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Oregon woman sues dental practice over breastfeeding dispute

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PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon woman is suing a dental practice she said would not perform a procedure on one child while she was breastfeeding another in the same room, a report said.

Kalee Kellough, 31, of La Pine filed the lawsuit against the Willamette Dental Group in Multnomah County Circuit Court, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday.

Kellough’s lawsuit says the practice unlawfully discriminated against her based on her gender.

Kellough brought her 5-year-old daughter to the Bend office to have a tooth pulled and began breastfeeding her 16-month-old son.

An office manager informed her that the dentist would not pull the girl’s tooth while her mother was breastfeeding in the room, she said.

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

She was told she and her son could go to a waiting room, but Kellough’s daughter wanted her in the room while the tooth was pulled, she said.

Kellough was breastfeeding to soothe the boy and keep him from wandering the office, she said.

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

The lawsuit does not seek damages, but could be amended to do so with the consent of a judge, said Michael Fuller, Kellough’s attorney.

Willamette Dental Group did not immediately return the newspaper’s calls seeking comment.

The company has 50 dental offices across Oregon, Washington and Idaho, according to its website.

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