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Breastfeeding Mom Forced To Pump In Fall River Court Bathroom

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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FALL RIVER (CBS) – Colleen Swanson headed to Fall River Trial Court this Tuesday, ready to serve her jury duty. But as the new mom of a five-month-old boy, the breastfeeding Swanson had a concern.

“Leading up to it, I got nervous,” the Raynham resident explains. “I was not sure where I would pump.”

Like many women, Swanson uses a breast pump to collect milk for her son when the two are separated. She asked a court officer where she could go, and she was directed to the restroom. Swanson didn’t love the idea.

“I don’t need any luxury room or anything,” she says, “but maybe something other than, you know, near a toilet.”

Ultimately, Swanson used one of the public stalls, though with great difficulty since there was no table or anything to balance her equipment.

“I was standing [in the stall] and I hooked my bag [with the pump] … on the back of the door and there’s lots of parts,” she said. “And I actually happened to drop a bottle — empty, but I dropped a bottle. And that was definitely going in the trash, never going to be used.”

Swanson had hoped the courthouse would have even a small room that could be used by lactating women.

“So now the question is, do I give my child that milk?” she asks. “I think most moms would pump and dump and that’s a shame because it’s hard work to get all that milk.”

WBZ called court officials in Fall River to see what they thought about the idea of setting aside a room in their building for nursing mothers. We did not hear back from them.

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