I am 4.5 months pregnant with my second child. My husband and I are separated because he was an abusive, unfaithful drug addict and I could not handle the stress of dealing with his issues while being a first time mother to a newborn. We separated for good back in September, but had briefly separated in August after he was arrested for attacking me in the driveway while he was high, resulting in the neighbors calling 911. Because of the domestic violence and drug involvement, Child Protective Services became involved in our situation. Anyhow, after this incident, we briefly reconciled things and I ended up pregnant again. We are in the middle of a horrendous custody battle over our 6 month old son, and because of the stress levels and separation from my son, I had to stop breastfeeding. :-( I feel so awful feeding him formula because I know that breast feeding is perfect nutrition and formula general falls short.
Now, on to my question about how breastfeeding can affect custody...
With the baby I am carrying, I am dead-set on exclusively breast feeding and only using a breast pump when I absolutely need to (if I have an appointment or something where my parents need to keep the baby.) I firmly believe in the importance of skin to skin contact between a mother and her child, and the bonding that results from breast feeding. I do not want to jeopardize my ability to feed my child this way by my ex getting overnight visits. If at all possible, I want to limit the involvement he has with both of my children because he is truly an unfit parent: he drinks and drives, abuses pain meds regularly (and sells pills!), uses cocaine and crack whenever he needs a "fix" and he has a criminal history a mile long. He also has NO driver's license and has about 10 pending court dates for DWLR and speeding, among several other driving infractions. Also, I have charges against him from back in August when he attacked me. When it comes to his kids, he has an 8 year old son and a 5 year old daughter whom he regularly berates and calls "f*cking retarded" and "sh*thead" ... awful things like that, out of anger, that no child should be subjected to.
Needless to say, I do NOT want my babies growing up around that. Before anyone can ask - when he and I got together, he put on a very good show and had me fully believing that he was clean. He showed no signs of any of this until literally the day after we were married and then he did a complete turn around. He even told me that "we're married now. It's not like you can just leave me because of my issues! For better or worse, b*tch."
Yeah, it was really that drastic and awful.
Anyhow, to summarize - can he do anything to prevent me from being allowed to exclusively breastfeed? He seems to think that he will be able to get the baby overnight and as much as he wants. What can I do to protect myself from this happening? I just want to provide the best for my baby, and my ex is NOT the best of anything.
I would contact your YWCA or similar organizations so you can get good help from an attorney. Since you have filled charges and police reports due to his actions, and the pending court dates, I think a good child custody attorney should be able to help you out tremendously in having his parenting rights either revoked or limited to supervised visits only.