breasts and beer

July 8, 2009 § 4 Comments

this.  proves to me that the world has gone absolutely fucking crazy.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Police responding to a domestic disturbance arrived at Stacey Anvarinia’s home to find the mother breast-feeding her 6-week-old baby in front of them. And she was drunk, they said.

Officers arrested the woman, who later pleaded guilty to child neglect and faces up to five years in prison. Now her case has touched off a debate among moms about breast-feeding, alcohol — and privacy.

ok mom gets arrested for ‘drunk breastfeeding’


1. back in pre-modern england it was the norm for women to drink beer while breasfeeding.  actually a brewery that was caught putting white sugar in beer could have been sentenced to death because sugar was considered highly unhealthy for breastfeeding women.

2. the reason women drank beer, also known as liquid bread, was because of the hops in beer.  and hops brings in the milk supply and keeps the supply.

3. as a doula i always told new mothers to drink a beer if they were having trouble with their milk.

4. and plus it acts as pain killer and breast feeding can be really painful.  and at least you know what is in a guiness.  what the fuck is in a tylenol? or ibuprofen? can i grow it? hell, can i pronounce it?

5. i drank alcohol when i breast fed.  hell i sat in bars more times than i can count having a beer and breastfeeding.  hell in san cristobal the bartenders knew to exact temperature how warm we wanted the water that we used in the bottle.  yeah we did breast and bottle.  and traded off from one to the other pretty easily.  and they would play with aza as we would be having a drink.  and when she got fussy they would give her to me to be fed.  seriously?  and i wasnt the only woman i saw breastfeeding in a bar.

6. you can get beer nearly anywhere.  in all of my research there was not another strong milk-bringer that was accessible easily to me or the mothers i knew.  in other words.  there is always a liquor store in the ghetto.

but then you read further and realize…oh fuck…the story gets even worse…

It’s unclear how much Anavarina had to drink. Police never conducted a blood-alcohol test. Investigators believed she was drunk, and her arrest on a charge of child abuse and neglect did not require a test.

“The majority of our problems are caused by alcohol,” said Grand Forks Police Capt. Kerwin Kjelstrom. “Our officers handle it so much that it is pretty much a general knowledge thing to know when someone is intoxicated. It’s pretty obvious.”

When police came to the home on April 13, Anvarinia, who had a criminal record, told them that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend. A police report said she had swelling on her nose and chin and a small scratch on her left cheek.

The boyfriend was not home and has not been charged, and authorities have not said who has custody of the child. Anvarinia’s court-appointed attorney, David Ogren, did not return repeated telephone calls.

1. wait? they never bothered to conduct a test to see how much alcohol she had in her system?  wtf?  the decided she was drunk by observation? omfg.  they arrested a mother of 6 week old child because they thought she *appeared* drunk? it seems to me to be pretty shoddy police work to not give an alcohol test when you arrest someone for being drunk.  it seems like you’d want to make sure that she was alcohol drunk and not punch drunk from getting beat by her boyfriend.  before you decide to take her away from her 6 week old child…who is still being breastfed!

2.   but im getting sick and tired of women calling the cops being they are getting beat by their partners and the woman going to jail and the abusive partner not being charged.  i am really fucking tired of this story. over and over again.

3. and wait he beats her.  and she gets arrested for child abuse?  shouldnt he get arrested for child abuse? isnt beating the mother of 6 week a form of child abuse?

4. oh wait.  they didnt even arrest the partner for domestic abuse?  even though she actually has physical evidence of having been physically beaten?

but wait, and then, it gets even worse…

“This case is more than just the breast-feeding. It was the totality of the circumstances,” said Grand Forks Police Lt. Rahn Farder. “It is quite unusual for a mother to be breast-feeding her child as we are conducting an investigation, whether she was intoxicated or not.”

im not even sure what the hell that quote means.  did he assume that she was drunk because she was breastfeeding.  like did he think that because a police officer was present she shouldnt have been breastfeeding?  that she must be intoxicated because she was breaking social code and exposing her breast to him?  that she had crossed some private/public border and that only happens when one is intoxicated?

sounds to me like they didnt arrest her for breastfeeding while drunk.

they arrested her for breastfeeding.


§ 4 Responses to breasts and beer

  • RMJ says:

    Great post. I had no idea about the beer/breastmilk connection, or many other details of this case. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aaminah says:

    “’This case is more than just the breast-feeding. It was the totality of the circumstances,” said Grand Forks Police Lt. Rahn Farder. “It is quite unusual for a mother to be breast-feeding her child as we are conducting an investigation, whether she was intoxicated or not.’

    im not even sure what the hell that quote means.”

    me either! so sorry that my baby’s need to eat is somehow inconveniencing your investigation… yes, i’m a bad & neglectful mom because i… feed my baby on demand. WTH???

    and it’s not at ALL like they were really investigating what they were there for, i.e. this woman has been beaten and it is totally evident, and your sorry asses should be more concerned with finding the man than with wondering why she is feeding her baby right now. because you know, yeah, your JOB as an officer is really to decide when and how a baby should eat when you are present.

    and yeah, as a Muslim, i can’t say “yay” to the beer… we believe that there are real benefits to alcohol but that the bad issues caused by it outweigh the good and Allah told us not to have it for that reason. but i also agree that it is a more natural option than many medications and i know it was recommended to me when i was having an extremely difficult and painful time with nursing. by which i mean, it was recommended to me by my doctor & my certified lactation consultant who also happened to be an RN.

    and i TOTALLY do not get how one can decide she was drunk without a breathalizer, without her acting in any way problemmatic. this is yet another case of officers not giving a damn about her safety and well-being, claiming to act in the well-being of the child when it clearly is not sincere because it’s in this nursing baby’s well-being to be with his or her nursing mother, and not bothering to do what their job really is. sounds like laziness frankly. and one more way to criminalize mothers. Also, why this poor woman pleaded guilty… i suspect that it has something to do with getting bad advice* because no one really cares about the facts afterall.

    *the nica had a situation where police were called to the house when he had an argument with his first wife… both were so stressed out that they reverted to Spanish, and didn’t really understand the officers that well. he ended up being charged with a felony assault even though he had never touched her and she was willing to testify to the officers jumping to the wrong conclusions, misquoting her, and having made up their mind already. he was not offered an interpreter and when in court he asked if he could have one, the judge said “you sound like you speak enough English”. he was recommended by the court appointed attorney to plead guilty because they said he had no previous record and the judge would be more lenient if he pled out rather than dragging it out. they told him “at most you’ll get some probation” but in fact he got a whole awful lot more… going through anger management classes he had to pay for, going through separate domestic violence classes he had to pay for, 30 days in jail, being put on house arrest for 90 days with a breathalizer at random and wacky hours, thousands of dollars of fees, plus probation. he wished that he had pled not guilty and that his wife could have testified, that he would have had ANY opportunity to say what really happened that evening, that he had an interpreter to help ensure he even understood what was going on. but he followed his legal counsel’s advice and it ruined his life. he now has a felony conviction, that could have at least been dropped down to a lesser charge if the attorney had done their job, for something that never even happened.

  • Derek says:

    This is pretty insane. When I was a kid, (or rather when I was an infant) my parents regularly gave my brother and I a little bit of beer now and then. It wasn’t child abuse. It was just a good way to mellow us out and have us take a nap. How is breast feeding while you’ve had a few beers neglectful? Does the alcohol when affect the milk?

    Now I can see that this was possibly child neglect. If the woman here was more than drunk. If she was utterly hammered drunk, I could see how that’s neglectful. But I wouldn’t take a cop’s word on anything, especially since they didn’t bother to do a simple blood alcohol test.

    What I’m wondering is why in the hell did the police show up to begin with? Did the woman call the police about her abusive boyfriend?

  • whatsername says:

    Wow… What. the. fuck.

    This is why so many people don’t call the police, this is why so many women don’t report rapes. Shit like this right here, and the fucking taser in the 14 year old girls brain (just one other recent example)…

    Just. Geez. I dunno, you covered it all but it’s just like, wow. 😦

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