A New York City mother and breastfeeding proponent has filed a lawsuit against her nanny, who she says gave her infant daughter baby formula without her consent — an experience that left her “[crying] for an hour.”
Before giving birth to her daughter last September, cosmetic nurse injector Lynn Wojton told Marcia Chase-Marshall, whom she had hired as a doula, that “she wanted to rely on breastfeeding as her newborn’s sole source of nutrition because it was her belief it was best for the health of the baby and fostered bonding with her newborn,” per the suit.
The first two nights after giving birth, Chase-Marshall awoke Wojton in the middle of the night to breastfeed her daughter, Wilder. The third night, though, the complaint claims that Chase-Marshall gave the baby formula because she didn’t want to go to the trouble of assisting Wojton breastfeed.
“I was very upset,” Wojton told the New York Post of the incident. In the complaint, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 7, Wojton says that Chase-Marshall “initially claimed that she was recommending formula feeding the baby because she was concerned for the baby’s health,” but later revealed that “her true concern” was her own sleep schedule.
Night nursing is a notoriously demanding industry, and one that lacks “strong regulations.” In an interview with the Cut last fall, a baby nurse for wealthy Manhattan families described the hours as “brutal.”
“Eighteen-hour days for five days straight, followed by two days off,” she said. “And like the child-care industry as a whole, the baby nurse sector is unregulated and predominantly referral-driven.”
On September 15, 2018, immediately following the formula incident, Wojton told Chase-Marshall that she “wanted to care for her newborn for a few days on her own,” per the lawsuit. Soon after, Chase-Marshall quit.
“This is not what I wanted — this is not what I want — for my baby,” Wojton told the Post. At minimum, she is seeking $10,000 in damages. Chase-Marshall did not respond to the Cut’s request for comment.