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Breastfeeding Mom Told to 'Use a Bottle' & Report for Jury Duty

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM
  • 10 Replies

Breastfeeding Mom Told to 'Use a Bottle' & Report for Jury Duty

breastfeeding baby

One of the most frustrating things about being a breastfeeding mom is being given advice by people who don't know anything about breastfeeding. Usually, though, such unsolicited counsel comes from well-meaning people you can brush off with a roll of the eyes -- your mother-in-law, your childless aunt, your busybody neighbor. It's quite a different story when it's a court of law that's telling you how to feed your kid ... so you don't have to skip jury duty.

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That's what happened to Scottish mom Aileen Robertson, much to her completely justified chagrin. Robertson's son Isaac was only a few weeks old when she got a letter in the mail telling her to report for jury duty. Since potentially spending all day, every day for an unspecified amount of time in a courtroom is a fairly impractical course of action for the mother of a newborn, Robertson filed for an exemption, fully expecting to be let off the hook (at least until her son was a little older). Instead, what she got was another letter, telling her to ... report for jury duty. Sigh. So, naturally, Robertson called up the court to find out what the problem was, and to explain that because she was breastfeeding, she couldn't leave her infant son. What did the court say? 

"Use a bottle."

USE A BOTTLE?! Um, thanks for the helpful idea, court official. Notice I said "court official" and not "medical professional." As in, where do these people get off giving breastfeeding advice? Some babies (like Isaac Robertson, for example, and my daughter) simply will not take a bottle. Just will not. Take. A bottle. What would the court suggest parents do in that situation? 

The court official Robertson spoke with said she would need a doctor's note to be excused, which, in fairness, probably wouldn't be tremendously hard to obtain, but it shouldn't be necessary. And since then, the Scottish Court Service has backpedaled big-time, saying Robertson was "given incorrect information from a court worker:"

"It is not our policy to request a medical certificate to support a request for excusal on the grounds of breastfeeding and we apologize for any suggestion that one is required."

So, there's that (too little, too late?). But if I were Robertson, I'd still be peeved. And this is just (more) proof that our society still doesn't fully support or understand breastfeeding. Will it ever?

Did you ever get called for jury duty while breastfeeding? What did you do?

by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 23, 2015 at 1:04 PM
1 mom liked this

That's not right but neither is what happens in the U.S., people forced to miss work, and pay, to serve on juries.  I had a relative explain that he worked for a small business and it would be closed for as long as he had to serve, which mean serious financial ramifications for him.  The judge replied, "Tough."  So I don't have much sympathy for a mother who can in all logic pump breastmilk. 

happinessforyou
by Bronze Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 1:27 PM

I know a lot of mommies think this is uber-important, but lets face it, most people think it's fine.... The only way to make it better is keep educating people about it :)

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 25, 2015 at 10:32 AM
1 mom liked this
If she had to go to work she would need to pump and use a bottle. I don't see the big deal.
mommy2boys03
by on Feb. 25, 2015 at 11:43 AM

I never responded well to a pump.  I was lucky to be a stay at home mom that never needed one.  Also with being a few weeks old the mother would still probably be on materninity leave.  If the woman couldn't go back to work yet there should be no way that she can serve on a jury.  My youngest was also a baby that would rather starve than ever take a bottle.  He was like that from almost birth.  He had one bottle at the hospital due to low blood sugar and then refused to ever take one again.  

Quoting Anonymous 2: If she had to go to work she would need to pump and use a bottle. I don't see the big deal.


CBMMOM
by on Feb. 25, 2015 at 12:09 PM
1 mom liked this

 I'd go in and act racist or act like I think anyone going to court must be guilty so they don't pick me to be on the jury.

SuckIt69
by Member on Feb. 25, 2015 at 12:14 PM
I think it should be excused.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 25, 2015 at 6:40 PM
Quoting mommy2boys03:

I never responded well to a pump.  I was lucky to be a stay at home mom that never needed one.  Also with being a few weeks old the mother would still probably be on materninity leave.  If the woman couldn't go back to work yet there should be no way that she can serve on a jury.  My youngest was also a baby that would rather starve than ever take a bottle.  He was like that from almost birth.  He had one bottle at the hospital due to low blood sugar and then refused to ever take one again.  

Quoting Anonymous 2: If she had to go to work she would need to pump and use a bottle. I don't see the big deal.

I found several articles on line the baby wasn't several weeks old but 7 months old.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Feb. 25, 2015 at 8:56 PM

All she had to do to be excused was to get a doctor's note. She could either do that, or pump. 

eclaudin
by Member on Feb. 26, 2015 at 9:37 AM
Sorry, but I agree. Pump and use the bottle. And I don't want to hear the kid won't take a bottle. They sure will after a couple hours without the breast being offered. It's thought processes like that which plant the seed of entitlement from the cradle. If that makes me a bitch, so be it. o
heathermom4
by Member on Feb. 26, 2015 at 10:36 AM
Pumping is fine for those who can pump. What of the mothers who cannot pump? I was one who could not pump I would pump but nothing would come out and the pain was wise than birth. Yes I worked with three different doctors an wic nurse. The doctors finally sent me to a specialist long story short I cannot pump an it is actually quite common.
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