Naturopath arrested after alleged baby ‘liquid diet’

Sydney naturopath and former nurse Marilyn Bodnar had only been advising the mother of an eight month-old baby for a couple of months when the infant almost died of starvation, police allege.


Bodnar, 59, was arrested at her Leppington home and practice – “Health and Vitality Centre” – on Thursday after allegedly advising a mother of a treatment plan that led to the near death of her eight-month-old baby.

Detectives will allege the mother sought natural therapies advice for her son’s eczema in April and was told to stop all medical and dermatological treatments for her baby.

It will be alleged in court the baby was put on a liquid diet and was hospitalised in May after losing more than one kilogram.

The baby almost died and suffered severe malnourishment and developmental issues, police say.

The mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons but is also a former nurse, was charged last month with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

The mother was also charged with failing to provide for her baby boy and causing danger of death. She is on bail after appearing in Fairfield Local Court last month.

Her son was released from hospital on Wednesday. Child Abuse Squad detectives on Thursday charged Bodnar, a former midwife, with two offences, including aiding and abetting the mother in failing to provide for the baby.

On her website Bodnar is described as a specialist in children’s and parents’ health with 26 years’ experience.

She operates her clinic out of the same semi-rural property she lives on. 

She was granted bail to appear in Fairfield Local Court later this month.

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