I am heartbroken for this mother, who may have never been offered information about babywearing (as well as the risks of smoking around a newborn), and may have never heard that car seats belong in cars (period) and newborn babies belong on their mother's chest. She may have never known of the many detriments of leaving a baby in a bucket on the floor... And she is likely torn apart at the loss of her newborn and the charges now pending against her.
I am also broken for this little baby who lost his life simply because he was not in the protective habitat he was born into this world to gently reside in. In reviewing the book, Primal Mothering in a Modern World, Jody McLaughlin (editor of Compleat Mother Magazine) reminds us that, "When babies are born, they do not know what century it is, nor do they know on which continent they were born, nor the standards or rules of conduct imposed by outside influences. However, they DO know what they need." One of these basic needs is comfort, protection, and security near mother's breast. Please, if you haven't explored your many options for getting your baby up where s/he belongs, look into some of the amazing -- sometimes life saving -- choices you have for your little one. Babies truly are born to be worn.
As reported by Katherine Wilton, Max Harrold and Monique Muise for The Montreal Gazette
The mother of the three-week-old baby killed on Monday after being mauled by one or more dogs has been charged with manslaughter. She was released Monday afternoon but isn't allowed to be in charge of children under the age of 12 while awaiting trial.
The baby's grandmother was released Tuesday and will not face charges.
The 17-year-old's lawyer, André Williams, said he was very surprised by the manslaughter charge, which he said will be very difficult for the Crown to prove.
He said the Crown should have given the mother time to grieve the loss of her baby before proceeding with criminal charges against her.
"She's completely demolished," Williams told reporters outside the courtroom.
The baby’s 17-year-old mother and 37-year-old grandmother, had been smoking on a balcony close to their kitchen Monday, where the baby was seated in a portable car seat when the dogs attacked the child, André Williams, the 17-year-old's lawyer, said on Tuesday.
Police had confirmed Monday that the infant was pronounced dead inside a home in St. Barnabé Sud, a small community about 70 kilometres northeast of Montreal late in the afternoon.
The teenager, her boyfriend, the baby’s father, had moved into the house only a week ago, on June 1, Williams said. He was not on the property at the time of the attack. The two lived there with two other couples, one of which owns the home, he said. The second couple living with the baby’s mother and her boyfriend own two huskies, at least one of which mauled the 21-day-old child, police said.
At the time of the attack, there were four dogs in the house. The other two dogs, a husky-golden retriever mixed-breed dog and its puppy, were in a cage in the home at the time of the attack, Williams said. The caged dogs belonged to the 17-year-old and her boyfriend.
The mother of the baby was treated for shock at a hospital on Monday. She and her mother were taken into police custody on Monday night.
Guy Vaillancourt was across the street Monday night and was shaken by the tragedy that had unfolded only a few hundred metres away.
“I saw so many police cars, and I didn’t know what was happening,” he said, glancing at two SQ officers stationed at the end of his driveway. “But when they started talking about dogs, I knew right away which dogs they were talking about. My wife came outside one night not long ago after she heard them, thinking they were wild animals. They were two huskies, a male and a female.”
Vaillancourt said the dogs had escaped twice recently, but were not noticeably aggressive.
“I thought, they could cause an accident on the highway, running across that way. But not something like this.”
Neighbours said they were not aware of any newborn currently living in the home, and speculated that the child may have been visiting the residence.
But Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Ronald McInnis confirmed Tuesday morning that the 17-year-old and her baby did reside at the home and were roommates of the couple and their three boys. The late baby's grandmother, however, was only visiting the home when the attacks took place, he explained.
At the St. Hyacinthe courthouse Tuesday, several friends of the 17-year-old mother turned up to offer support.