Local News

No jail for mum who starved her baby on ‘water only’ diet

A mother whose baby boy almost died after she put the two of them on an extreme diet has been given a suspended sentence.

A breastfeeding mother who nearly killed her baby after going on an extreme diet following a naturopath’s advice to cure her infant son of eczema has been given a suspended sentence of 14 months.

According to 9news at her sentencing on Wednesday the 33-year-old Sydney mother avoided jail after she breastfed her 18-month-old son while on a raw-food and eventually a ‘water only’ diet in 2015.

The woman – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – only sought medical help for her son after he was vomiting for four days and was just days away from death. He was hospitalised weighing just 6.5 kilos, emaciated and severely dehydrated.

Magistrate Ian Guy also lifted a strict AVO condition which had denied the woman unsupervised access to the now two-year-old boy.

Police allege Leppington naturopath Marilyn Bodnar recommended the woman – believed to be a midwife herself – to put the baby on a “water-only” and to go on a raw-food only diet while she was breastfeeding to alleviate the infant’s eczema.

When the boy came down with a fever, the naturopath allegedly told the mother that the baby’s temperature was indicative of “raised vitality”, and his vomit was just the body “eliminating toxins”.

Bodnar will face trial next week on reckless grievous bodily harm and aiding the failure to provide care to a child.

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