Mother charged with underfeeding infant

Feb. 5, 2013 at 3:15 PM

HOUSTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Texas woman faces felony charges after her 9-month-old baby was so underfed he weighed just 7 pounds, 9 ounces, prosecutors said.

Walteria Bledsoe was charged with felony injury to a child by omission, after doctors found her infant, Varius Bledsoe, weighing less than some children do at birth, KHOU-TV, Houston, reported.

Varius was born prematurely at 28 weeks, doctors said. The Houston Chronicle reported Walteria Bledsoe couldn't get the infant to keep down formula so she tried feeding him evaporated milk on the advice of a family member.

Babies that young cannot digest evaporated milk and can only be fed breast milk or infant formula.

Varius was so malnourished doctors said he was suffering renal, liver and heart failure and required two surgeries. He is still being fed with a tube, they said.

Walteria Bledsoe told state District Court Judge Marc Carter Monday she does not have a lawyer. Her two other children are in protective custody, the Chronicle said.

If convicted of the first-degree felony she could face life in prison.

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