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Mom’s Post Went Viral After Calling Out Courthouse for Disappointing Pump Room

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(Facebook/Amanda Chandler)

Let’s face it. Our society still has a long way to go when it comes to supporting breastfeeding women. There are countless stories of women being asked to cover up while breastfeeding in public, or to leave businesses because they chose not to let their child go hungry. One related story making the rounds right now has to do with the abysmal accommodations one woman was given to pump milk for her child.

40-year-old Amanda Chandler was recently summoned to jury duty in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The stay-at-home mom was hoping to be excused from duty as she is her children’s primary caretaker and is also currently breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the county denied her request and she was instead told she’d be reimbursed $40 for childcare and given suitable accommodations for pumping milk throughout the day.

“The clerk I spoke with was very proud and excited to tell me about a new ‘quiet room’ which had recently been designed with nursing mothers and those wishing for a place to pray in mind,” said Chandler in an interview with TODAY Parents.

While the ‘quiet room’ was offered to her and to two other breastfeeding moms on her first day, things went south on the second day.

Take a look at what we mean:

In her post, Chandler states that Hennepin County has laws protecting nursing mothers, including allowing them to pump or express on demand and giving them access to a private area in which to pump or feed that is not in a bathroom. Clearly, the Government Center’s idea of suitable accommodations on Chandler’s second day of jury duty isn’t what most moms would have in mind.

More enraging is the fact that Chandler reveals she was frequently denied pump breaks, no matter how much she pleaded with county clerks and even the judge herself. Chandler even e-mailed the judge regarding the experience, which the judge apparently did not appreciate. According to Chandler, the judge acknowledged the complaint, but rather than issue an apology and rectify the situation posthaste, she reprimanded the breastfeeding mom for spreading the truth of her experience on social media and then dismissed her from the panel. Perhaps instead of chastising Chandler, the judge should have allowed Chandler to pump when she asked, and made sure she had access to a sanitary private room, and not one where she would be sitting beside a public urinal.

“I’m really hoping by sharing this story that it will bring some real awareness to the rights of breastfeeding mothers. I hope the awareness sparks advocacy, and that some real change might happen,” Chandler said in her Fit Pregnancy interview. We have no doubt that it will.