From the SAVE Braelon’s Family Facebook page:
BREAKING NEWS: DHR has been halted from performing the circumcision by the attorney’s petition and order of the court!!! Thank you to everyone!!!
Health Impact News received word that the hospital also apparently refused to do the procedure because of all the publicity.
Newborn Kidnapped Baby of 14 Year Old Alabama Mother to be Force Circumcised Against Wishes of Family
by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Baby Braelon has been scheduled to be circumcised on Tuesday, against his mother’s wishes, according to the Save Braelon’s Family Facebook page. Social workers are also reportedly demanding that his mother breastfeed him every 2 hours around the clock, and they are waking them up in the middle of the night to do so.
See our original story about how Alabama DHR took away this 14 year old mother’s newborn baby, allegedly the result of a rape, while still in the hospital. This story was read by more than 1 million people nationwide in the first 24 hours after it was published:
Alabama Child Protective Services Steals New-born Breast-feeding Baby from Rape Victim While Still at the Hospital
In the lawsuit against Health Impact News and others who have reported the news of DHR taking Baby Braelon from his 14 year old mother, and subsequently seizing the mother and her twin brother from their home, the accusation was made that the actions of those exposing the truth “so shocks the conscience of any reasonable man that it constitutes the tort of outrage.”
However, the actions of DHR perpetrated upon the Alabama baby and his family continue to shock and outrage the public and supporters of the family.
Mother’s Decision Not to Circumcise Challenged
While the young mother was still in Shelby Baptist Medical Center with her baby, Dr. Ashley Duke Gooding allegedly asked the mom about circumcising her baby. After the mother sought information on the pros and cons of the procedure, Dr. Gooding allegedly told her that it was entirely her choice as to whether or not to circumcise Braelon. Staff informed her that it was primarily a cosmetic procedure without medical benefits.
When she informed the staff that she chose not to circumcise her son, Dr. Gooding allegedly praised her, saying that she had made a good decision for her baby.
However, now that both the mother and her son are in DHR care, an appointment has been scheduled for the baby to be circumcised on Tuesday, July 12, one day before he is a month old.
Health Impact News has learned that Dr. Tara Fales of the Cullman Regional Medical Center has told the mother that if he is not circumcised, he is at increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, and infections. The mother reportedly continues to reject circumcision and the risks of the procedure itself, but DHR workers are apparently pushing for the unwanted, unnecessary procedure.
At one time in the U.S., almost all baby boys were circumcised, but in recent years, the practice has declined greatly in popularity.
The procedure itself is not without risks. There are an estimated 117 deaths per year from the surgery or from complications from circumcision, such as bleeding or infection, according to researcher Dan Bollinger in the Journal of Boyhood Studies. The policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that parents have the right to reject the procedure for their sons.
There may be a financial incentive for pushing the procedure. The Huffington Post reports:
According to a 2012 study, Medicaid policies in 18 states have stopped covering routine infant circumcision in recent years. Another study found that hospitals in states where Medicaid covers circumcision had rates that were 24 percent higher than those in states that did not cover the procedure.
Often babies are circumcised without anesthesia, and they feel intense pain. Dr. David Chamberlain wrote extensively about the pain of the procedure for babies, and their physiological response. (See: Babies Remember Pain) If a baby is given anesthesia for pain, then the risks of the anesthesia itself are introduced.
It was on Wednesday that the baby was released from Children’s Hospital after becoming gravely ill. Yet, less than a week later, DHR wants to subject him to being circumcised. Why?
Poor Breastfeeding Advice from Social Workers Harming Mother and Baby
Health Impact News spoke with a source close to the family who is not under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court or the circuit court. The source expressed concern that the DHR social workers are reportedly requiring that the young mother breastfeed her baby every 2 hours, around the clock. The source has learned that the baby and mother are being awakened through the night for them to breastfeed. She is then being compelled to pump her milk so that there will be bottles of milk to feed the baby with.
She’s exhausted. They are hoping she’ll crack, so that they can say she is an unfit mother.
Support from Family Cut Off to Young Mother and Baby
It has already been reported that DHR has removed all of the young mother’s support system from her. She is in a group home with no one that she knows, and her phone has been taken from her. Any other new mother in America would have access to call friends and family for support. Many new mothers have their own mother, mother-in-law, sister, or a postpartum doula to stay with them in the early weeks with a new baby, but this mother has been isolated from every person that she would normally call.
She cannot receive visitors who can help with the baby in order for her to rest. She cannot go online and search the myriad of parenting sites that new parents look to for information.
She has none of the usual supports that any other mother would have.
The breastfeeding advice that she has allegedly been given is not in accordance with good research or sound practice. Certainly many babies nurse about every 2 hours, but even then, they generally have 1 or 2 longer periods, where both baby and mother can rest for 5 to 7 hours straight.
Some babies “cluster-feed,” nursing much more frequently for hours on end, then alternating with longer periods without nursing. “Nursing on demand” is what La Leche League and many lactation educators and consultants recommend, following the baby’s cues.
Nowhere is it recommended that a mother breastfeed every 2 hours around the clock. That kind of schedule will quickly lead to exhaustion for both mother and baby, and will weaken the immune system of both.
Dr. Jack Newman is considered by many to be the leading expert on breastfeeding. He has this to say about nursing times:
For one mother feeding every three hours or so may be often; for another, three hours or so may be a long period between feeds. For one, a feeding that lasts for 30 minutes is a long feeding; for another, it is a short one. There are no rules how often or for how long a baby should breastfeed.
DHR workers have reportedly insisted upon the mother pumping milk and sometimes feeding her baby from a bottle, but this is not what most experts recommend, as they warn of possible nipple confusion.
There is an abundance of good information about breastfeeding available. La Leche League is an organization well-known for their mother-to-mother support of breastfeeding. Social workers who find themselves in the position of advising mothers about nursing could avail themselves of good counsel by calling 1-877-4La Leche.
Circumcision and breastfeeding are two major choices that new mothers make for their babies. After the young mother investigated both issues, she made the decision to breastfeed and not to circumcise. Now, DHR threatens to take both of those choices away from her.
DHR Abusing Confidentiality Laws to Suppress Freedom of the Speech and 1st Amendment Rights?
Tammi Stefano, host of the National Safe Child Show, recently interviewed an attorney in Alabama to discuss confidentiality laws that DHR is trying to use to suppress information about children they seize from families. DHR and the Dependency Court in Alabama has not been happy that friends and supporters of the family have published this story and pictures of the family.
The Alabama attorney interviewed by Stefano states that DHR is using these laws wrongly to put gag orders on families to prevent them from telling people how DHR is treating them or their children. Stefano asks the attorney if she knows of situations where DHR told parents to take down GoFundMe pages that were published to raise money for their legal fees in fighting DHR. The attorney replies that she has seen this happen “multiple times” where the parents were not allowed to post information to raise funds to pay her legal fees.
Listen to the entire interview:
Kim Mashego of Shelby County DHR may be reached at (205) 669-3000, or contacted here.
Alabama State DHR Commissioner may be reached at (334) 242-1310, or contacted here.
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