A mom on jury duty shared a photo of the "pumping room" they offered her, and we all have to say is...yikes.
Amanda Chandler was summoned for jury duty, and the mandate was more than just an annoyance for the mother—it also required her to be away from her child for the day, which is problematic because Chandler breastfeeds her child.
But the mom quickly realized that leaving her child for a day wouldn't be the only issue she faced at jury duty: Officials told Chandler she'd have a place and time to pump...but things didn't exactly work out for the nursing mom.
For one thing, Chandler wasn't given enough pumping breaks—she was granted just two opportunities to express milk when she planned to pump four times through the day. And when Chandler was finally allowed to take a break in the designated pumping space...well, let's just say it fell short of expectations.
Chandler shared a photo of the space, and it's completely unacceptable—dirty, dank and situated right next to a urinal, of all things.
"I had been assured that my requirements as a nursing mother away from her child would be met, but in fact, they were almost completely disregarded," Chandler told Fit Pregnancy of her decision to write the post. "I posted it privately on my wall and in several mom groups I am a member of. The response from fellow mothers was almost immediate: They were outraged and they wanted to share this story. It was only then that I made my original post public. 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."
Fellow moms are (understandably) fuming over this—one woman commented: "We need to get loud and organized about this. This is a health issue!!!!"
Another weighed in as well, writing: "I would have massaged my breasts while sitting in on jury duty and leaked everywhere just to piss them off. Sure, I might have been wet and uncomfortable, but it would have gotten me out of it."
Chandler's experience is shocking and disappointing, but unfortunately it's nothing new. Moms are routinely denied the time and space they need to pump—it's such a huge problem that one company even launched a contest to find the "scariest" pump room in America. We'd say this sad excuse would have been a great contender.
"My hope is that all breastfeeding moms feel supported," Chandler said. "This experience has only made me more passionate about breastfeeding advocacy. Things need to change. No nursing mother should have to deal with the possibility of infection or engorgement because she can't nurse or pump when she needs to. No nursing mother should have to feed her baby or pump in a bathroom. Sharing stories like this will hopefully help women come together and demand some change!"