A breastfeeding mom in Kansas City, Missouri may be facing some trouble with the law for showing up for jury service with her breastfeeding child. This makes my head spin, because I can sympathize with this mother not having anyone around to help her.
Laura Trickle had previously been issued a postponement for jury duty when she was eight months pregnant. She was sent another summons – this time she was breastfeeding. Unlike neighboring Kansas, Missouri does not allow breastfeeding moms to be exempt from jury duty. She was ordered to appear for jury duty and to arrange childcare for her child. She doesn’t have childcare options – her husband works all day and she’s home with her kid.
With no other options, she showed up for jury duty with her breastfeeding child, or as the court order she soon received put it, “willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child.”
Jackson county offers two options for breastfeeding mothers; they will supply a room for them to pump, or they expect mothers to bring a caregiver to watch the child during proceedings and will momentarily dismiss the moms to breastfeed in a private room. Her son doesn’t take a bottle, so leaving him behind was not an option for Trickle. She also has no one to help her. She brought her child because she had to.
I know a lot of people may find it hard to believe someone has no options for childcare, but I don’t think that is an uncommon problem. When I lived in New York, I had no family around and couldn’t afford childcare. I currently have a breastfeeding child that will not take a bottle – so I understand how frustrating that can be. You are tethered to your child when you are in that situation.
You can’t force a breastfeeding mother to part with a child who won’t take a bottle. If the county is so hell-bent on breastfeeding mothers showing up for jury duty, they should provide daycare so all women they refuse to exempt can serve.
(photo: whiteisthecolor/ Shutterstock)