Saturday, July 12, 2008

Damage to mother and newborn could be extensive according to Franklin,TN., physician

The following information provided by a Franklin physician who read my writing about the shocking treatment of Juana Villegas DeLaPaz by Davidson County authorities shows the damage Ms. DeLaPaz and her family must now contend with concerning their health and that of their newborn.

Here is what the physician says:

There are some glaring medical issues with plenty of literature to back up them up:

1. Psychological trauma at having a newborn wrenched from the mother with minimal visual contact.

2. Cultural violation of not allowing breast feeding, as well as the beneficial hormone changes that occur in the mother and help her to heal, physically and mentally.

3. No colostrum peptides available to the baby for nutrition and to provide her with immune defenses.

4. No nipple stimulation provided for the mother to facilitate 'let-down' and no feeding of the infant to relieve the pain of encourgement.

5. Typically a half liter of blood and several liters of fluid are lost during delivery and rest is required, rather than being chained to other prisioners and forced to board a bus to the next holding pen.

6. Food and fluid are required for the recuperation of the mother, and it is very dangerous to withold ad lib feeding in the postpartum period. Iron and vitamins are needed to help her recover. Juana was given pureed food (prisioners are not allowed forks and knives) which of course she was too sick and too frightened to eat. She was withheld from being offered fluids for many hours.

7. Vaginal bleeding continues for several days post partum emphasizing the need to rest. Just because hospitals in the US have to kick women out after 48 hrs, doesn't mean the recovery is complete. Did anyone take her blood pressure? Did anyone know that she was dizzy and was certainly hypovolemic? What was her heart rate?

8. Would anyone deny that there is trauma when a newborn is wrenched from her mother and not allowed to feed or to bond with her. Anyone familiar with those monkey experiements (freshman psych classes -Miller I think), where the newborn monkey was only allowed to bond with a stiff, constructed metal replica substitute for its mother?

9. The newborn was taken to a pediatrician and had a bilirubin level over 14! This placed her in the high intermediate risk category for hyperbilirubinemia. The cause was an inability to have free access to her mother's milk.

(Website note: According to the University of Virginia Health Systems, "hyperbilirubinemia is a condition in which there is too much bilirubin in the blood. When red blood cells break down, a substance called bilirubin is formed. Babies are not easily able to get rid of the bilirubin and it can build up in the blood and other tissues and fluids of the baby's body. This is called hyperbilirubinemia. Because bilirubin has a pigment or coloring, it causes a yellowing of the baby's skin and tissues. This is called jaundice. Depending on the cause of the hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice may appear at birth or at any time afterward."

10. Did any of the male officers, guards, judges, etc. provide her with care for the extremely painful condition of milk-engorged breasts? This is a grave example of witholding necessary medical care and a fine example of gender discrimination.

Isn't this the 'poster-child-case' for blowing the lid off of this crazy law which allows everyone up and down the chain to simply say they are "just doing their job" or, "just following the law"?

Yes, doctor, you are very correct. It is a crazy law and program replete with legal authorities and politicians staying quiet or passing the buck.

And thank you so much for taking your time to evaluate Ms. DeLaPaz's case. The damage to her and her newborn may well be extraordinary, and a Nashville jury that includes mothers will believe so, too.

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