Wednesday, April 23, 2008

breast milk for now

I will sleep better tonight knowing that the little tummies of the FLDS babies will be full of breast milk tonight. I am sad to think of what the supplements would have done to their health as well as their discomfort and anxiety level. In a time when their world is turned upside down, whether for the better or not, the sweet familiar taste of their mother's milk will give them comfort. I can only hope these young innocent children will continue to receive the best nutrition, breast milk. I am grateful that someone told the judge and CPS the importance of breast milk for the FLDS babies and that a decision was made to allow nursing infants under 12 months continue. I hope for the older nursing children, away from their mothers, that breast milk can be expressed and given to them. I will continue to advocate for the children without a voice. --Nicole


Ruth said...

Whew! Thank goodness judge Walther has changed her tune. Thanks to everyone for speaking out and helping to focus attention on those breastfeeding infants and their mothers in this strange case. I truly believe the rapid response and general outcry has helped avoid some measure of tragedy in the lives of these tiniest innocents. There are so many people in positions of authority who don’t seem to fully grasp the importance of breastfeeding or even other aspects of motherhood, and somehow feel it is a trivial thing that can be lightly dismissed. I am relieved that so many of us can weigh in, provide a reality check, and hopefully send a better message. I hope all the rest of the children, whatever their ages, will also get through this with as little trauma as possible (I’m sure no one can comfort a toddler quite like his own mother). *Sigh* Let’s hope for the best.

HolyInheritance said...

I am praying for all these 437 FLDS children who have been illegally kidnapped from their homes.

I will continue to keep this story on everyone's mind through my blog
"Day of Praise". This story should not be allowed to fade away as the Texas CPS ships these children out all over the state of Texas. America's future freedom depends on it.

If you haven't yet seen the video of the happy, healthy FLDS children at the Ranch, before the raid, grab a box of kleenex and watch here:

Fred Vincy said...

Good news.

I've also posted on this topic and liked to this post concerning the favorable resolution.

MilkMaid said...

NOW, we need to think about these babies, who are now at breast, and what is going to happen to them in a little over a decade, when their mothers hand them over to the Pedophiles or not.

Does anyone know a way that something could be done to prevent these innocent babies, who will soon be young teenage boys and girls, from being kicked out of their home so the old men can have more little girls for themselves, and so that the young girls will NOT be raped, tortured, and turned into virtual slaves for breeding and sex?

Does anyone know what is happening to the babies of young teenage moms who have DENIED their own babies, so their "husbands" do not get in trouble? It is pretty hard to breastfeed a baby, when you have already told the authorities, "I don't have any children."

There are still babies whose mothers have not come forward, in order to protect the men who raped them.

Also, WHAT will happen to these beautiful, innocent babies now at breast, when their mothers allow them to enter the beds of the Pedophiles who started this Compound?

I think determining WHO is willing to learn proper parenting (which includes PROTECING your child from sex abuse) should be able to keep their children.

BUT, what should happen to the babies, boy and girls, of the women who will just recycle their girls into Incest and Rape, and allow most of their boys to be abandoned at 14 , to fend for themselves, so that the "husbands" can have more young girls to rape for themselves?

Anyone have any idea?

Because my empathy is with these children, not only TODAY, but a decade or more from now.

Should a women from this "Church" who is unwilling to protect her children from abandonment and rape in the future be allowed to keep her children, simply because she spent a few months breastfeeding?

I want to advocate for these children for their entire childhood. Not just for today.

Also, breastfeeding alone, although a fantastic way to start a child's life, cannot be considered the ONLY judge of good parenting. A woman who breastfeeds for a while, and then allows her child to be raped, is no better than a Pedophile herself. She is, I am sorry, not a GOOD Mother.

I simply cannot think that in any way, the women who are going to or have already doomed their children to abandonment and rape are Good Mothers, nor should they be allowed to keep their children, unsupervised, UNLESS we know they have RENOUNCED FLDS, Polygamy, Child Rape, and Boy Abandonment and have NO further contact with those who enjoy this type of most disgusting form of Cyclical Child Abuse.

And, it needs to be made clear that CPS has to keep an eye on them and their children for the rest of their lives.

I care too much for all children, breastfed or not, to simply side with these women, who have been taught to lie, to protect the very men who rape their daughters.

This isn't just about "breastfeeding." If these women were Good Mothers, there wouldn't have been a raid, nor any Mother Baby Separation in the first place.

These women NEED to make their own decisions and say NO to allowing their children to be Sexually Abused. If they can't do that, then what?

I have seen no one else on this blog address WHAT will happen if the mothers simply go back to a life of virtual slavery, boy abandonment and child rape.

What are your thoughts on the futures of these children, if their Mothers continue with their Abusive, non-protective lifestyle

Ruth said...

Whoa... where is this "rape, torture, and sex slave" stuff coming from? Who are you, "milkmaid"? And what exactly is your experience with these FLDS people?

Mlyn said...

I whole heartedly agree with milkmaid! Breast milk is good but abuse lasts FOREVER! Anyone who thinks that breast feeding is the only thing at stake in this horrendous situation needs to spend time with children abused by "good parents." Shame on you breast milk proponents who just see this issue as breast feeding or weening. SHAME ON YOU.

Ruth said...

Shame on YOU for disparaging those women with no basis in fact. Whatever may (or may not) be going on in their sect, treating them and their children inhumanely is not the answer.

MilkMaid said...

Sorry, Ruth. I am a lactation consultant, and a mother, and also have a degree in Child Development and Psychology. (You asked who I am. I'm telling you. Who are you, and where do you get YOUR data and knowledge base?)

Also, I have done research into Polygamist Cults during the investigation of Thomas Greene several years ago.

Ruth, these women are NOT defending their children from RAPE, a mothers job is to defend their children.

Just in case you don't know, RAPE means having intercourse with a woman who does not or CANNOT give consent. If a girl is under the age of Consent, having sex with her is automatically RAPE. Would any decent man have sex with an unwilling 13 yr old? Would any decent mother let that man do it? Well, the people in this Cult do that, every day. Therefor it IS rape, and they are AWARE of it.

To put a child back into the arms of a women who will only betray that child a few years later is criminal.

Breastfeeding is important, very important but it does not guarantee that a women is a GOOD mother in all aspects. I don't think anyone is naive enough to think "Well they breastfeed, they would never cause harm to their own children." There is simply no precedence for this type of thinking.

Would you like some references, about how this cults rapes their young girls, how the girls are forced into marriage to relatives, and have no say in it, on how many of the young boys are thrown out, so there will be less Competition for the girls?

I'd be happy to provide you with it. But, I have found that most zealots usually won't read fact, and even when they do, they find a way to dismiss it.

I CARE about these children, not just today, but when they reach adolescence.

Ruth, have you ever been in a situation where you were raped on a regular basis? If not, I don't know that you can know whether or not it is considered TORTURE. But, I can assure you, rape is a form of terror and torture. Also, these women are basically slaves (I said Virtual slavery, if you read in detail.)

I am not a knee jerk reactionary, nor do I believe that just because a women breastfeeds, she is totally incapable of harming her children. MOST women would not allow harm to come to her children, but THESE women do, every day.

READ the actual reports. Rape, abuse, boy abandonment etc.

ALL true.

Don't be naive to think that these women are doing what is best for their children always, simply because they breastfeed for a few months.

Yes, these children are innocent. And they will be when they are forced into the beds of men they want nothing to do with.

Do YOU want to enable these people to do this to the INNOCENT children you show so much empathy for today? Where will these children be in a decade? THINK about it.

MilkMaid said...

These are from Newsweek Magazine, Law Enforcement Reports, and Released Court Documents on the Original Prosecution (and eventual Guilty Verdict for Child Rape for Warren Jeffs, the "leader" of the FLDS Compound.)

"According to law enforcement officials and others familiar with how plural marriage operates, the problems usually associated with polygamy include:

High levels of incest, child abuse and wife battering. But the crimes are rarely reported because of the secrecy surrounding polygamous communities, law enforcement officials say.

Widespread reliance on welfare. In the tiny town of Hildale, for example, along the Utah-Arizona border, as many as 50% of the residents are on public assistance, according to state and federal records. The fraud occurs when plural wives claim they don't know the whereabouts of their children's father.

Unusual levels of child poverty. For example, across the street from Hildale in Colorado City, Ariz., every school-age child in town was living below the poverty level, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 1997, the most current available. (A know Polygamy heavy area.)

Wide-ranging tax fraud. Polygamists often underestimate their income or, as in Green's case, don't file returns at all.

Limited educational opportunities. Last year the prophet of the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints Church, a group excommunicated more than a century ago for practicing polygamy, ordered the town's children to stop attending public school, resulting in the closure of the local elementary school.

Overtaxed public services. Medicaid pays for more than one-third of the babies born in Utah, and plural wives account for a disproportionate share of those births, child welfare advocates say.

Only in the 1990s when the forced marriages of young girls, child abuse and alleged welfare fraud came to light did law-enforcement and child-welfare officials begin to pay attention.

Polygamy has always been the keystone of the FLDS church, and underage marriages are nothing new, according to former members. Bistline, who left the group in the 1980s, recalls that girls as young as 12 were married off to older men. The church leader arranges most marriages, claiming divine guidance for the matches.

In practice, a small group of wealthy men get multiple wives, leaving many younger men, called the "Lost Boys," unable to marry and forced out of the group in an inexorable numbers crunch.

The girls are married off young, because they are more malleable. "When they are in their early teens, they are a lot easier to persuade to marry a man 30 or 40 years older," he says. "By the time they are 18, they have their own ideas." The early marriages are also a means of control. In some cases, girls who show independence and a precocious interest in boys become young brides in the group's belief that the new husband will exert a strong guiding hand.

Carolyn Jessop (a woman who escaped Warren Jeffs Polygamy Compound FLDS in secrecy) doesn't think authorities overreacted in preparing for the worst when they called in an armored personnel carrier, K9 dog units and ambulances during tense negotiations to enter the temple. "This group absolutely could turn violent," she said, adding that Warren Jeffs had reintroduced the use of guns into the community.

Carolyn Jessop and others who fled the group said it had become increasingly isolated and bizarre under Jeff's, who had already taken control by the time his father died in 2002. The new leader banned the color red and made members EXECUTE all their dogs, for instance. He started reassigning wives and children to men in better standing, sometimes casting the husbands out with no more explanation than "repent from afar."

Testimony from a man who witnessed polygamists in Utah"
"Polygamist families are taught that welfare was instituted by God to assist them. Thus, wives who are not technically married as the first wife file for welfare by stating that their husband has left them and refuses to pay child support."

In effect, polygamy is cheating the honest citizens of this state out of millions of tax dollars.

The Batemans, who have a son with Down syndrome, said that Down syndrome children are prized here for their docile nature and the fact that their families receive $500 a month from the government for their care. "You see these young pregnant mothers rubbing their stomachs saying, 'I hope this one's a Down,' " said Eunice Bateman, a former plural wife.

Rowenna Erickson, who married into the Kingston group, calls the health care for children in polygamy a "freak show," saying pregnant women seldom receive prenatal care.

Along with others, Erickson helped organize Tapestry Against Polygamy, a group that helps women seeking a way out of plural marriage. She says intermarriage is common in some polygamous groups. "Half brothers and sisters marry and it's nothing for cousins to marry," Erickson said."

end quote

Nice parents, aren't they? Does anyone really think they are good parents who have their CHILDREN'S best interests at heart? These are pedophiles, who have made up their OWN Bible in order to "legitimize" their own sexual desires for multiple sex partners and very very young girls to rape. That's IT.

NOT good parents. Sorry.

Ruth said...

Sounds terrible. I am a mother who loves her own children dearly and has compassion for any suffering that I see. Like you, I am obviously no friend of abuse of any kind, or of polygamy for that matter. I have great compassion for these children that I’ve been seeing in these recent news reports. Like you, I care about them both now and as they grow into adulthood.

All of us, like you, want to see any abuses stamped out for good, for the long term. This is precisely why we think it is important, even when supporting a raid on a particular community, that we don’t overlook the welfare of the children even while the case is being sorted out. It is for this reason that we are glad that the tiniest babies can remain with their mothers for the moment. Can you honestly say that if we captured some remote, patriarchal jungle tribe accused of being cannibals, the first order of business should be to round up the women and children and tear the infants from their mothers’ breasts? That’s not just cruel, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t argue that each and every one of the women are necessarily model citizens. We don’t know. They have not yet been judged on an individual basis. But I certainly don’t think the babies should have to suffer while the case is being sorted out. Those FLDS babies who are still with their mothers are only there, under supervision, until each and every one of their mothers is found to be either guilty or innocent of whatever they may be accused of.

While my thoughts have mainly been centered on the welfare of the children, I do think that any time you are concerned about the welfare of children, you must also be concerned about the welfare of their mothers, with efforts on rehabilitation, education, and helping them to get out of any potentially abusive situations themselves – not simply punishing them and driving them further into fear. It’s interesting to me how in the photos of this “short creek” raid that was done on these people back in the 1950’s, the women all seem to be wearing the typical 50’s dresses of the time. Look at the women now! It’s like they had such a serious backlash to that other raid that even their hair and mode of dress has taken ten steps backward. If anger or disgust toward those women causes us to treat them callously or even heartlessly right now, it only serves to further isolate them and compound any cycles of abuse. We cannot, by our actions, feed into whatever fear mongering may be going on within their group by some to maintain control over them. If their group leaders have been teaching them all their lives that people outside their group are cruel and evil, we cannot willingly substantiate that idea. For us to truly help with their long-term emancipation, we cannot feed into their sheer terror of the “outside” world by acting abusively ourselves.

I believe that inoculating these women and their children from the fears that could lead to isolation and abuse requires us to act humanely toward them and see that others do too. That this is very hard to do when people are ripping screaming children from their mothers’ arms. Allowing at least the nurslings to continue their normal mode of feeding, at least for now, is a step in the right direction. The FLDS must be able to see and understand that there are good people here on the “outside,” contrary to what anyone else might try to teach them. We all want any alleged abuse to be fully investigated and come to an end. We may not all agree on the best way to do it. I am only beginning to learn about this group of people myself. It sounds like you’ve been investigating it for a lot longer. What personally sparked your interest and passion for these FLDS children, and what are you currently doing to help them? Have you contacted any of the FLDS personally? Are you looking for any help from us?

Shannon @ Some Fine Taters said...

Check out this article:

"The mother is not being allowed to be with this child or her other nursing children"

Is the hospitalized child a nursling who is being denied breastmilk?

MilkMaid said...

You make some good points, Ruth. Yes, these women really need to be taught to stand up for themselves and think for themselves. But, if they refuse to do so, what will happen to the children?

There are a number of women who were given a chance to stay with their children IF they didn't immediately go back to the Compound. Most women chose to stay with their children, as most would expect, however, there are a number who WENT BACK, knowing full well that their children would NOT be allowed to accompany them, until it could be established that the children would be safe at the Compound. WHAT kind of mother would simply go "back home" to a place where she knows abuse takes place against children, when given a chance to do otherwise, just to "serve her man." I'd die for my kids NOTHING would cause me to abandon them, just because a man said it was what I should do. But, many of these women made just that poor choice. SO, in these cases, the fact that they do not have their children is ENTIRELY in their hands. THEY caused the continued separation. Just as they let old men rape their little girls, they have let the same men take them "back home" leaving their children in State Care. Again, not the actions, IMO, of "Good Mothers."

As a fellow breastfeeding advocate, of course, my heart broke to see some of these women separated from their children and yes, the judge who, for some reason equated this separation with a woman who "returns to work" at 6 wks with their plight was being ridiculous. But, my caring about these children extends BEYOND the breastfeeding month or year or so these mothers practice is. I recently saw a "family picture" of the children of one man and ONE of his wives and her children. The children were no more than a year in age apart. That tells me that long term or Ecological breastfeeding is most likely not practice here, at least as far as this family goes. That means, as I assume you are familiar with the normal course of breastfeeding, that, of course, early, forced weaning is common on this Compound.

What about these girls, and young boys (who are not "chosen" to be allowed to have plural wives, and thus abandoned by their mothers, so their own husbands will have less competition for raping young girls) what about THIER future, if these mothers refuse to follow the LAWS of our country and the state of Texas (or Utah, or Idaho, or any other state where Polygamy and forced, illegal marriage is common) and continue to allow their children to be abused?

WHO is advocating for these children?

And again people are going back to the breastfeeding issue. Breastfeeding, and separation are really being used as a Red Herring by FLDS to gain sympathy, when it is really not practiced the way most advocates think is Optimal for babies and children.

You asked me: " Can you honestly say that if we captured some remote, patriarchal jungle tribe accused of being cannibals, the first order of business should be to round up the women and children and tear the infants from their mothers’ breasts?" ONLY if the mothers were REFUSING to protect their own children and allowing the men of their Tribe to KILL and EAT their children. If that were what was happening then YES, taking these children should be of utmost priority. In this Compound, the mothers were in effects doing just that. REFUSING to PROTECT their children against the ingrained immorality and illegality of their "Tribe."

We have seen that there are a number of women who have left the Compound (and other Compounds of their nature) so the ones who stay, are CONTRIBUTING to the Abuse. And one of the reasons for their "Isolation" is to escape detection of abuse. The women of the Compound have stated themselves, "No one is being held here against their will." THEN what mother would stay, knowing full well what will happen to her children? Either leaving is nearly impossible, and then we have Illegal Imprisonment added to the charges, or women CAN leave, and choose to stay, amid the abuse and abandonment. They can't play both sides of the fence, yet they are trying to.

I do feel for these children, AND they need to be protected now, so that they are not abused, raped or abandoned later on.

IF the women agree to renounce the FLDS if they take parenting courses, if they do not simply join a similar Cult,or go back to FLDS and if they Agree to PROTECT their children then yes, they most certainly should have their children. BUT, they will need close supervision. It will be too easy for many of them to want to not have to think for themselves and backslide into a similar situation. With, of course, the children being the victims once again.

I am aware of the the Short Creek incident. I do not know if it was established that young girls were being raped, or that young boys were being abandoned, though. The main situation was refusal to use "compulsory education" and of course, plural marriage, as well as large amount of fire arms being present. I do not, from what I know, think the two situations are parallel. Short Creek was not much more than a large family group. Yes, they broke some laws, but there was not, as far as I can find out, the Systemitized Rape, underage forced "marriage" and "disposal" of young boys, on a large scale manner. I think the main reason Short Creek was raided was Tax reasons and known cache of illegal fire arms. It ended terribly bloody. BOTH the family and the Law Enforcement Agents were to blame. In the FDLS case, Law Enforcement KNEW what they might be up against, they KNEW that Jeffs had re-equipped the Compound with large amounts of Fire Arms and Ammo (including semi-automatic weapons, which are made ONLY for killing humans) So, it was done in a way which would have the least chance of violence.

My interest in these children? I did research during the Greene case. (Again, this was simply a large family group, not over 400 children AND the main concerns here were taxes and welfare fraud, not child rape, which the FOUNDER of FLDS is not in prison for.) As a Lactation Consultant, when the FLDS came to light, I was originally enraged, to see mothers and children separated. But, as I did more research, I realized that the Abuse, sexual and otherwise, along with the reprehensible act of simply throwing away little boys, so they wouldn't be competition to their own fathers, uncles etc for young girls attractions, made me ILL.

No, I haven't spoken to people directly ON the Compound. Few people are allowed to. What have I done to "help" them? I believe, as in my Lactation Practice that people need to ASK for help. I simply do not buy "They don't know to ask LLL or a Lactation Consultant to help them." Newspapers can be bought, the Internet can be accessed at most libraries, people can TALK. Also, as a LLL leader, or an LC, I don't barge in on a woman and her baby, claiming I am here to "save her" because someone other than herself told me she needed help.

I have been working with breastfeeding women for decades, nothing is more resented than someone coming in, thinking one will "save the day" in a situation where one was not asked by the adults who may or may not need help. I have had phone calls from people who say to me, "Please, my sister in law doesn't want to breastfeed, and I don't think it's right. Will you call her and talk her into it?" NO, I won't, that isn't my job. There are enough women, who get my help by *asking* for it to keep me more than busy. I only help those who ask for help. If anyone thinks these women couldn't get help if they needed it, by asking for it, they have sadly underestimated these women. They are not stupid.

Also, as a LC, I am a Mandated Reporter, so ANY inkling of child abuse I see has to be reported. It is not only the law, and my Registration and Certification depends on doing this, but it is only the moral thing to do.

I think one of the reasons that these women have been reticent to contact either IBCLCs or LLL is that they don't want "outsiders" in their business, and also, that Professionals DO have to report abuse. (LLL leaders are NOT Mandated Reporters, but all the good ones I know would report suspicion of child rape to authorities, just because most are good people and care about children.)

I think these women know that the tenets of FLDS are putting their children in danger, and they would rather go without "help" than have anything threaten the men who are raping their daughters.

I have advocated for breastfeeding women in divorce, custody, and visitation hearings. I have organized Nurse Ins at places where women have been told, "you can't do that here" simply because they were feeding their babies in a LEGAL way in "public" (breastfeeding) BUT, in every case, the mothers themselves ASKED for help.

So, no, I don't step in where I am not asked for adults who can ask for help. I can do no more, for a perfectly capable adult, than that. But, it won't stop me from advocating for those who CANNOT ask for help: The children who have been and are continuing to be abused by FLDS.

I think these women have been given a great gift. The State has stepped in, said, "There are laws being broken here. Your children have been harmed. You can choose to continue to break laws, and allow your children to be abused, and we WILL step in again and you will not be considered competent enough to take proper care of your children. OR you now have the chance to start a life FREE from Rape, Virtual Slavery, Attempted Mind Control, Boy Abandonment ect,"

IMO, and the opinion of many, taking this chance will only help the women and children here. If they choose NOT to take the chance at a life where they protect their children and think for themselves, then the State had no choice but to step in and protect the same little children the parents refuse to protect.

That is it. The ball is now in the Mother's court. They can choose Freedom for themselves or their children, OR continued abuse, mistreatment, and law breaking. It's up to them.

Ruth said...

Well, so much for the beauty of short replies … *sigh*

As mothers of America, WE DO NOT SUPPORT SYSTEMIC ABUSE! We are all sufficiently convinced that the FLDS system needs to change. But are the rates of serious abuse, even sexual abuse, LOWER in the foster care system than in the FLDS community? If even ONE child is found to be seriously abused in foster care, will ALL of OUR homes be stormed, and ALL of OUR children be taken from us because WE supported a system that led to the abuse of one of our own American children?

We’ve obviously moved beyond the breastfeeding issue. I think we can also move beyond trying to convince everyone that the FLDS lifestyle has done inexcusable harm to its own people, teenagers in particular. No one is arguing for any children to be returned to the ranch.

What we are anxiously watching now is the government’s treatment of these children and how it is helping and/or hindering their long-term welfare. Is there a sound and logical long-term plan for these children? Are local officials still scrambling around and shooting from the hip?

Even for those of us who are ONLY concerned with the well-being of the children, and not their “evil” parents, we know that attempts to completely shove the mothers out of the picture, right now, while the whole mess is still being sorted out, only does a disservice to those children. We know that some of the older children were able to keep it together when they were forcibly removed from those mothers who chose to stay and care for them. Others, including toddlers, clung to their mother’s skirts and had to be torn away screaming and crying.

None of the mothers now know where their children are or what strangers they have been placed with. News reports indicate that not even all of the children can be accounted for by government officials. Many children have fallen ill. Some are in critical condition in the hospital. Their mothers are beside themselves not being allowed to be at their sick childrens’ bedsides, and not even knowing how to find out what’s going on. The mothers’ attorneys are also being denied information, rendering them virtually useless to help.

Reports indicate that many of the women already HAD volunteered to renounce anything and everything -- not to be able to take their children back “home” with them -- but simply to remain WITH their children in protective custody, all to no avail. The mothers had absolutely NO choice in their children being shipped off last week. The ONLY reason mothers of infants under 12 months are still with their nurslings in protective custody while everything gets sorted out is because of the efforts of Nicole Hoff and other Good Samaritans who initially (and quickly) raised the breastfeeding issue because of an outcry from mothers across the nation -- not from any plea from any FLDS.

However good our intentions are in helping these children escape from “systemic” abuse, we MUST do it in a way that actually HELPS, not causes further harm. Not only the nursing moms, but ALL of the children’s moms should be allowed to stay with them in supervised protective custody, even in foster care, as an additional source of care, support, and oversight, at least until the whole thing gets sorted out. If our system is not set up for that possibility, then OUR system needs to change.