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Teen mom not allowed to bf at school! - Page 3

post #41 of 68
Quote:
Umm...that's *exactly* how it is. If you have to pee, you have to have a teacher who is willing to let you go, and you are usually required to carry a hall pass. One teacher at my school had a hall pass that was actually a toilet ring with his room number etched into it. No one would ask to use the bathroom unless they were seriously going to poo themselves. Most teachers had just a little wooden block as a hall pass, but it was still ridiculous. Can you imagine the germs swarming on those things?
That is really depressing!
Quote:
My statements were not based on her being 14, but on her being a parent. Being a mom means you put your childs need before your own when you need to. She needs to learn the balence that will work for her and her child in the world she lives in.
Isn't leaving class early to feed a baby putting the child's needs above her own? That's assuming you count 10 minutes of the odd class a "need", which I don't - she could make up the time/work at home easily, surely?
Quote:
She should get support for BF. No one here has told her she can't BF her child. No one is trying to stop her from BF that child. However, while leave 10 early once in a while may not be a big deal, that will make a difference in the long run. Also it would be viewed as favertism.
I really, really disagree that it would make a "big difference" in the long run. My university classes weren't so replete with one-time-only wisdom that missing the last 10 minutes of a class or two every week would have made a noticeable difference. Surely high school isn't that much more jam-packed with knowledge than Uni?

Also, favouritism? Uh, I don't think so; no more than an asthmatic kid getting to skip parts of PE. Her classmates at 14 are old enough to understand, if they're petty enough to complain, the concept of "She needs to feed her baby; if you had a baby you'd be allowed to feed him too, and you'd soon realise you didn't have it easier than the rest of the class"!
post #42 of 68
Honestly, I'm not so certain that it's an awful lesson for this woman's classmates to see her allowed to leave 10 minutes early once a day to go nurse her baby. That's a pretty strong endorsement of and support for breastfeeding by the administration. I'm sure the administration is afraid that other students will decide that they, too, want to nurse for those 'extra ten minutes,' but the positive health outcomes for baby and mom are so important, it's worth it. And maybe some of her classmates (male and female) will recall that she left early to nurse, when they are deciding how to feed their child (whenever they have their child).

High school students simply don't have as much control of their schedules as college students; I had acquaintances in college who planned their schedules around their baby's day so that their baby was always cared for by one of them (they'd pass baby back and forth on their way to and from class!). But that's not what a public high school is like, anymore. Again, I don't think we should be assuming that mom is planning to nurse and then have a leisurely lunch and maybe a pedicure while she's at it. If she has (like most students today) a short lunch period, I'd guess she's planning on eating her lunch while nursing (if the nursery allows that), or else skipping it altogether to nurse.

Arguing that she 'needs' those last ten minutes of her fourth period class before going to lunch or she'll fall dreadfully behind might apply to some students; how do we know it applies to her? If she's bright and paying attention, the last ten minutes of most classes is spent reviewing what was learned, discussing the homework, etc. I could have absolutely skipped any of my high school classes for ten minutes daily (other than Algebra II or Chemistry) with no issues. And I spent a lot of time with both those teachers going over the concepts, before and after school anyway (which I suspect the teachers would be willing to do with this mother, too, just as they do with other students).

A girl in my class in high school had a baby our sophomore year; her GPA went UP after that (she was regularly a 3.2-3.4 student from then on). She formula-fed because that's what her mom did. But I think there are some assumptions here that this young mother is struggling academically etc., that simply may not be true.

It may be true that she could find easier and more supportive accommodations for her needs as a nursing mother if she switched to an alternative school, or a virtual or home school. But a similar argument could be made about nursing mothers who are working in a paying job.

"If she worked part-time, she could just nurse before she worked and after she was done, four hours without nursing isn't so bad for a nursing mother."

"If she wants this job, and it's important to her future, she will figure out how to pump in the ten minutes that the company allows for her to do so."

"If she can't balance her baby and her work, she needs to learn how to do so. But I'm sure not going to offer her any support or guidance. Which means, implicitly, that she should learn to formula-feed and move on."

"Maybe she can find some other company which will be more supportive of her nursing. Standard, regular jobs [schools] shouldn't have to accommodate mothers who lactate."

If none of us would make those arguments on behalf of a 24 year old lactating mother and her employer (which is what this school is for this mother) then we have no business making those arguments for her in this situation either.
post #43 of 68
elanorh: Well said. All of it.

You're right. In high school most students have ZERO control over schedule. When I picked my classes the admin decided which class I'd have at which time. Also, in college you can "take it easy" on some days or have large breaks when you need them...not so in high school.

As a mother I believe she becomes the adult, even at 14, and should be treated as such. SHE is making the choice on how her child is fed, and rightfully so, and that should be honored
post #44 of 68
Exactly. She's not "just" a young teen any more. Way to disempower a new mother, you know?
post #45 of 68
Has anyone contacted the local news? Sometimes if you make stuff like this public it changes a few minds...and rallies support.
post #46 of 68
i have a dd in highschool she gets 20 minutes for lunch. 20 minutes so if she had a baby and wanted to nurse she would need at least 10 more minutes to nurse at lunch time.
yes hs is this girl's "job" but she should be allowed a bit of flexiblity, she is trying to make good choices, bfing, staying in school, etc. heck i am an rn and if i need to pump 2 or 3 times in 12 hours no one even sighs. and don't just get 30 minute lunch to do it in. it is bull to assume she should suck it up and suffer because she is a teen. what about the dad of the baby? is he getting punished for getting someone pregnant? or just the mama? seems that we all forget that it takes two to tango and she didn't have this baby alone and yet she alone has to suffer and deal with all the issues herself. what a shame.
post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kap728 View Post
about the 10 mins thing...
some of the posters sounded like they thought it was for a scheduling thing, or so the girl could bf and then eat, or something like that. like several other posters, I am also a teacher and my experience is that lunch periods are getting shorter and shorter. my guess (and yes, i know it's just a guess, but still...) is that by the time the girl walks from her class to the daycare, stopping to grab food from the cafeteria or locker, finds her child, picks up her child, settles down to nurse, and unwraps her sandwich, her lunch period is finished. she probably thinks the 10 mins will allow her the time she needs to get there and back.
i mean, think about it- the baby is probably nursing for at least 20 mins, right? when my dd was little, every nursing session was at least 30 minutes. it took her a really long time to drink bottles of pumped milk too.
anyway, so 20 mins to nurse, add in the time to greet your child, say goodbye to your child, walk from one side of a building to the other and back again, etc, etc. the daycare center might even be one where she is "encouraged" to change her child's diaper after the feedings. there's no way anyone could do that in the amount of time most schools provide for lunch these days.
like the other teachers who have posted, i agree that other students get to leave class frequently for a variety of other reasons, and that is expected to be ok with the teacher. also, you never introduce new material that late in a period. for the last 10 minutes, students are typically finishing up with independent work (which the girl could complete as extra homework) and you're trying to provide some sort of closure to the lesson to make sure the material stuck.
i also want to say that i agree completely with the pp about the tone of this thread. i am very much against teenage pregnancy. that being said, if a teenager gets pregnant, she needs to be encouraged to make the right decisions for herself and her child. right now, it sounds like this girl is really trying to do a good job. staying in school is what's best for her, and breastfeeding is what's best for her baby. there is no reason why those two goals should be at odds. whether we made better decisions or worse, whether we had it easier or harder, we should always work to support a mother who wants to do what's best for her child.
I am also a high school teacher & just want to point out that lunch is really short. Also, kids miss class all the time to be in the health room, see a counselor, go to sports, or do other things. AND, just 'cause they're in class doesn't mean they're learning. Most of us let the kids (who are people, after all) use the bathroom or take care of personal issues if they come up during class. Seems like breasts full of milk fall under that category.

(also, as a teacher who pumped in school, if I didn't have a special schedule due to my itinerate status, I would have had to make some arrangements myself. I have a friend at work who sometimes has to step out for 10 minutes to pump. It's not just 14-year-olds who have issues pumping at school. And she wants to nurse, not pump. (way less time, imo)
post #48 of 68
I don't think I've ever posted in this forum before, but I just wanted to say in response to this that even as a 30-year old mother I wasn't able to eat and breastfeed my son at the same time. My breasts are just too big and unwieldly, I had to hold DS with one hand and my breast with the other hand the entire time. And early on, most of his feedings were on average 20 minutes, so adding in time to just walk from class to a daycare and then back again would probably take up a full lunch break (ours was only 30 minutes when I was in school 10+ years ago). I'm sure we all know the importance of eating a healthy diet and keeping properly hydrated when breastfeeding. It really makes me sad to see people insinuating that she should give up eating for herself if she wants to breastfeed her baby.

Also, I'm kind of curious to know what kind of difference leaving 10 minutes early will actually make to some people? From what I haven't blocked out about those awful years, I truly don't remember any new information being presented in class that late in a period. Just homework being assigned, something that she could easily find out from the teacher before class. The occasional test finishing up late, something that she would have to work around if it ever came up.

If her baby had to go to another daycare off campus, of course she wouldn't be able to breastfeed. She would have to pump, if she could. Personally, I never got a let-down with the pump and had to partially formula feed, so she might have to do that as well. But the fact is, her baby is nearby, and most WOHMs would jump at the opportunity to put their child in a daycare where they work (all other things being equal), just so they could have a chance to nurse during breaks. Why is this different?

You might be correct that they are making many other special considerations for her, and this might just be request #101 that makes them draw the line and say "enough!", but I suspect it is more of a total lack of regard for the importance of breastfeeding that is spurring on this decision. I also agree with others that "punishment" of teenage mother might have a role in it. America in general has always been a Puritanical society, more interested in punishing "the sinner" for the past, rather than helping them to do better in the future. So in a way, I can see it as a kind of "we have to make things as hard as possible on her so that she will understand just what a terrible person she has been" kind of mentality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
My statements were not based on her being 14, but on her being a parent. Being a mom means you put your childs need before your own when you need to. She needs to learn the balence that will work for her and her child in the world she lives in.

She should get support for BF. No one here has told her she can't BF her child. No one is trying to stop her from BF that child. However, while leave 10 early once in a while may not be a big deal, that will make a difference in the long run. Also it would be viewed as favertism.

I am glad this highschool has a daycare on the grounds so her child can be in the same general area as her. That makes a difference, but if she wasn't able to get her into this daycare and had to use an off campus daycare, would she then be asking for more time to leave and feed the baby?

There are so many what ifs with this entire situation. I ask not because I don't support her right to BF, or am not a lactivist, but because I don't like to jump the gun. I want to know more about the entire situation on both sides. What made them come to this conclusion in the first place? Are they making amendments for her in other area's? Can she not eat while feeding the baby, or in the same room when done to make more time? Is this baby eating on a schedual, and can it be ajusted to fit whats needed (cause thats something that can be done)

What else are we not being told?

Teen or adult ALL moms who work or go to school have restrictions of some sort that they face. Some places are more flexible then others. Something need to be changed, some are in the process. Pumping time/feeding times need to be provided, who decides whats enough? as a PP mentioned some need longer to pump, however, where is the line drawn? When one is pumping more then working then there is something off balence. When your unable to pump because your working, there is something out of balence.

In THIS situation I, personally, want more details. In fact I want them from both sides. There are 2 sides to every truth, the real truth is somewhere in the middle.
post #49 of 68
The doctors note is a great idea! I hope she can get this worked out. I have had to pump in a college setting and it sucked, so I am very impressed with her sticking it out in a highschool setting.
post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
wait, she wants to leave her class that happens before lunch to go feed? why? is she's worried about not getting her lunch time for herself.... she's going to discover nurslings leave very little personal time.

and breastfeeding support and assuming you get a free pass out of your obligations are different things.

nak
if it's like it was for me in HS, her lunch break is probably about 30 minutes. which would not be enough time to nurse her baby AND eat. i doubt she is being selfish here. i think she just wants to be able to eat and feed her baby.
post #51 of 68
YES! as we all know you have to eat to make milk. why would a teen be any different? is it because she is a teen and got pregnant that she is now no longer allowed to eat?

h
post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hxcmama View Post
Ideally the nurse at the school would get her in touch with a LLL Leader and hand the new young mum a copy of The Teenage Liberation Handbook and she would see that a year of high school is basically worthless, and a year with her baby is priceless. I can't imagine trying to be a mother in an environment where everyone is treating me as a child with no say over when I go to the toilet or have a snack. It is sad that so many see schooling as an "obligation" akin to supporting one's family etc. In some ways, it is good to have a first child younger while she can be with the baby more often. It is nothing more than a cultural opinion that someone of a certain age "shouldn't" be a mother. Of course my fantasy probably won't happen, she will be treated punitively, people afraid of "rewarding" her for a "mistake" and she will be made to tough it out unnecessarily (which benefits no one at all) and encouraged to leave her baby with "adults" who can bottle feed him/her. I hope this mother gets the support she needs and has someone in her life who can support her leaving school if she wants to.


I think it is interesting that the concept of school as this person's "job" can be interpreted to both support and refute the school's actions. It is her job to be in class and learn, so leaving early is out of the question! Then again, it is her job to be in school, so her job should make accomodations for her. It is an interesting microcosm of our cultural dissension regarding a nursing mother's responsibilities to her work and her employer's responsibilities to accomodation. Personally I see her main job as mother now, not student.

Other possibilities come to mind ... maybe leaving 5 minutes early from the class before lunch and arriving 5 minutes late to the class after lunch would minimize the impact of leaving on her learning? Or if one of her two teachers at the time in question (class before lunch, class after lunch) was willing to stay an additional ten minutes with her at the end of the school day when needed, the problem could be solved.

In addition to athletics and school newspaper, other situations that come to mind where I saw students allowed to miss class time include those with learning disabilities who need extra time to finish a test at the expense of the next class, or student government, or those in the drama club who were in the school production, and even students with physical disabilities who just needed a little leeway in their schedules.

I absolutely think there should be pressure on the school administration to treat this in the same manner as they would any other standing agreement or temporary arrangement to miss class time. The administrators' personal feelings about the student's situation should play no part in the decisions made.
post #53 of 68
I've just stumbled across this thread. I took an elective class in the teen-parent nursery in my high school my senior year - 2000-2001. My mom also volunteered in that nursery for 3 of my 4 years at this school. My high school pioneered the idea in my area of having childcare ON SITE for teen mothers to encourage graduation vs. dropping out, since most of those mothers also had working mothers. Most (if not all) of these mothers formula-fed their children and were REQUIRED to come to the nursery to feed and care for their children during their lunch break, and were also required to take the nursery class elective during each term. These were requirements in order that your child be allowed in the nursery, and you were also required to leave your class preceeding lunch 10min early to allow time to get to the lunchroom, get your lunch, and get to the nursery to feed and care for your child - make them lunch, change diapers/handle bathroom time (for toddlers), clean up from lunch, play, etc. Our lunch period, with 2 8-min passing periods on each side - was a total of 36 minutes. Yep, that's right...you had 36min to fight lines, fight for table space, eat, dispose of your trash, and haul to class. I find it idiotic that a school cannot accomodate a nursing student mother when they provide the onsite childcare. What would they be doing for nursing student mothers if they didn't have onsite daycare?? They would HAVE to accomodate for pumping sessions, which would happen as frequently and possibly last longer because of setup and teardown/storage. Such a shame.

OP: I hope the resources and ideas found here from some of the great posts help your friend's MIL get this new mama the help and support she needs, and kudos to that friend's MIL (the school nurse) for recognizing that this mama is being done a disservice by her school and needs help
post #54 of 68
Does anyone see the problem with the school having a day care in it? The only school around here I know of that has a day care in it, is the only school that has more student parents than not. By that assumption, this high school has a lot of teen moms. How has this not been a problem before?

And I must say, leaving 10 minutes early probably wouldn't matter much. My 11th grade year, I had a lab scheduled for fourth period one a week. I also had an English class scheduled for fourth period five days a week. I, along with every other student in my lab, missed my fourth period class once a week. It really didn't do me any harm.

I say give her a shot. Let her leave early. If her grade starts dropping, then stop it. Give her the chance to prove herself.

I think my biggest question is: why doesn't she just stay home? She can homeschool or cyber school. Wouldn't that be much better for her and the baby? She could spend all her time with her child, feeding on demand, and she could do school work when she has the time. Besides, homeschoolers and cyber schoolers usually graduate early. I have a friend who had a baby at 16. She finished her last two years of highschool in less time than one, because she did cyber school and worked aggressively. I realize she may not have access to a computer or internet, but she could easily fight this crap with the school and say they are creating a hostile environment and have them supply with her a computer until she graduates.
post #55 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
Having teen parents in your school is definitely not something that brings prestige or financial support.
Unfortunately, that's not entirely true. The school around here that has a day care in it, got a ... wait for it ... $400K grant by the state to build a better day care facility to accommodate all the students who needed to use it. That grant allowed the school to spend money on other things, like it's sports program, ironically enough. (They have an amazing track team. And I hear their football team is pretty good, too.) (Please, let's not spend it on sex-ed or handing out condoms.)
post #56 of 68
Would it be possible to alternate? Couple of days a week leaving class before lunch a little early, couple days a week coming to the class after lunch a little late? Less class time missed for each respective subject.
post #57 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
Does anyone see the problem with the school having a day care in it? The only school around here I know of that has a day care in it, is the only school that has more student parents than not. By that assumption, this high school has a lot of teen moms. How has this not been a problem before?
What are you implying? That by having a daycare on-site and accessible, your referenced school is promoting teen pregnancy? I don't know how your zoning/admissions restrictions work, but could it be just that those who find themselves pregnant while in high school are likely to transfer somewhere they can keep their babies nearby?

I don't know, I just have a hard time swallowing the argument that daycares promote more babies.
post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
What are you implying? That by having a daycare on-site and accessible, your referenced school is promoting teen pregnancy? I don't know how your zoning/admissions restrictions work, but could it be just that those who find themselves pregnant while in high school are likely to transfer somewhere they can keep their babies nearby?

I don't know, I just have a hard time swallowing the argument that daycares promote more babies.
Um.
I think she was trying to say that she finds it difficult to believe that this is the first time they've encountered a breast feeding mother.
post #59 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Um.
I think she was trying to say that she finds it difficult to believe that this is the first time they've encountered a breast feeding mother.
Oh. Well then. Carry on.
post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Oh. Well then. Carry on.

I can totally see how you came to that conclusion though. I had to read it a couple of times myself.
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