case, mama, might you pick up a pump?Breastmilk is indeed beneficial, but so is the relationship a child has with her father. Even more so, actually.

Justice Alan Ingram wrote in an eight-page ruling:

Jen has been unwilling to give a timetable as to when the breastfeeding will end. But now the time has come for Jen to have greater consideration for the relationship between the child and Carl. If she used a breast pump and provided the milk to Carl, he would be willing to give it to (the child).

The lawyer for Jennifer Johne said her client would appeal.

Source: UPI

Image: helenmoverland on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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