The Practicing Parent: Breastfeeding mom faces legal battle

Report from Alice Barr of KCTV5:

A Missouri mom is facing a legal battle over breastfeeding and jury duty. Laura Trickle is charged with contempt of court because she told a judge she breastfeeds and couldn't leave her seven-month old son, Axel, behind to serve jury duty.

Trickle says she's never been in trouble with the law. "I've never even had a speeding ticket, so I have zero experience with legal issues," Trickle said.

Now she's fighting a charge of contempt of court.

"He has to be with me to eat," she said.

She appeared for jury selection, with her baby, hoping the judge would grant an exemption, instead he gave two options:

"I would be able to pump on breaks, unfortunately Axel doesn't take a bottle, so that's not an option for us. The other option was to have someone stay with me all day and then be able to nurse on breaks. But since I'm a stay-at-home mom we don't have child care."

So, now she's facing contempt, and up to a $500 fine.

"It's been really scary, it's been very stressful for our family," Trickle said.

A senator from St. Joe, Missouri is working on a bill to excuse breastfeeding moms from jury duty. That's already the case in Kansas and 11 other states - and Trickle hopes her story can help make the change.

"It's not right, it's not fair for us. We're just trying to do what's best for our children and we shouldn't be penalized and fined for it," she said.


has a hearing date where she'll make her case to try to avoid any penalties

. A

s she put it, $500 is "a lot of diapers."


he reporter of this story reached out to the judge in the case at home, but he said he was busy and couldn't comment.