Breastfeeding mum whose baby almost died when she went on a raw food diet has been sentenced.

A breastfeeding mother whose baby almost died after she went on a raw food diet has been handed a 14 month suspended sentence.

The mother who can not be named, pleaded guilty to a charge of ‘failing to provide’ in a Sydney court earlier this year.

She went on the raw food diet, police allege, on the advice of Marilyn Bodnar in order to treat her child’s eczema. Bodnar, a naturopath, told her that her son’s condition was her fault and that she should stop using steroid creams and instead leave her son’s skin exposed to air.

Police also allege that Bodnar advised the mother not to give her child purees, and that she should stop eating altogether to treat a fever her son later developed.

Naturopath Marilyn Bodnar. (Image: Google Plus)

When the child was finally taken to hospital he was emaciated and close to death.

The child was removed from the mother's care.

Some may feel some sympathy for the mother. Some may believe that the mother was in thrall of her naturopath, and unable to do anything but follow Bodnar's advice.

Some may imagine that she had good intentions, that she loved him, that she sought help in order to treat her baby's condition.

But good intentions and love can not make up for the wilful ignorance of medicine, of science.

There should be no qualms about the use of natural products and supplements. But use those that have been tried and tested, and supplied by a reputable person. Think Vitamin D supplements to help you absorb calcium, ginger to help guard against a cold, tea tree oil applied to a cold sore.

Naturopathy is a system of alternative medicine that holds that disease and illness can be treated without the use of drugs.

breastfeeding or formula
Good intentions and love can not make up for the wilful ignorance of medicine, of science. (Image: iStock)

It's based on the principle that the body can heal itself.

That's madness, and I'm not the only one to think that. There is no science that finds naturopathic practices effective.

There's a huge difference between using lavender oil and baby massage to help a child go to sleep at night and buying into the idea that you don't need science, medicine or drugs to heal disease.

It is bizarre that a mother would ignore the generations of paediatric science and not feed herself or her baby properly, that she would discontinue the use of proven medicines to treat eczema.

It defies belief that a mother would think treating a fever with nothing but water would work.

So, tonight, I am not amongst those that feel sorry for the mother. For the neglect, for the failure to provide for her child, for causing the near-death of her child, she's gotten off pretty lightly.