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Teen mom not allowed to bf at school!

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Ladies, I'm pretty new to mdc so I hope I'm posting in the right spot but I need some input. My friend shared with me that her mil, a nurse at a NJ high school, has a 14 yr old student with a new baby. The student's baby will attend the school's on site day care but the school will not let the mother leave her classes ten min early to bf her baby at the day care. At all. No exceptions.

I do not understand this at all! How is that even legal? Here we have a 14yr old mother who is trying to make the right choices for her LO and the MEN in the school's administration are telling her no?! Makes me sick. My friend and I have offered our pumps to that poor young mama but I can't imagine being in that sort of situation. It will be so difficult for her to continue her bfing relationship with this obstacle!
post #2 of 68
well.. this may be an unpopular opinion, but she may have to do like the rest of us that work or go to school and schedule her study halls so she can nurse before school, at studyhall at lunch maybe a second study hall and at the end of the day. I know when I was in HS 2 study halls/ day were the max.

I know I have to pump at night at home for DS's bottles during the day. You have to do what you need to do and not expect people to make special accommodations for you because you are breastfeeding

she could also look into ECOT or whatever your state calls online highschool. (I don't know if it's an Ohio thing or what) My youngest sister does it and is about to graduate a quarter early.
post #3 of 68
It's hard to judge without all of the facts. There are so many facets to a 14-year-old having a baby....I wouldn't know where to start. I think it's great that she is nursing, however.
post #4 of 68
I think it is ridiculous.
post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 
Sorry I wasn't clear in my OP. This girl is not asking to leave all classes 10 min early. (I agree, I can see how that may interfere w/her education) She wants to leave one class before lunch 10 min early so she has time to nurse during her lunch break. Admin says no, your baby can have a bottle at day care.

And I'm at a loss about a 14 yr old having a baby too...I just think she should have more support to make healthy choices for her LO.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
well.. this may be an unpopular opinion, but she may have to do like the rest of us that work or go to school and schedule her study halls so she can nurse before school, at studyhall at lunch maybe a second study hall and at the end of the day.
I agree. If she were to leave that one class 10 minutes early each day that would equal her missing one full class, or 20% of class time every week. Depending on what the subject is that 50 minutes could make a real difference.
post #7 of 68
I disagree that leaving early is that big of a deal really (and I'm a highschool teacher!). Her teacher could easily work with her if he/she were willing. People leave classes early all the time for worse reasons (*cough Athletics cough*).
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babydoll1285 View Post
Sorry I wasn't clear in my OP. This girl is not asking to leave all classes 10 min early. (I agree, I can see how that may interfere w/her education) She wants to leave one class before lunch 10 min early so she has time to nurse during her lunch break. Admin says no, your baby can have a bottle at day care.

And I'm at a loss about a 14 yr old having a baby too...I just think she should have more support to make healthy choices for her LO.
First off- I am really impressed the 14 year old is nursing- good for her. Is there some way she can eat while she nurses her baby? Since they won't let her leave class early, can she take a sandwich to eat while nursing, or have someone else help bring her food to the daycare area if needed? I am guessing the baby can't go to the cafeteria, which makes it difficult for her to have lunch and nurse her baby.

Wonder what kind of class they won't let her leave early? I know I had some teachers in high school who taught the whole time, but most were done instructing and had us working on our homework the last part of class. Its horrible that the admin. thinks its OK to tell her her baby should have a bottle- that's just not their right.
post #9 of 68
I am horrified that the school would take it upon itself to make this decision. Seriously?! As a reporter on the newspaper staff, I had the freedom to leave any class I wanted any time to cover a story.

The school should both be encouraging her to finish her education and be a responsible mother. It sounds like they're pitting those two goals against each other.

If I thought the girl was motivated to finish her education, I would be encouraging her to stay home. There are all sorts of correspondence courses--many are Web-based-- that would allow her to finish high school and receive a diploma while still being able to breastfeed her baby at will. Of course, that would require overcoming all sorts of stereotypes about teen moms and their futures, but I don't think the school sounds like the best environment to a mom who is committed to breastfeeding.

But really, I can't believe the administration won't give her those 10 mins. I bet she could arrange with the teacher to get any assignments given out at at that time. I can't imagine that it would seriously impact her learning.
post #10 of 68
that sucks. maybe local chapter of LLL could help educating the admins? she needs some advocacy happening, whether it's family or outside help...
post #11 of 68
I understand the admins position on this. But they also need to take the time to help this young mama work out a solution. Does she have someone to go to bat for her in working out a compromise? The school nurse would be the perfect person. Of course her "class time" must be respected, but between the administration, the teacher of the class in question, hopefully an involved parent, and the school nurse SOMEBODY should be able to come up with an answer!
post #12 of 68
I get this question a lot since there are no state laws creating a protected right to breastfeed in schools (public breastfeeding laws generally cover mothers who are otherwise authorized to be there because they are picking up older children or attending meetings or performances). There is, of course, no reason why she should not be allowed to leave a class 10 minutes early here or there to breastfeed her baby.

The approach I usually recommend (and I am usually addressing teens who want to pump in the nurses office - it is great that this school has on-site day care) is to have the teen get a note from her doctor stating that breastfeeding/pumping at these intervals is a medical need preventing engorgement leading to mastitis or other breast infection. In this case, one could also get a note from the child's doctor stating the frequency at which the child needs to feed making the break a medical necessity.

There is no educational justification for preventing her rearrangement of her schedule. Like most situations in which it is argued that breastfeeding or pumping can not be accommodated, all arguments are based on the convenience to the institution or general annoyance that the caretaking of a child is interfering with the status quo. In this situation, I see the desire to punish her for having been sexual and having had a child as a teenager. Moral judgments shouldn't determine how anyone is allowed to feed her child.
post #13 of 68
As someone that's not too far out of high school I'm not shocked. In my HS there were NO study hall periods (we didn't even have early release for seniors) and by my senior year we weren't supposed to leave even to use the bathroom....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post
The approach I usually recommend (and I am usually addressing teens who want to pump in the nurses office - it is great that this school has on-site day care) is to have the teen get a note from her doctor stating that breastfeeding/pumping at these intervals is a medical need preventing engorgement leading to mastitis or other breast infection. In this case, one could also get a note from the child's doctor stating the frequency at which the child needs to feed making the break a medical necessity.

There is no educational justification for preventing her rearrangement of her schedule. Like most situations in which it is argued that breastfeeding or pumping can not be accommodated, all arguments are based on the convenience to the institution or general annoyance that the caretaking of a child is interfering with the status quo. In this situation, I see the desire to punish her for having been sexual and having had a child as a teenager. Moral judgments shouldn't determine how anyone is allowed to feed her child.
I agree with the idea of getting a doctor's note. Besides, she isn't asking to leave every class or something...one class, 10 mins early? Unless it's AP Statistics or something she's probably going to be fine. Most of the classes I took in high school at that age were useless anyway.

Bolding: I think that's exactly what it is and I'm disgusted. That's NOT fair. Why are we making the child suffer because mom made a mistake? Ugh. Has anyone printed off the benefits of breastfeeding for admin? Maybe they don't know that she's trying to make the best after a bad decision? (I don't mean to make it sound like the baby is a mistake...I've been so paranoid that what I say comes across wrong lately)
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post
The approach I usually recommend (and I am usually addressing teens who want to pump in the nurses office - it is great that this school has on-site day care) is to have the teen get a note from her doctor stating that breastfeeding/pumping at these intervals is a medical need preventing engorgement leading to mastitis or other breast infection. In this case, one could also get a note from the child's doctor stating the frequency at which the child needs to feed making the break a medical necessity.
:
I love this advice.

I hope it works out for both mother's and baby's sake.
post #15 of 68
After thinking about this, I really can understand that many students alter their schedules for many reasons, newspaper, athletics, music, etc.

I think it would save her time to just let her nurse the baby. By the time she pumps, she may have been able to nurse the babe and get back to class. Maybe if she pumped at home a little, some of the feedings could be EBM and some she could do her self.
post #16 of 68
She should contact njbreastfeeding.org. It is the state's breastfeeding task force and they take on advocacy and issues like that. I work for WIC and many of our clients, especially those who are young, get so little support and so much discouragement for breastfeeding from their schools, family, doctors, etc. Here is a young mom who wants to breastfeed and she needs support!
post #17 of 68
Can she not wait the 10 minutes and go to nurse the child then? Is this a "schedualed" feed? If so can it not be moved 10 minutes? (my opinion here..) 10 minutes doesn't seem like a big deal to me, an hour, or even half an hour maybe, but 10 minutes? her body will ajust to that and engorgment will not be an issue.

I mean if she wants to nurse thats wonderful, and if the child is crying because they're hungry she should of course be allowed to leave and feed her when need be, but if she is simply wanting to leave 10min early for that class everyday so she can feed the baby and then go eat lunch, well she needs to eat and feed the baby at the same time, like other mothers do.

She did have this baby at 14, and at 14 there are some things that are going to be expected of her. Like going to school. She, like other moms who have to work or go to school, is going to have some restrictions on when she can nurse simply because of being in the situation she is in.

Also how old is this baby? that could make a differnce too, I mean a baby under 6-8 weeks I could see being more of an issue while milk supply is established, but after that waiting that 10 minutes isn't going to be detrimental to her milk supply.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
As someone that's not too far out of high school I'm not shocked. In my HS there were NO study hall periods (we didn't even have early release for seniors) and by my senior year we weren't supposed to leave even to use the bathroom....



I agree with the idea of getting a doctor's note. Besides, she isn't asking to leave every class or something...one class, 10 mins early? Unless it's AP Statistics or something she's probably going to be fine. Most of the classes I took in high school at that age were useless anyway.

Bolding: I think that's exactly what it is and I'm disgusted. That's NOT fair. Why are we making the child suffer because mom made a mistake? Ugh. Has anyone printed off the benefits of breastfeeding for admin? Maybe they don't know that she's trying to make the best after a bad decision? (I don't mean to make it sound like the baby is a mistake...I've been so paranoid that what I say comes across wrong lately)
Yeah I am a long time out of high school. In my day, one spent way more time than that smoking in the girls' room. Certainly preventing a baby from being breastfed would be leaving a child behind, no?

I do find it disturbing that anyone would consider the age of the mother or how the child came to be. Very much not our business, in my view. Even to say she made a mistake is a judgment I wouldn't make. She is a mother who wants to breastfeed her child and that is all.
post #19 of 68
I'm wondering if she has looked into alternative education plans, like homeschooling through something like the K12 program or having her parents help her design her own education program that is flexible enough for her in this situation.

Aside from that, I agree about getting the doctors note. It is quite possible that the admin really has no understanding of how bf'ing works.
post #20 of 68
i had my first DS at 16.
i nursed, despite everyone telling me i couldnt or shouldnt.
they would not let me pump, anywhere. let alone leave class.
it sucks, but for some reason people think 10 minutes of "education" trumps a lifetime of benefis from breastmilk.

in hindsight, i would have homeschooled myself after DS was born, or dropped out and gotten my GED.
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