Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Attention: The information provided in this forum is intended for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
    Includes Expert Content
    Exposing an infant to hoarding
    ChanmanBing posted:
    My fiancé and I are pregnant with a healthy boy. The problem is. We do not live with each other and won't for at the least 1 year to 2 years. In the mean time we are about to give birth to our child and she wants to raise the baby in her mother and fathers home and they are compulsive hoarders. She cannot stabd my mother because they dont see eye to eye. Well You walk into this home and the smells of mold and rotting food is over whelming. She is so embarrassed by it that she refuses to let anyone know that's her mom or they refuse to let anyone in. Her mother needs some major medical help as well for her bipolar. I have never seen mood swings so bad. Her moods are in comparison to a pendulum. What my question is, how do I bring it up that I do not think that our baby will survive if we let him grow up in this home. I don't want her to get angry and be done with me. I don't want to call protected child services because if she were to find out its be or If she knew I knew that someone else called I don't know what she would do. I'm just scared for the health of this baby. I really believe he will not survive. What are some affects of exposing a baby to hoarding? Will it potentially kill my child. If she is breast feeding and child services were involved would I get the custody of my baby if I went to court with her if she were to leave me with the child?
    fcl responded:
    Why can you not live together? Why can't she get a small place for herself and the baby if, geographically, you cannot be together.

    It seems kind of drastic that you're wondering if you would get custody before the child is even born... Breathe ... There are solutions ...
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Clearly you feel very scared for your unborn child. I can understand your concern, but I wonder whether your fiance sees the same problems you see; and does she have similar or other concerns? Have the two of you talked about her concerns and your concerns? How has that gone?

    You are planning to get married at some point; and so, you need to find a way to address difficult issues. This is just one of what would be many in a lifetime together. So, you must find a way to address this with her.

    As for your concerns about the dangerous effects of hoarding, the hoarding is not as much of a danger as the health issues due what she is hoarding. No one in this community can know how much of a health risk there really is, but you have a serious concern that you need to address with your fiance. Also, if her mother does indeed have untreated bipolar disorder, then you and your fiance need to talk about how you will cope with that as a couple and as parents. When an adult has untreated bipolar disorder, those around her can be at risk (e.g. if she has and acts on delusions).

    So, because of many reasons, you need to talk more with your fiance.
    ChanmanBing replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    I agree we need to talk about these things but how? She is the type that I want to talk about the problem and she goes defensive and starts fighting back instead of talking. She grew up in this kind of home so looking at that everyday is what she is normal for her. People do not understand how something can be normal to someone like that but if it's happened ever since you were born it's all you know. If I bring it up it will turn into "Fine you don't have to come over here anymore If you don't want to deal with my mom." or " well fine I'll just move out and do it on my own forget it just go live the life you had before we met." almost to get me to feel guilty but thinks something I strongly believe in I just don't want her to get defensive fight me on this and turn it on me. I honestly believe that with in a week of bringing the baby home that the mold an all the bacteria will kill my child. it's so bad If you look at her parents who have been hoarding for te past 20 years it's scary to see how their bodies are affected from the inside out. I don't plant to get custody until the baby is born what kind of a dumb statement was that? I am also scared because my mom is planning to call child protective services again but this time because their is an infant in the home they have to do something I know that will get me custody but I don't want it to cause me as this girl to end our relationship because of something someone else did without my permission. At the same time in willing to call myself for the cost of our relationship if it means I get to have my child in a clean protected home. That's only if she fights me on movin out and ends things with me. That's when the state will get involved.
    ChanmanBing replied to ChanmanBing's response:
    To add to it. Why we can't be married now and live together now is I'm just out of high school and she is still in her last year but only turning seventeen so she is underage. Some states don't require parents consent to be married now that she is pregnant but Utah does and her parents refuse to let us get married until after the baby is born but now has planted the thought of staying single because there is a college here that will pay for an apartment, school, daycare, and a part time job. So she is thinking of school before us because she knows we won't be able to afford school on our own.
    fcl replied to ChanmanBing's response:
    "I don't plant to get custody until the baby is born what kind of a dumb statement was that?"

    Firstly, there is no need to be rude. Secondly, you misunderstood what I wrote - I did not say you would try to get custody before the child was born but that it was a bit alarming that you were contemplating seeking custody already and the child isn't even born yet. Of course you wouldn't seek custody of an unborn child.

    I understand your worries for your child concerning your gf's home but have you considered that she grew up in that home and seems to be fine.

    You said that your gf is now considering putting school before your marriage - is that such a bad thing? She will be leaving her parents' home - isn't that what you wanted? Also, do both of you want to get married or do you feel that you ought to because of the baby?

    Is this the only thing that you are anxious about or is anxiety something you are familiar with?
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to ChanmanBing's response:
    This is a lot to sort through and the stakes are high. The best chance of having a good outcome is for the two of you to talk it through. If she gets defensive and the conversations go nowhere, I suggest that you find a therapist to help you two through this. If money is a problem, you could find a therapist or clinic that offers help on a low-cost (sliding scale) basis.
    ChanmanBing replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    I'm not being mean. I do apologize for it coming off that way and I did read your statement wrong. That's the thing emotionally and mentally it has caused her majr problems growing up in the home. If you were to speak with her I have helped her and her family through so much of those issues with in their home an their own minds. I do understand why it's a bit alarming that I'm thinking of that this soon. I'm only thinking about it for two reasons. I don't want my child growing up in a home like that in wich it can cause more issues if I don't try and get custody, secondly there are so many people waiting to call child services whether I agree or not.

    We actually live close enough to her college of choice and she would be attending there and staying at home. I'm all for getting school done before marriage. I was hoping for marriage before school but after really contemplating that it's best for both of us if she goes to school and me going to school either the same time or shortly after. She is looking into getting her Lsac the licensed counselor but specialize in troubled youth. I'm going to school starting spring to be a nurseanesthetist. Money is tight for 2 more months. But answering your question of why we feel we need to be married. I don't feel the "need" to its the want and desire because I do care and love for this girl and I have and wanted to marry her since before our baby was born.
    fcl replied to ChanmanBing's response:
    No worries I'm on your side.

    OK, so if I've understood right, she could get a flat and have it paid for if she's a single mother going to the college of her choice. It seems to me that would be a pretty good alternative to her staying at home. It would certainly be more peaceful for her (she may be underestimating the work that a newborn can be) and more conducive to studying.

    So, it seems to me that the main hurdle is getting her to actually talk about the situation. I think that once you get the ball rolling she might be more open to listening to your concerns. Do you think you could enroll her doctor to help you from a different angle? Presumably she is seeing her doctor regularly for prenatal care, can you get her to discuss the mold issue with her/him? Not just for the baby but for her own health. Mold is bad for you at the best of times and it can't be good for mother and baby during pregnancy ... Could you maybe see the doctor and mention your girlfriend's living conditions because something needs to be done NOW.

    Perhaps you could persuade her to see a counsellor with you to learn how to communicate better (getting defensive and fighting over tricky subjects is not good communication)? Maybe present it as pre-marital counselling. How about someone from your church? Does your pastor do counselling? I'm just convinced that you need a third party to get things started.

    The other main hurdle appears to be the hostility of both your families ... Threatening CPS at this stage is a bit over the top. I'm afraid there isn't anything you can do to stop them reporting her to CPS. And worse, all of these threats are only going to make her even more defensive and even more determined to stay put. All you can do is ignore these threats. It won't make them go away but it will lower your stress level.

    I'm not sure any of this is helping any. Can I reiterate Dr Becker-Phelps' concern about your girlfriend's mother. I would be VERY worried about having a baby in a home where there is someone with untreated bipolar. I would certainly never, ever leave the baby alone with that person.

    Finally, and this information may be superfluous but it is extremely important - PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOUR NAME IS ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE WHEN THE BABY IS BORN. You must be recognized as the baby's father from the very start if you are to avoid lengthy legal battles.

    Please keep us posted, will you?
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    nicoleb231315 responded:
    I have watched shows about Hoarders and it can be a very dangerous environment for a baby, potentially a fatal environment. There have been cases of hoarders who would have rodent infestations, which is highly common in hoarding houses, that can carry the Hantivirus. If their fesces is not taken care of and it gets disturbed, like swept or moved around, it can kick up the virus into the air causing people to get a respiratory infections that has a 50/50 chance of survival and that is for adults. For a baby the chances would be a lot smaller. So I would indeed try to arrange something where she does not have to live in their home. If you have a hard time approaching her about it simply show her the facts, print out research online of what I told you above. If this does not persuade her to move out then that is when I would take legal action because legally that home is not a safe environment for a child and the boy would be taken away.

    I hope this has helped and that you and her can be together with your son in a safe environment!!
    ChanmanBing replied to fcl's response:
    I know she underestimates the work of a baby but the fertilization on this girl is absolutely dead set. I've never seen her back down or lower her standards because she just doesn't feel like doing it. I think with a baby she won't get as much done as fast as she wants but she will definatly get something done.

    I'm going to stay away about the doctor gettin involved only because her mother used this guy as a doctor for my girlfriend to be born. They are family friends but have kept the living situation quite all her life. I agree in having a third party involved and the one person that she came out to was my LDS bishop who we had been having meetings with to check up on our situations. I think I'll mention y concerns to him and he can call her himself and set up a meeting together to talk about it and our concerns as a couple. He may have more information for us. I do know that when this happens she will get defensive afterwards and talk to me about it but it will be in a more angry "how could you do this" kind of thing but that's better than not.

    She is embarrassed by her house so she told me today that she wants to move bam on here for a week or two so that the people who couldn't make it to the hospital to see Koen (our son) can just come over there and see him. What I can see happening is that working out and she would finally get to sleep with me and she knows I would never live back at her parents house so she may just stay because of te pleasure and comfort that she has longed wished for through out her pregnancy is something she can finally enjoy. Her biggest thing and cries every night is when I go home because I will not sleep at that home. I can't breath and I don't mean this to be rude but have the fear that I won't wake up myself if I sleep there. It makes me feel so claughstaphobic.

    I know I'm definatly going to let her stumble upon information about hoarding, that's of I don't get the opportunity to let her know my concerns and the facts myself and I'm sure I will.

    There's no chance that my name won't be on that birth certificate. I know that anything in that home is lost and here at my Home everything has its place and in my safe is where all the documents will go because later in the future we will not har them If I don't have a copy hopefully the originals.

    I'm also going to look up you information about untreated bipolar and see what we can do. Her mom told me today that her plan is to have a room cleaned out for the baby to have. I dont get or understand and because of the complexity of her disease I wont understand the logic she has. She wants one room out of the six that the baby can be in but can't do it for the whole house. One room will not make a difference when it comes to a baby or CPS. The way its done in Utah is everyone above 8 is ok to have the house like that you just have to have one room livable. With an infant the whole house has to be cleaned or the infant will be taken out of the home. I heard that from the CPS agent himself. I don't want CPS involved an if we dont get my girlfriend moved out than whether I want to or not CPS will be called.
    NOTSUROK replied to ChanmanBing's response:

    Featuring Experts

    Dr. Becker-Phelps is a well-respected psychologist, who is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotio...More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.