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Mom breaks baby's ribs while breastfeeding, sentenced to house arrest

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Baby suffers 23 rib fractures after mom squeezes child while breastfeeding

A mom admits she was frustrated with her 9-week-old baby and squeezed too hard during a nursing session, and has landed on house arrest because the baby suffered from 23 rib fractures.

The injuries were discovered when Christine Lynn Couture, from Ontario, Canada, took her baby to the doctor because of feeding difficulties back in 2013, and from the start, she owned up to the damage she inflicted on her child during a nursing session. She also said she was heartbroken and has remained remorseful.

The baby has since recovered and has no memory of the abuse, and since then has remained in the care of Couture. The court says they were closely supervised during this time, and the mother-child pair has bonded well. Couture has also taken part in parenting classes and counseling in the years since the incident took place.

She was sentenced to 120 hours of community service, and for the first year of her house arrest, she must remain on her property except for when she goes to school, work, counseling, medical appointments or outings with her child as approved by her sentencing supervisor. After this sentence has been completed, she will be on probation for two additional years.

I am so glad this story has a happy conclusion. Cracking a baby's ribs in 23 places is no small feat — she had to be squeezing this poor baby super hard to cause that amount of damage. I also have to say that I'm surprised the baby was returned to the care of Couture after she admitted she essentially crushed the infant during a nursing session.

The system in Canada gave her the opportunity to set things right, both for herself and her baby, and she did so, passing with flying colors. I'm not sure if her outright regret, admission of guilt and remorse played a part in their decision to allow her to remain with her child while the legal case was sorted out, but it most likely played a part.

While on the surface it sounds like the court took a huge risk in allowing the baby to stay with a mother who cracked its ribs, in doing so, it preserved this small family unit, and it turned out to be the best decision for the pair. Also, there may be more to the story that swayed the court to make that decision in the first place.

The story has a happy ending, though, and hopefully it will remain that way.

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