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College attempting to ban breastfeeding in class - Page 6

post #101 of 144

I have a feeling that the rule has nothing to do at all with breastfeeding. Kids in classes are usually disruptive and they need a policy in place for everyone. 

post #102 of 144


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLace View Post


 

So, I checked my state law to see if that might help and it says: "A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding."  It seems to me that if they are banning the baby then his law doesn't apply.


 


OP, you are right, the law doesn't apply, b/c your baby doesn't have a right to go to class.  Everyone talking about the legal aspect, she has provided us with the statute, and it doesn't get her anywhere here.

post #103 of 144

Regarding asking the professor if an exception can be made for the OP. If the professor has any sense at all s/he will deny that request. Why? Because of the other 7!! mothers who didn't ask until they saw that it was ok for one person. What does prof do then? "Make an exception" for all seven other babies? Rescind the permission for baby number one?

 

There may also be insurance or liability issues. If the policy is no children in class and a child is injured in the class then the universities insurance probably won't cover it. The insurance probably specifies only enrolled students and university employees/contractors or similar.

 

ETA - you're also setting a precedent for *all* future classes. Students talk to each other - "Oh, I don't know what I'll do with my babe next semester." "Bring him/her to class. X did it last year and it was no problem."

 

Also I can see issues with definitions. It's ok to bring a newborn. What counts as a newborn? First week? First 6 weeks? It's ok to bring a baby. What is a baby? I've seen plenty of posts on here which say "...afterall 2 years old is still a baby." So, can people bring their BFing 2 year olds to class?

 

Now, it may seem obvious that that is not the intent but someone, somewhere will want to do it and it will become an issue. 

post #104 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


Why on earth should the OP think it should not/ would not apply to her? I am a teacher and my husband is a professor and I can tell you right now that even asking is going to ruffle feathers and show an awful lot of entitlement (which, frankly, the existence of this entire thread already shows).

 

It wasn't so long ago, that babies WERE entitled to be nursed by their mothers, and the mothers also were able to continue on with their lives.  If the mother feels physically up to it, then I really don't see the problem.  The entitlement to me, is from people claiming the mere presence of a baby is distracting. 

 

It is really interesting to me that the people most upset by the idea of the OP bringing a quiet baby with them to class are those women who didn't even try to do so, and were thus seperated from their own children.  I am sorry for your losses, truly.  But why not objectively conisder wht the op is asking, instead of reacting only to the fact that you didn't try to do the same?


 

 

Yes, and in those days, a mother's life was restricted to the home.  There's a lot of anthropological evidence that "woman's work" in any given society is what is close to home: precisely because she needs to be home to BF.  Babies in ye olden days were not actually toted everywhere: a mother's circle of mobility was strictly limited.

 

Thank everything those days are over, and women are allowed to do such newfangled things as seek higher education and have jobs outside the home.
 

post #105 of 144


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

Right.  The law allows for mothers to nurse their children wherever they happen to be.  No one can tell them they can't and need to leave.  The law does not say that mothers can bring their babies who also happen to be breastfed wherever they want.  Law says you can nurse your baby wherever you bring your baby.  Not that you can bring your baby anywhere you want so long as they don't eat formula.

 

If it were the latter, it would be wholly unfair to babies who need to be on formula... then we are talking laws that say if a baby needs formula, they aren't ALLOWED somewhere even though babies who nurse are.  You can't have it both ways.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepaperclip View Post

I'm thinking this has nothing to do with breastfeeding in class and everything to do with children and/or pets in class. Hence, the law that states "wherever mother AND child are allowed to be" is not inclusive of this situation.


 


I don't know if the OP's state was mentioned so I don't know exactly what the law says, but it is common for breastfeeding law to say "wherever mother and child are allowed to be" or "otherwise entitled to be", not "wherever they happen to be." Meaning that a mother cannot be excluded for breastfeeding if the location otherwise "allows" children (like a park or a mall), but does allow exclusion in a location where children are not allowed such as a workplace or college classroom. So when purplepaperclip says this has nothing to do with breastfeeding, she's saying that the exclusion applies generally, to children and pets, and not specifically to bfing children--which is within the law. Even if every pregnant student signed a pledge to bf the rule still exludes bottle feeding babies.


haha that was exactly my point.  the law covers only places babies aren't excluded.  if the law meant to say nursing babies can't be excluded from any place then it becomes an exclusionary law on babies who don't nurse.  so the exclusion from the classroom can't be fought with the law... if all kids and pets are excluded... it doesn't matter if one nurses.  if that one can attend each class simply because it doesn't take formula then they have to allow all babies and kids... because again... otherwise they are excluding only a portion and not the whole.

post #106 of 144

 

Quote:
Regarding asking the professor if an exception can be made for the OP. If the professor has any sense at all s/he will deny that request. Why? Because of the other 7!! mothers who didn't ask until they saw that it was ok for one person. What does prof do then? "Make an exception" for all seven other babies? Rescind the permission for baby number one?

 

Right, not to mention that if this is the first semester the "no children and pets" rule was on the syllabus, it is pretty likely that one of the other 7 pregnant moms already asked about bringing her baby to class and was denied. 

post #107 of 144


 

Quote:

Edited to add: It also drives the feminist in me bonkers that the other student in my program who is expecting a new baby one week before I'm due is at no risk of being unable to complete the semester, because he happens to be becoming a father and not a mother.  There are some gender/social/discrimination/unfairness issues here for sure.

MEEEE TOOOO!  I support a national feminist organization that advocates for massive changes to make campuses family-friendlier.  Their unofficial mantra: "Women have babies.  Deal with it."  I completed my Master's at a large, state school that had no changing tables, no places for pumping (other than bathrooms...during the fifteen minute changeover to cross the campus to the next class), no maternity coverage in the student health plan, and a waiting list that could fill a toilet paper roll for the on-campus day care.  Universities and colleges are going to need to face the reality that "non-traditional" students are becoming more "traditional," and getting a degree is no longer just for childless singles ages 18-24. 

 

And regarding the distraction issue of a newborn baby...

 

Here's a partial list of distractions that I've personally encountered in classrooms and lecture halls: Student next to me with BO or potent Bath and Body Works lotion, student next to me texting or playing games, cell phone goes off and student can't locate phone buried in backpack, side conversations, wasp in room, pretty young woman in cleavage-promoting shirt walks in late, fire truck sirens whizzing by, car alarm, crinkling paper as student opens snack....Anyone care to add to the list?

 

I mean, seriously.  A student who's bored enough will be distracted by a cobweb on the ceiling.  I didn't pay for any of these distractions with my tuition.  And yes, I'm a serious student and they make me roll my eyes in annoyance.  The uncontrollable distractions I need to suck up and deal with.  It won't be the first time that I've faced obstacles in my struggle to concentrate. 

 

The controllable ones should be handled by the person causing them as quickly and discreetly as possible.  This means that the nursing mama sits close to the exit and removes herself when necessary.  Done.  Those thirty seconds hardly cheated anybody out of a college education. 

 

If the mom doesn't have the good sense to leave the room, then the professor has every right to set some boundaries.

 

I admire and totally support all of you who have come up with innovative plans for how to deal with this issue.  But professors (and less-than-tolerant students) need to adjust, adapt, and realize that not not everybody can afford a cell phone, let alone one with texting service, and not everybody has the luxury of local family members who are available to come on-site for the duration of a class.  And as my alma mater proves, not everybody can get their kid into affordable, accessible childcare.

 

OP, I like the professor's post about steps to take before you resort to any grievance measures.  You never know how reasonable a professor might be.  Good luck, and please tell us what comes of this! hug2.gif


 

post #108 of 144
Hello all. Two things:

One, this thread is getting close to breaking the UA. Specifically,
Quote:
Do not post in a disrespectful, defamatory, adversarial, baiting, harassing, offensive, insultingly sarcastic or otherwise improper manner, toward a member or other individual, including casting of suspicion upon a person, invasion of privacy, humiliation, demeaning criticism, name-calling, personal attack or in any way which violates the law.

Two, as several members have pointed out, because the professor did not specifically "ban breastfeeding" this is not really a Lactivism topic but rather one for the student mama forum, so I am moving you there. OP, you may want to change your title to better reflect the content of the thread.

Please feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns, and please play nicely. joy.gif
post #109 of 144

 

Quote:
 

Edited to add: It also drives the feminist in me bonkers that the other student in my program who is expecting a new baby one week before I'm due is at no risk of being unable to complete the semester, because he happens to be becoming a father and not a mother.  There are some gender/social/discrimination/unfairness issues here for sure. 

 

Really? I think this is an ubsurd attitude. Until men grow breasts the responsibility of BF falls on the mother. It has been this way since the beginning of time and will never change. A solution to this problem: don't get pregnant while in school. It's called personal responsibility and planning ahead.

 

 

Quote:
 

Here's a partial list of distractions that I've personally encountered in classrooms and lecture halls: Student next to me with BO or potent Bath and Body Works lotion, student next to me texting or playing games, cell phone goes off and student can't locate phone buried in backpack, side conversations, wasp in room, pretty young woman in cleavage-promoting shirt walks in late, fire truck sirens whizzing by, car alarm, crinkling paper as student opens snack....Anyone care to add to the list? 

 

How are these examples similar to intentionally bringing a newborn baby into a classroom? 

post #110 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post


 

It wasn't so long ago, that babies WERE entitled to be nursed by their mothers, and the mothers also were able to continue on with their lives.  If the mother feels physically up to it, then I really don't see the problem.  The entitlement to me, is from people claiming the mere presence of a baby is distracting. 

 

It is really interesting to me that the people most upset by the idea of the OP bringing a quiet baby with them to class are those women who didn't even try to do so, and were thus seperated from their own children.  I am sorry for your losses, truly.  But why not objectively conisder wht the op is asking, instead of reacting only to the fact that you didn't try to do the same?


 


The OP hasn't had her baby yet so we don't know if the baby is quiet or not.  It is also not a loss to be away from your children for a few hours nor is getting an education a loss.  A loss is when someone dies and you can't have a relationship with them.  Working moms and student moms are still mothers and they have wonderful relationships with their children just like moms who stay at home.  Having a trusted person care for your child while you do what is necessary for your family, be it work or furthering your education so you can eventually have a job with a living wage, is not a loss.  It is sad to see that this thread is reverting to mommy wars.  The objections to kids in class has nothing to do with whether or not the people who don't want kids in class were able to bring their own and I am not sure where that idea would even come from.  I object to having kids in class and wish that all of my professors had banned them, and I did have the opportunity to bring my dd to class and could have done it more often than I did and I still don't think class is a place for kids (last resort situations are the only exception to that but this isn't a last resort).  If you don't feel that you and your child can survive being apart for a few hours then school is something that should wait until you are willing to give your education the serious attention you will need to make the best of it.

post #111 of 144
Quote:
 

Here's a partial list of distractions that I've personally encountered in classrooms and lecture halls: Student next to me with BO or potent Bath and Body Works lotion, student next to me texting or playing games, cell phone goes off and student can't locate phone buried in backpack, side conversations, wasp in room, pretty young woman in cleavage-promoting shirt walks in late, fire truck sirens whizzing by, car alarm, crinkling paper as student opens snack....Anyone care to add to the list? 

 

How are these examples similar to intentionally bringing a newborn baby into a classroom? 

 

Yeah, girls with cleavage really isn't the same as a baby crying.  BO - well, thats unpleasant, but you can always switch seats.

 

Quote:
Really? I think this is an absurd attitude. Until men grow breasts the responsibility of BF falls on the mother. It has been this way since the beginning of time and will never change. A solution to this problem: don't get pregnant while in school. It's called personal responsibility and planning ahead.

 

 

Eh, if I were a guy and women were allowed to bring babies to class, and then I had childcare fall through one day I'd be really mad if it were only BF'ing mom's that were allowed to bring their babes to class.  But yeah, if you can't stand to be separated from your baby for an hour or so at a time (I'm sure if the OP needed a break in the middle of class to step out and BF that the prof would be grateful that the OP did not bring the child to class) then don't have kids while in school.  No one is entitled to bring their children to class, BF'ing or not.

 

post #112 of 144

I have to go with majority of the posters on this one. I don't see this as a breastfeeding issue at all. There are just some places that are not kid friendly and there are times where its not appropriate for kids to be even if in other circumstances it would otherwise be okay. The professor made it clear in their rules so it should be followed. 

post #113 of 144

OP, I read really quickly through many of the comments here & I'm going to add my two cents:

 

I would start with your professor (as a few have suggested) but I would NOT mention the law to her/him during your first discussion. I think it would seem a bit much. You can be honest with your prof -- You are just trying to figure out a few plans (since you don't know how your baby will be in terms of temperament & you don't know how you'll be feeling after the birth). If you feel comfortable with your prof you should absolutely tell her/him that you are aiming to establish healthy breastfeeding relationship & you want to do it in a way that will be least disruptive to the class. Present your prof with a few of your ideas & get some feedback.

 

Having taught in a college classroom before, I think you should be concerned about balancing your needs with the possibility of disrupting your fellow students & your professor. I've also been in school with a wee one & had friends who had babes in the middle of a semester. What worked for me was to have DH bring DS to school to nurse (though this wasn't until later because I took a semester off to have the baby). For some of my friends, it worked to give a friend a digital voice recorder to record classes. I think something like that could work for you -- you could even bring the recorder to class yourself & just leave it running in case you have to step out to nurse. But even for something like that, you'd want to get your prof's OK.

 

Good luck! It may seem overwhelming to think about right now, but you'll make it work! It sounds like your DH & mom are supportive, so that's already a great start!

post #114 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinmattsmom88 View Post

 

Really? I think this is an ubsurd attitude. Until men grow breasts the responsibility of BF falls on the mother. It has been this way since the beginning of time and will never change. A solution to this problem: don't get pregnant while in school. It's called personal responsibility and planning ahead.

 


Those actually weren't my original words, but another poster's.  I was just responding to her in wholehearted agreement. 

 

Respectfully, I disagree with the notion that the OP (or any other woman in those shoes) deserves to be judged as "irresponsible."  We don't know the whole story.  I am a married woman who ended up pregnant during grad school due to birth control failure.  Am I "irresponsible" for not "planning ahead?"  Or was I supposed to just spend those 2.5 years in celibacy?

 

In our culture, a woman in these circumstances is damned if she does (i.e. stay in school and face an unsupportive environment), and damned if she doesn't (i.e. leaves school, can't find decent job, ends up stigmatized for going on assistance).  Women deserve access to the same rights and opportunities available to men regardless of their gestational status.  Feminism, at least for those of us who subscribe to it, is based largely on the notion that no society or social conditions should equate biology with destiny. 

 

Quote:
How are these examples similar to intentionally bringing a newborn baby into a classroom?

That wasn't the point.headscratch.gif

post #115 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post



Respectfully, I disagree with the notion that the OP (or any other woman in those shoes) deserves to be judged as "irresponsible."  We don't know the whole story.  I am a married woman who ended up pregnant during grad school due to birth control failure.  Am I "irresponsible" for not "planning ahead?"  Or was I supposed to just spend those 2.5 years in celibacy?

 

In our culture, a woman in these circumstances is damned if she does (i.e. stay in school and face an unsupportive environment), and damned if she doesn't (i.e. leaves school, can't find decent job, ends up stigmatized for going on assistance).  Women deserve access to the same rights and opportunities available to men regardless of their gestational status.  Feminism, at least for those of us who subscribe to it, is based largely on the notion that no society or social conditions should equate biology with destiny. 

 


No, women are not irresponsible if they get pregnant and have babies while in school.  What is irresponsible is to expect professors and administrators to bend over backwards and let you bring a baby into a classroom - its disruptive.  Yes, there are other things that are also disruptive, but bringing a child into a classroom is intentionally bringing a person in who will be distracting, and is against this professors rules - OP and her SEVEN (!!!!) pregnant classmates need to deal with that and find alternatives.

 

Just b/c a woman is required to find childcare to attend class and work does not mean that the environment is unsupportive.  I had a baby while I was in school, and the environment is very supportive - just not all that thrilled about babies being class b/c they are disruptive.  Especially in smaller classrooms where lots of class participation is required and expected.  As for feminism, she is NOT being discriminated against based on her gestational status - she is being told that the infant is not welcome in class.  Makes sense.  If she can't be away from her child for an hour or so (which she CAN be b/c she has alternative care options) then she should take the semester off.  If she can't do that, she needs to find alternative care for her child during class.  It's not difficult.

post #116 of 144

I went to community college when my ds was small. On the occasions that I had to bring him with me, I operated under the premise that it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. So I would just show up with him in a ring sling or wrap, as inconspicuous as possible, and nurse him when he got fussy. I got some dirty looks and I think one professor asked me not to do it again, but I muddled through.

 

I think a newborn could easily be slipped into a sling and carried into class and not hardly be noticed. If the baby sleeps through the class or nurses no one would even know. If the baby wakes up you could jsut step out quickly until you get things under control.

 

That's what I would do.

post #117 of 144

i had my son about a month and half before returning to school. my husband stayed in the public area or in my office (i was a ta) while i was in class and texted me when my son needed to eat. it wasn't great, but it worked. if needed, during a lecture, you could even sit right outside the door without breaking policy. i get worried about contesting things like this, bc they always get people defensive and less likely to think of you fairly in the subjective situations that professors have with their students, and you want to get it done and done well, right?

 

i actually had profs tell me i could bring my son to class and work ( which i did do very occassionally), but my son's temperment was so forceful, it wan't possible.

post #118 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post



Respectfully, I disagree with the notion that the OP (or any other woman in those shoes) deserves to be judged as "irresponsible."  We don't know the whole story.  I am a married woman who ended up pregnant during grad school due to birth control failure.  Am I "irresponsible" for not "planning ahead?"  Or was I supposed to just spend those 2.5 years in celibacy?

 

In our culture, a woman in these circumstances is damned if she does (i.e. stay in school and face an unsupportive environment), and damned if she doesn't (i.e. leaves school, can't find decent job, ends up stigmatized for going on assistance).  Women deserve access to the same rights and opportunities available to men regardless of their gestational status.  Feminism, at least for those of us who subscribe to it, is based largely on the notion that no society or social conditions should equate biology with destiny. 

 


No, women are not irresponsible if they get pregnant and have babies while in school.  What is irresponsible is to expect professors and administrators to bend over backwards and let you bring a baby into a classroom - its disruptive.  Yes, there are other things that are also disruptive, but bringing a child into a classroom is intentionally bringing a person in who will be distracting, and is against this professors rules - OP and her SEVEN (!!!!) pregnant classmates need to deal with that and find alternatives.

 

Just b/c a woman is required to find childcare to attend class and work does not mean that the environment is unsupportive.  I had a baby while I was in school, and the environment is very supportive - just not all that thrilled about babies being class b/c they are disruptive.  Especially in smaller classrooms where lots of class participation is required and expected.  As for feminism, she is NOT being discriminated against based on her gestational status - she is being told that the infant is not welcome in class.  Makes sense.  If she can't be away from her child for an hour or so (which she CAN be b/c she has alternative care options) then she should take the semester off.  If she can't do that, she needs to find alternative care for her child during class.  It's not difficult.

 

NOt.  all.  babies.  are. disruptive. 
 

post #119 of 144

 

 

Quote:
NOt.  all.  babies.  are. disruptive. 

 

According to who? You? The mother? The instructor of the class? The other people in class? More than likely, not everyone will agree. There are other parties involved in this scenario not just mother and baby. Some babies are quiet, some are not, but babies don't care where they are and will cry no matter where they are to get their needs met. They are unpredictable. Babies ARE disruptive in a classroom setting... where they don't belong and in this case, aren't allowed. If people in this situation can find classmates and professors who are understanding and will allow a mother to bring her newborn to class then good for them. But usually this is not the case. I just don't think this mother should push her luck with this professor. He/she obviously has been down this road before and specifically said no kids or pets, period. It's in black and white on the syllabus.

post #120 of 144

 

Quote:
Respectfully, I disagree with the notion that the OP (or any other woman in those shoes) deserves to be judged as "irresponsible."  We don't know the whole story.  I am a married woman who ended up pregnant during grad school due to birth control failure.  Am I "irresponsible" for not "planning ahead?"  Or was I supposed to just spend those 2.5 years in celibacy?

 

You are correct, we don't know if the OP was trying to get pregnant or if she became pregnant due to birth control failure. It doesn't matter in her case now. But yes, I would think that most people who are in school would kind of plan on having their children before enrolling in school, or after. Teachers do it all the time. So, yes it does take planning. As for personal responsibility, well that just means that now she has to deal with the inconvenient consequences for having a child right in the middle of the semester. No, I'm not saying babies are inconvenient, but it can complicate things especially when the time frame is not ideal, such as being in school.

 

As far as you being celibate for 2.5 years, well that's your business. I can't opine on the subject because I don't know what your situation was. And, I'd like to keep it that way and focus on the OP's situation. That's who were are commenting on.

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