Monday, June 6, 2011

What if you were this mother?

"We are all Habiba"  Graphic Courtesy of Louma Sader Bujana

This Morning, I read a startling article about a Moroccan  mother:  Habiba, a low income woman  in a program ran by the Madrid Institute of Mothers Minors and families (IMMF), whose 15 month old daughter was taken away because of failure to comply with their wishes to wean her child, referring to this act as "chaotic" and "harmful".

The Article hit home because I have a 14 month old who still nurses, I cannot imagine someone trying to rip her from my arms and from her much needed "boo boo" I am horrified to think what this child must be feeling, surrounded by strangers, wondering where her mommy and where her milkies have gone.. no comfort in sight, feeling abandoned and this just brings me to tears to think of my daughter having to go through this..  to think of ANYONE'S daughter having to go through this.

As a mother I want to reach out to Habiba and let her know I am with her an  mothers in the U.S are with her.. I am trying to find info in English but I can't so far so I will try my best to translate what I find..

Here is one of the MANY  articles in Spanish talking about the case:

The Press Release Goes something like this: (roughly translated)

Four days ago, the Madrid Institute for Minors and Families (IMMF), decided to separate a little girl from her mother for not complying with the objectives of  a psychotherapy program and "maternal abilities" that imply to abandon  extended breastfeeding and breastfeeding on demand because it is considered "chaotic" and "harmful for every boy and girl".  With these considerations all lacking scientific or legal facts, they force mothers to take medication to cease milk production.  

According to the Spanish Association of Pediatricians, breastfeeding should be on demand and it can be extended as long as both child an mother wish.  No legal action has been taken to separate mother and child, and the mother has not been allowed to say goodbye nor has she been told where her daughter will be taken causing a grave defenselessness on both.  Habiba is engorged and on the brink of mastitis and with a broken heart with pain, with barely any sleep or bite to eat. This woman has been evaluated by a psychiatrist  and she does not show any signs of  mental illness, drug consumption or anything that would justify making her victim of such aggression.

They threw Habiba on the streets the same moment they took her daughter telling her she had no more
room there because the resources they offer are for mothers and children and she did not have a child anymore. A humanitarian foundation has decided to help this mother donating legal support as well as shelter . We are deeply concerned by Habiba's pain and it pains us to imagine the circumstances this 15 month old child might be in, separated from her mother in an abrupt fashion most likely with no one explaining anything to her.

.We consider Habiba and her child's case as a serious violation of human rights as well as children's rights. The damage is already done but if mother and child are reunited immediately it can be repaired because of this we urge you to write to write and protest to IMMF management, asking for the immediate return of the child to her mother

There is a group formed in Spanish
Que el IMMF permita que Habiba amamante a su niña YA with constant updates by people close to Habiba and  those familiar with the case.

I am not but a mother who was moved by this story and my plea is for you to be moved as well.. Madrid is far away but the pain  of a mother can be felt the same in any language. I created a group:
U.S mothers support Habiba! Hey IMMF Give her baby back!  To show International support for this mother in her time of need. 

If you have any articles in any language please  email them to me  tcast030406(at) or share them on the wall.  Lets show Habiba that  American  mothers feel her pain as well as other countries!
Breastfeeding is a human right!


  1. What a travesty to justice. I seriously wonder what the hell people are thinking sometimes.

  2. OMG! This is a travesty! How can these people do this?? I exclusively breast-fed my son til 6mths then he had his last boob-feed at exactly 14mths. But I would have been happy to continue if I could. I'm hoping to do the same for my 4mth old daughter and if some stranger were to tell me when I should stop feeding, I would resist with all my heart. Shamefull. I will re-post this on my page and join your group (even though I'm in the UK, lol) Thank you for highlighting this.

  3. Tanya, thanks so much for taking the time to take this outside Spain, I had the language but not the time, I truly appreciate it.

    Jesusa Ricoy

  4. Having breastfed my babies past 15 months, I can't imagine anyone separating us for that reason. I want to help, but I also want to know if I'm missing something. How could they take the baby if they've taken no legal action? How could they take the baby if it violates no law? If she's part of a program that doesn't allow breastfeeding at this point (which is certainly wrong) I could see them kicking her out of it, but taking her baby? How can they even do that?

    I want to know more.

  5. WOW. Words don't speak to the sadness in this for mother and baby.

  6. I have been there before, in different circumstances- my abusive husband filed a protective order against ME, which forced me out of my home, away from my 2 young children for 2 weeks (he did this so that he could take what he wanted from the house, get a free attorney, and to get back at me for filing for divorce).. there was no evidence that I was abusive or harmful in any way, but apparently it does not matter. ANYWAY.. my point is.. my youngest was 15 months at the time, still breastfed, still co sleeping, had never spent more than 4 hours away from me at a time. Luckily, I was able to maintain my milk supply during the 2 weeks that we were separated and we still nurse to this day (he is almost 2 now). It was sooo hard, and I KNOW what this mother is going through. My heart goes out to her.

  7. I also still bf my 14 month old. I can't imagine. This is so sad I'm in tears. :( What horrible people to take this baby away from her mother. Just awful.

  8. That's kidnapping. Whether done by the state or another person, it's a crime. I hope she gets her daughter back immediately and sues the pants off of that organization.

  9. there is an english facebook group- Worldwide Mothers support Habiba! IMMF Give her baby back
    With info in english, french and spanish.

  10. I cannot fathom how much pain that mother is in right now. And that poor sweet baby must be so confused and afraid! A child should never be separated from his or her mother unless there is a strong case of abuse or neglect in occurrence. This story truly breaks my heart.

    I would rather endure any number of physical tortures over having one of my children taken away from me. That is the worst thing someone can do to a mother & child.

  11. @Lizzy OMG! I would have not knwon what to do! You're such a strong mom! And so awesome that you were able to keep your supply! I hope Habiba can do the same!

    @Becky I feel the same way! just the thought of having to go through this gives me a panick attack!

    @Suzie Yes! thank you! I have the link up there though I noticed it's not very noticeable, I started the page it was originally called U.S mothers support Habiba though by someone's suggestion it was changed to Worldwide mothers. I just had to spread the word! In 48 hours it was grown to over 600 members! And Agustina from HM4HB Spain has taken over the task of doing most of the admin for the page. Thank you so much everyone for your support! Lets hope Habiba gets her baby back soon!

    June 8, 2011 9:05 PM

  12. I read this and havent been able to stop crying. The concept that someone could just take my child away from me for feeding my child is a nightmarish thought.
    I've been sharing the facebook page as much as I can, everywhere I can.

  13. This is absolutely scandalous. I note with interest that the king of Morocco has actual power in government. Could he be respectfully appealed to in regard of this matter?

  14. Absolutely horrendous! I could not believe what I was reading. I hope Mother and child are reunited very soon x

  15. This is appalling, it is part of the disease that is the social workers have created - the practice of "authority" over common sense and humanity. Happy to see that the mother is getting help, but those idiots have already caused so much damage, so stupid. I nursed our first (adopted) child until she was 22 months, our second (adopted) child until he was 30 months, third child self weaned at 18 months, our fourth is now 18 months and still going. If any social worker had tried telling me to stop nursing I would have told them to speak to my lawyer, you have to let these morons know that they will have trouble if they poke their noses where they are not wanted.

  16. Wow. This is insane. That poor mommy and baby!

  17. to read this! I nursed my first-born on demand until she was almost 3 years old! Why in the world would a baby be taken from her mother just because they were doing what nature intended?

  18. Have joined the Facebook group - feel so powerless. God help and rescue this poor woman and her baby from such abusive treatment. I so hope the organisation who has helped her can also help her be reunited with her child. :0(

  19. This is so sad! I am still breastfeeding Audrey and she will be 3 next month.

    Sending thoughts and prayers her way!!!!

  20. This is absolutely horrific, completely disgusting. What kind of body-hating neurosis makes you think it's wrong to breastfeed a child? The WHO says you should breastfeed for 2 years or MORE. HOW does this happen???



Related Posts with Thumbnails