The mom of two said it’s “mind-boggling” that people still try to restrict women from breastfeeding in public

By Julie Mazziotta
September 03, 2019 05:21 PM

An Oregon mom is suing her dental office after she was allegedly stopped from breastfeeding in one of the patient rooms while her older child was there to get a tooth pulled.

Kalee Kellough, 31, had her 16-month-old son with her for her 5-year-old daughter’s appointment at Willamette Dental Group’s Bend, Oregon location. While waiting for the dentist to come in the exam room, Kellough said that she started to breastfeed her son, The Oregonian reported.

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According to the lawsuit filed last week, the dentist, Dr. Matthew Haehlen, came in the room and then immediately left. Soon after, Kellough said, a female office manager came in and said Haehlen would not pull her daughter’s tooth if she was in the room.

Kellough said she initially thought that she wasn’t allowed during the procedure because of the numbing gas her daughter would need, but the office manager said the issue was that Haehlen didn’t want her to breastfeed.

Kalee Kellough
KGW

“The office manager said, ‘The dentist doesn’t feel comfortable with this happening in the room,’ ” Kellough said.

The mom said she was told she could go with her son to the waiting room, but she declined, as her daughter wanted her there during the procedure. Kellough was eventually escorted out of the office, according to the lawsuit.

“I’m really curious which would be more distracting: a screaming baby or a nursing baby?” she said. “I would think a screaming baby, rather than a baby who nurses for comfort.”

RELATED: Breastfeeding in Public Is FINALLY Legal in All 50 States

Kellough is now suing Willamette Dental Group for discrimination based on her sex, and for violating Oregon law, which allows people to breastfeed in any public location.

RELATED VIDEO: Erika Christensen Reveals the Struggle She Had Nursing Her Daughter

When reached by PEOPLE, Willamette Dental Group said they do not comment on pending litigation.

Speaking to KGW News, Kellough said that mothers should never be restricted from breastfeeding.

“Us moms have enough anxiety going out with our toddlers anywhere, so the fact that we have to worry about whether we have to feed them without dirty looks, without shame, without all the negative connotations that come with it — it’s really just mind-boggling to me that we even deal with this in this day and age,” she said.

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