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Family Court and a breastfeeding newborn?

Posted by on May. 24, 2010 at 9:34 AM
  • 14 Replies

There are some custody issues that involve my older son and that have us in Family Court every month. The days in court can be from 3-6 hours long, and sometimes longer. My older son stays in the court childcare center during these sessions. 

I'm due in July with another child. That child will be exclusively breastfed. 

I was wondering if anyone has any information about breastfed infants, family court, etc. I'd prefer not to leave a 2 week old newborn in a childcare center. At the same time, I've just realized that I might have no choice. (Grrrr) 

by on May. 24, 2010 at 9:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Heather881029
by on May. 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM

When I was going through my divorce I had to go to a hearing when my 2nd child was just 4 days old.  I wore him in a sling and nursed him off and on throughout the entire ordeal.  I was very emotional for many reasons including going through a divorce and just delivering a baby.  The judge did not say one thing to me.  He offered me water and tissues.  Call the court system and see what they will allow.  Or if you can bring someone with you to sit in the lobby  or courtroom if allowed with your sweet baby and you nurse when needed. 

WilliamsMama08
by on May. 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Well considering you can nurse anywhere you are allowed to legally be (assuming you are in a state like that) I  would think it would be a horrible decision on any law enforcement personal (especially a judge) to not allow you to nurse.  Do what the PP did an just put baby in a sling or wrap. 

Daynaof3
by on May. 24, 2010 at 10:58 AM

 I agree with the other ladies.

CALsMom0104
by on May. 24, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I was in the same situatiion.  My daughter was 4 weeks old when went went back to court with my ex.  I was uncomfortable breastfeeding in the courtroom, so I chose to pump and get a sitter.  I wanted to leave my daughter at home with someone I trusted rather than worrying about her crying in the courtroom or with strangers.  I brought a battery operated pump and it worked fine.  Good Luck!   I know how stressful that can be!

mamabens
by Miranda on May. 24, 2010 at 11:19 AM

a good friend of mine went in front of the judge in a child support case nursing her 4 month old. No one batted an eye. (she was also only 17 at the time )

SillyRooster
by on May. 24, 2010 at 11:25 AM

You have the right to breastfeed anywhere you are allowed to be.  (In this case required to be.) Newborns need to feed on demand.  That is not something you can do if the child is not with you.

JamesAndMe
by on May. 24, 2010 at 11:31 AM

In NJ you can breastfeed wherever you are allowed to be, so a court house would be a particularly well protected place to do it.. but I just don't know about doing it directly IN court as the judge might see it as a "distraction", despite this being the least distracting option, since kids aren't usually allowed in proceedings..  But a breastfed baby is different than most kids, and accommodations for you to leave during proceedings to feed / pump should definitely be made (it is a health concern if you are engorged.. and a 2 week old might eat every hour for all we know, so 3-6 hours without pump/feed seems like a really really bad idea) if they will not allow you to bring the baby with you.

I would think bringing baby in a sling or having someone sit outside the doors and bring baby in to you to breastfeed when baby needs it would be ideal.  Either that or the judge would have to allow you to A. go pump (and if baby is nearby, why not just go feed baby?) or B. go feed your baby.  The least disruptive option is the sling idea.

You might want to bring a doctor's note with you saying you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby..you need to pump/feed as baby needs or it is a health concern for you.. a copy of NJ laws incase the judge is a dingus.. and you might also want to call the court house/maybe call your lawyer if you have one and ask questions about this.

I would think, given NJ is one of the few states that actually penalizes folk who ask BF moms to leave, they would be very accommodating to you.

tabi_cat1023
by Group Admin -Tabitha on May. 24, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I would wear him in a sling and nurse when needed.  Childcare centers can not take a child under 6 weeks by most states laws, thats the law here.

abelsmama07
by on May. 24, 2010 at 3:19 PM

i used to be a television reporter, and back in journalism school when learning how to get interviews, and stuff... they used to teach the rule, "it's easier to ask for forgivness, than for permission." 

i think this rule applies here.  just do it. i'm sure a sling will help.  bring a law card, what judge is going to throw you out of court, when you have the law right in front of you?  i highly doubt anyone will bat an eye.


catholicmamamia
by on May. 24, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Bring baby, a sling, and a printed copy of your local breastfeeding law. 

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