Stapleton Mom’s Switch to Formula at Five Weeks Outrages Community

Jennifer Walsworth was having some challenges with her infant son, Ian. Ian was not sleeping well, had bad gas, and was eating intermittently throughout the night, giving Jennifer very little time to sleep. Not to mention Jennifer has three other children. After struggling with Ian for five weeks, Jennifer decided to stop breast feeding and try formula. “I had to try something different,” says Jennifer. “He wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy, and it created a really tough household to manage.” Jennifer recalls only telling her neighbor, Meggan in confidence. “Meggan knew the difficulties we were having, so I thought I could confide in her. Evidently not.”

Meggan immediately posted the news on the Stapleton Mom’s Yahoo! group, and like most non-sales related posts, the firestorm began. “People began saying that someone should call child services,” said Jennifer. “And, of course, they used my full name.” Many of the posts said that the community needs to think of the child first, and that the mother clearly was not fit. Others sited statistics claiming the terrible ramifications of giving formula to a baby that young, albeit none from respected journals (i.e. JAMA). “It really hurt to see people that I actually knew trash me publicly like that,” said Jennifer. “If people took the time to get to know me, they would probably see that I am a very fit mother.”

Some community members are not interested in wasting that time. “We need to act fast, for the child’s safety,” says resident Kristen Benning. “As a community, we have a responsibility to take care of the kids living here. That child didn’t choose to go on the bottle. It is just plain wrong.” Benning did end up calling child services. “They acted like it was no big deal at all. Obviously, another government program failing us.” Benning then tried the fire department, and they were unable to lend support either. “They told me that it was probably not a big deal, and maybe I should mind my own business. Then they hung up.”

Some studies have shown that children have grown up to live healthy lives, even after being on formula at a very young age. “I don’t necessarily believe those studies,” says Benning. “And I don’t want to wait around to see what happens to this poor child.” Benning is unsure of her next step, but assures the community that she will not rest until that child is in better arms.

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