Mom petitions for Landry's law to protect breastfeeding babies
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An Arkansas mom wants to enact a nationwide law protecting nursing children in the midst of child custody cases.
Already, thousands of supporters have signed "Landry's Law" and mom, Rachel told Region 8 News she won't stop until the law is signed, sealed, delivered.
She might babble like most other babies but it'll be awhile before 7-month-old Landry has a voice of her own. So until then, mom Rachel is taking over by working to enact Landry's Law.
"It gives rights to breast fed children and their mothers regarding custody cases. Right now, there is nothing in place protecting them," Rachel Woolard-Weston said.
Rachel's mission stems from her own child custody case, where just this week, a judge ruled that in three months, Landry would have to go to overnight visits with her father.
"It's not trying to take a father's rights away by any means at all," Woolard-Weston said.
Rather, she explains that Landry's Law would give a voiceless child rights. Woolard-Weston is concerned that if Landry stayed overnight, she wouldn't eat because no matter how hard she's tried, Landry won't take anything but momma.
"She will scream, she will get herself so upset that even if food is offered, she wouldn't be able to eat," she explained.
Registered Nurse Sherry Rickard is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with St. Bernards.
Rickard explained that for children who have been exclusively breast fed for months like Landry, they would have no idea what to do with a bottle.
"Because they suck differently at the breast than at the bottle," Rickard explained.
Rickard also said that attempting to switch an exclusively breast fed child to feeding with a bottle could be just as detrimental to mom as it is to baby.
"When a mom has been exclusively breast feeding and then relying on pump for two or three days, what happens is mom can get some plugged ducts that can result in mastitis which is a breast infection," Rickard said.
Above all though, Rachel's concern is for her daughter and other babies in similar situations.
"If people really want to think about the best interest of the child when a child is breast fed, then that needs to be considered above all," Woolard-Weston said.
The online petition for Landry's Law also has a more in-depth explanation of what Woolard-Weston is trying to do and why.
You can also keep up to date with this story through Rachel's blog.