Naturopath's advice almost kills Aus baby

Naturopath Marilyn Bodnar (AAP)
Naturopath Marilyn Bodnar (AAP)

A Sydney mother has avoided jail time for following a naturopath's advice which nearly killed her baby.

The naturopath recommended a raw food diet and fasting while the woman was breastfeeding.

The baby was just days away from death when he was taken to hospital.

His mother, a trained nurse, was so desperate to cure his eczema she followed a naturopath's strict diet.

Naturopath Marilyn Bodnar advised the breastfeeding mum to eat raw vegetables, fruit and seeds and to stop using steroid cream on her baby.

When the baby developed a fever, Bodnar advised a water-only diet.

It was advice that almost killed the eight-month-old - he ended up weighing just 6.5kg, was emaciated and severely dehydrated.

The magistrate said it was concerning the mother "ignored the signs of deterioration... to the point it was almost too late".

Both the baby's mother and the naturopath were charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and failing to provide for a child.

The mother pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and was sentenced to a 14-month suspended jail term.

The naturopath is expected to defend the charges against her and will face a committal hearing next week.