March 13, 2019
Nannies and night nurses can be a huge help to parents, but at the end of the day, they've been hired to support mom and dad—not undermine them. If a caregiver knowingly goes against the wishes of the child's parent, it's almost always going to be a major source of conflict...
And according to New York City mom Lynn Wojton, this is exactly what happened with Marcia Chase-Marshall, the postpartum doula she hired to help take care of her newborn daughter, Wilder. Wojton is suing Chase-Marshall for allegedly supplementing Wilder with formula rather than wake her up so she could breastfeed.
In Wojton's lawsuit, the first-time mother claims that although she "made it clear that she wanted to rely on breastfeeding as her newborn's sole source of nutrition," Chase-Marshall "strenuously resisted [the mother's] wishes and expressed a strong desire to formula-feed the baby."
Wojton alleges that Chase-Marshall initially said formula was better for the baby's health, but later admitted she preferred it because she wouldn't have to wake up as often during the night to bring Wilder to her mother to breastfeed. According to the lawsuit, the night nurse went along with Wojton's request during the baby's first two nights at home, but on the third night, Chase-Marshall allegedly supplemented the newborn with formula sent home from the hospital.
Upon learning this, Wojton "was very upset," she told The Post. "This is not what I wanted—this is not what I want—for my baby."
According to Wojton, she then told Chase-Marshall "that she wanted to care for her newborn for a few days on her own" and offered the night nurse "a paid vacation." Wilder's mom says she arranged a flight for the baby nurse to travel back home to Philadelphia, but Chase-Marshall informed her that wouldn't be necessary: The nanny was quitting her position with Wojton and her husband was on his way to pick her up.
Now Wojton, who says she paid $4,200 for Chase-Marshall's services, is seeking at least $10,000 from her former night nurse. According to the lawsuit, she had to "quickly search for a [new] baby nurse with a four-day-old newborn already at home," and although Wojton was able to find a new caregiver, their daily rate is $200 more than Chase-Marshall's.
Chase-Marshall did not immediately return Parents.com's request for comment. When The Post reached her by phone, she said, "I have nothing to say," and hung up.
Wojton said that she and Wilder, who just celebrated her six-month birthday, are both doing fine with their new nanny. "I'm in a good place now," she told The Post, "but I still get upset."
It will be interesting to see how Wojton's lawsuit plays out in court. Unfortunately, this isn't the first breastfeeding-related dispute that lawyers have had to get involved in. Back in 2017, a North Carolina mom pressed charges against a daycare worker who allegedly breastfed her son without consent. The teacher was let go, but even though the mom claimed her son had a severe reaction, no criminal charges were filed against the former daycare employee.
Breastfeeding, obviously, is a hot-button issue, but it seems pretty clear to us that moms should have the definitive say in what goes into their babies' mouths and what doesn't.