A friend called me today because one of her best friends has had her children pulled by DCFS and is panicking. Here's the story as she told it to me:

Her nine-month-old son had a cough ongoing for a couple of months and after trying to treat with Chinese medicine her acupuncturist suggested she take the child to an MD to get a chest x-ray for pneumonia. She did and the MD found a fractured rib, called DCFS and her kids were taken (she also has a four-year-old daughter). The state is now claiming that she has put her children at risk by not immediately taking him to an MD, not vaccinating her kids, breastfeeding a nine month old, and co sleeping with her children. They are claiming he daughter is depressed and want to put her on meds (duh, she's been separated from her parents, of course she's depressed) and her son is regressing (he's had four ear infections in the last month of custody, chicken pox, is losing weight and is no longer walking). She is being told that if she admits guilt she'll get her kids back and that if she won't, she'll never see them again.

We don’t take Lily to well baby visits and have treated the few illnesses she’s had with non-traditional medicine. She got a nasty eye infection once and when we were unable to resolve it with alternative meds we called an MD and had it taken care of with prescription meds. Much like these parent’s actions.

We believe in delayed and selective vaccination because our research has showed it to be SAFER than routinely injecting your child with the massive amounts of toxins included in vaccines. I know too many people who have suffered through vaccine injury and I’m not willing to take that chance with my daughter at this age. Now that she’s getting older we’ll start doing some vaccines but not likely the fully recommended course.

Breastfeeding a nine-month-old should not be an issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends at least one year and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least two. The AAP has even made some noise about coming into alignment with the WHO and recommending two years, but is still under massive pressure from formula companies. Even if she is exclusively breastfeeding this child (meaning, no solids) she is still not guilty of harm: a child can be fully sustained on breastmilk alone for the fist year of life. Just go talk to La Leche League (LLL).

Co-Sleeping is a world wide practice that has been the norm for YEARS. It’s only in the last century that cribs have become the accepted norm in the US. Sharing sleep with your baby has been proven safe when done correctly (don't drink, smoke or take drugs, for instance). In fact, some studies show that babies that share sleep with their mothers suffer lower incidents of SIDS. I remember Lily spitting up one night and starting to choke. I was able to quickly respond to her needs by waking up and flipping her before she could aspirate any spit up. Having her sleep between the two of us made life easier as I could just nurse her in bed and not have to run off after her many times a night. Had she not had a shift and needed to sleep alone after the first year, she’d still be sleeping with us. I know many people who share sleep with their children and I don't know ONE who has had a bad outcome becuase of it.

Many of these things are part of what is commonly called Attachment Parenting (AP). It’s practiced wildly by caring, attentive parents all over the world. It’s a respectful and fulfilling way to parent that honors the child and the parents. It has been shown to raise respectful, secure and smart kids and there is no way in HELL that what this mom is doing is abuse. If she’s guilty of abuse than so are we and quite frankly, that scares the crap out of me. It should scare the crap out of all of us.

I don’t know what I can do for this mom but am tapping into my AP networks to see how she can get her children back home where they belong. I am asking for prayers/thoughts/whatever you do for this family. I would lose my mind if Lily was taken from me in this manner. I can only imagine the hell this family is enduring. It breaks my heart.