AP and extended bf as a single mum...

Discussion in 'Natural Parenting' started by JA1988, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering really if anyone else is/has been in my situation and could offer a little advice. I am single, but FOB has visitation fortnightly at the moment and is currently taking me to court over length of visitations/overnight stays etc. I just wondered really whether anyone has any tips on how to try and keep up my style of parenting (baby-led, feed on demand, co-sleeping etc) when FOB is completely unsupportive of this and taking me to court to try and force early overnights etc.

    Another issue that really worries me, is that I aim to breastfeed until lo self weans (within reason, as I don't really plan on bf past the age of 3-4) but I feel that this would be the best thing to do for my lo, however FOB is completely against this, wants me to wean him off the breast by 1 year old at the latest, wants unsupervised and overnights etc and says he will be requesting all of this through the courts. I have tried to explain to him the benefits of breastfeeding but he says he has found research which says bf past 6 months is detrimental!!! :nope: My solicitor assures me that there is no way a court would send a bf child away for overnight stays etc until 3-4 years old at the very earliest, but I am just really worried about how best to continue bf and attachment parenting with an FOB who is so utterly against it.

    Hope someone can help! xx
     
  2. CouldThisBeIt

    CouldThisBeIt Mum of 1 and 1 on the way

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    What country are you in hun?
     
  3. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    England x
     
  4. Pikkle

    Pikkle Well-Known Member

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    Oh this must be such a terrible situation for you to be in, and I can't offer any advice really but didn't want to read and run.

    Maybe its worth collecting a lot of research so when asked in court about it you can make it very clear how you are doing everything you are doing for the health and well being of your baby, and how overnight visits etc would affect your baby. I think with BFing, the courts are quite understanding (from what I have heard anyway) and I know (different kettle of fish I know, but..) if you are breastfeeding your are exempt from Jury Service, so hopefully they do have understanding and put the babies wellbeing first.

    Big hugs to you xxx
     
  5. CouldThisBeIt

    CouldThisBeIt Mum of 1 and 1 on the way

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    My experiences were in the USA. I was told that in my state, the courts value a relationship with both parents over breastfeeding, and that as far as parenting choices are concerned, you each make your own and cannot tell the other what to do.

    I don't know what UK law is like, because although I'm British and live back here now, my court case was in Pennsylvania. As far as I am aware, UK custody law is based on the best interests of the child. If you can prove your case, you might succeed. However, it is also important to consider that these cases tend to be pretty long, and your LO may be better suited to coping with over nights by then.

    It's a really horrible situation that you are in. I was terrified when it happened to me, as I follow AP and extended breastfeeding too, along with all that goes with it. Stay strong and read up as much as you can about UK law, have a plan ready for giving the dad as much time as possible without overnights if you can, to see whether you can make something work. Good luck.
     
  6. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    I have done lots of research and have it all to hand if needs be, it really is terrifying though to be in this situation :-( I have offered FOB more daytime visitation as an alternative to overnights so hopefully courts will see that I am trying to be reasonable but still act in best interests of my lo.

    - CouldThisBeIt - I find that terrible that they value mothers and fathers wishes and contact time over breastfeeding, especially as in the grand scheme of things, breastfeeding only takes up a tiny proportion of a childs early life and I think there are plenty of opportunites for bonding which could be fitted around a bf schedule. I also kind of see what they mean about each parents being able to have their own parenting rules/ideas etc, but then how do they ever reach an agreement in court as if a father doesn't want a child to be breastfed and a mother does, then surely one way or another one of the parents would have to go against their wishes?!

    Such a difficult situation it really is. xx
     
  7. CouldThisBeIt

    CouldThisBeIt Mum of 1 and 1 on the way

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    It is. It's horrible. But in the courts eyes, as long as a child is fed, that's all that matters in many cases. You might sometimes get a sympathetic judge, but I didn't-not at first anyway.

    In the case of feeding choices, you can breastfeed, he can formula feed, and you pump when you don't have the kids-in the eyes of the court I was in. I don't think it works, but still. The presumption in PA is for joint custody, and you have to show a reason if you aren't going to split the child's time between mom and dad.

    The UK seems to be a little more reasonable. I say reasonable because I think that especially when tiny, baby is better off with mom most of the time. A lot of what I've just been reading says that if you are breastfeeding then courts won't force overnights till a year old, but you have to allow daytime visits a couple of times a week so that child and dad can build a relationship.

    I really feel for you hun. I lucked out-in the end dad didn't want my DD. He only asked for what he did to try and get me to drop child support and other entitlements-he used his own kid to try and make me just walk away! Thankfully the law was on my side. I hope that the UK courts do the right thing by you here too x
     
  8. pinkie77

    pinkie77 Mum of four!

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    You're being totally reasonable hun, I can't understand why he's so eager to have lo overnight anyway? Surely daytime is better so he has a chance to actually build a relationship instead of lo being asleep most of the time?

    I may be in the same position soon re the court situation as communication has totally broken down between me and fob and I'm not prepared to do all the running any more.
     
  9. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    Wow that must be so confusing for a little one to not know whether he will get the breast, formula or a bottle of expressed milk, I think the uk system sounds much more reasonable in this respect. FOB lives several hours away, so it was his choice to have fortnightly contact as he says he cannot afford to travel any more than twice a month, but I have offered to increase visitation length as an alternative to overnights which is not at all feasible right now.

    So your dd's dad doesn't see her anymore? Was it all just an act then and in the end he lost interest? He pays child support but only the bare minimum as he is unemployed at it was a hassle to even get that out of him to be honest! I hope the courts see that I am offering reasonable visitation etc and hope that they have lo's best interests at heart x
     
  10. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear you might soon be in this situation aswell, it's really not nice at all :nope:

    I didn't want to go to court, but I have offered so many alternatives and tried to reach a resolution but he isn't interested at all.

    That's what I have said to him, I can't understand why he needs him at nightime, I am just going to stick with what I have offered as I think it is fair and gives him time to bond with lo and then just leave the ball in his court.
     
  11. CouldThisBeIt

    CouldThisBeIt Mum of 1 and 1 on the way

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    He hasn't seen her since she was a few months old. I tried for a long time to encourage a relationship between the, but he wasn't interested. So when, two years later a custody case landed on my doorstep stating he wanted every other weekend plus two full uninterrupted weeks in summer for vacation, I was terrified! She was still nursing and I was told that had to stop by the courts if he wanted her. He was a stranger to her, and the best I could do was slow things by demanding supervision till he knew her.

    When it came to the court case, he didn't show up (even though he asked for joint legal and visitation), so he got nothing. So I started a hearing asking for permission to move to the UK. That case he showed for-but only to say that he didn't want her, didn't want to know or see her ever again and that I could take her. Awesome father isn't he?! ;)

    So yes it was all a bargaining chip, and there was no interest at all. It's amazing what some people will do, how they'll use their own kid.
     
  12. lozzy21

    lozzy21 Mummy to Niamh

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    He needs him over night because if lo stays at his house more than 53 nights a year i think it is he pays less child support.
     
  13. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    Wow sorry to hear that, what a waste of space some people are, though worked out for the best for you and your lo I guess as you wouldn't want someone like that in her life, shame he put you through all of that to begin with, must have been awful, I would have been fuming if someone did that to me, disappeared for 2 years and then think he can storm back in and demand everything!!! What a joke!!

    Lozzy- Yes this is precisely what I was thinking, however he only pays me the bare minimum anyway, so not sure it could be decreased any more as he is on jobseekers so only has to pay £5 a week!! x
     
  14. RaspberryK

    RaspberryK Well-Known Member

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    I think if you give the judge the below quote from;
    https://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
    Then they can't really go against that surely?

    On a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is the recommended way of feeding infants, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.

    To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for six months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

    Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life;
    Exclusive breastfeeding - that is, the infant only receives breastmilk without any additional food or drink, not even water;
    Breastfeeding on demand - that is, as often as the child wants, day and night;
    No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers.

    x
     
  15. CouldThisBeIt

    CouldThisBeIt Mum of 1 and 1 on the way

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    As I said, it just depends whether the judge goes for breastfeeding. In the US they prioritise the relationship with the two parents at the detriment of breastfeeding. Hopefully the UK is different.
     
  16. RaspberryK

    RaspberryK Well-Known Member

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    That's just ridiculous don't you think? All of the proven health benefits and they still have attitudes like that.
    Makes me cross :growlmad:

    x
     
  17. missmayhem

    missmayhem Mummy to 2 little cuties

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    as far as i know hun, as long as your BF'ing no judge will a child away from you over night, unless SS step in (i.e you abusing your child)

    but this is not your case so as far as i know, you've won before you step foot in court
     

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