College attempting to ban breastfeeding in class - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am hoping that you wise women can give me some advice about how to handle an upcoming situation.

 

Here is the background:

My DH and I are expecting in early April.  I have a 9 year old who I breastfed for years and I am very much looking forward to nursing again.  I went back to college for a second degree, and this semester is my final semester.  I will have about 6 weeks of school left when the baby comes.  It is not an option for me to put off school for a year (and honestly, I would have the same dilemma then).

 

The university does not have a breastfeeding policy.  They do have a pumping room near the parent's center, but there is nothing that I can find about breastfeeding in class.  My plan was to bring the baby with me and have help outside the classroom (my DH or mom) so that I could nurse but also be mindful of the disruption some people feel a baby is.

 

However, the class syllabus came out today and there is a new section that says :"Children & Pets:

Children and pets are not allowed in seminar, professional operations, simulation, and any testing sessions."  I have been in school for 4 years and read many syllabi and this has NEVER been said in one before.  I think it might be that there are several women having babies this term (6-8) and they are trying to stop people from bringing babies to class.

 

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.

 

There is a complaints process within the university, and I am thinking about using it, but I want to give some thought first to what the best approach might be.  Any advice?  I was already worried about balancing the end of the semester with a new baby and being postpartum... I just don't know what to do now.  Just to add insult to injury... it is an all women's college and I am getting a healthcare degree :)

 

 

 


 


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#2 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Ugh. I have no advice to offer other than, go for it! File a complaint and see where it goes, no harm in trying! It seems counterproductive at a woman's college getting a degree in the health care field to ban infants in class. I sure hope you are able to accomplish your goals while still seeing to your baby's needs. Good luck mama!

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#3 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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I'm not sure banning infants is class is a bad thing.  What if the baby starts crying? I think it would be a distraction to the other students.  I've not heard of other schools allowing kids in the classrooms with moms.  Can't you just pump, especially if its only for 6 weeks?  Also, is there a daycare facility at the school?  I know my school had one, perhaps baby can stay there while you're in class and you can feed the baby that way when needed.


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#4 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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I can understand the policy.  Infants, children and pets can serve as a distraction to the other students and the instructor.  I strongly support BF, EBF, public BF, etc. but would not have been happy in my last class if someone brought an infant into class which would have been distracting especially in what I am imagining from your post.  Do you mean DH or someone else would bring your baby to you during class?  That would be a distraction in itself!  

 

Can you excuse yourself from the classroom to BF in the hall?  Or pump?  I hope you find an easy resolution to this and that you are successful in class.  :)

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#5 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Because the baby is coming in the middle of the semester (not the best timing... but the baby is already on his/her way), and the school also doesn't allow missing class for maternity leave.... I am not sure what I am supposed to do.  If my grades are going to suffer because I be given permission to make work up I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.  I will have to go back as soon as possible, but I don't think it is good for a tiny baby (1-2 weeks old) to be away from me.

 

I guess I am surprised to hear that people think the baby would be a distraction.  Newborn sleep the majority of the time and are often otherwise breastfeeding.  I agree that it could be disruptive for my husband to have to be outside the class with the baby... but if I can't miss class and I can't have the baby with me I am not sure what else to do.  There is no day care and even if there was I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving such a young baby in one.  For successful breastfeeding and to build the best supply, early on-cue feeding is the best method and I just don't think I should have to sacrifice that.  I am ready to be mindful of other students and the class as a whole, I just think that my baby's health and a successful nursing relationship are life long issues to consider.


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#6 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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If your dh or mom is going to be out in the hall anyways, could they wait with the baby and then text you to come out and bf? That's probably how I would work it. I totally understand where you're coming from and not wanting to pump or leave your newborn infant. I would ask a support person to hang out with baby, put the phone on one vibe for txt, step out to bf, and come back in when you're done.

 


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#7 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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I'm sorry this is such a difficult situation for you SL.  I have no idea what I would do if I were in your situation.  Definitely not daycare with such a young baby.  Perhaps you can talk directly to your professor and work something out as long as it is not a distraction.  Can't hurt to ask!

 

What would be my concern is that yes newborns sleep most of the time but what happens when the baby gets hungry and cries until he/she latches on?  Or if the baby begins crying because she/he needs a diaper change?  That has the potential to majorly interrupt the class.  

 

Will this be a small class in a small room?  A large class in an auditorium?  Are there safety issues in the classroom?

 

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#8 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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Just had a thought, is there a way you could work ahead?  Or do some coursework form home after the baby is born?

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#9 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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Personally, I think the policy is reasonable. I don't think a college classroom is the appropriate place to have small infants. I don't think it is fair to the other students. I don't think the baby is going to like it. I can understand if you were incarcerated or something but it doesn't sound like you are. I don't really see this as being about breastfeeding at all.

 

I think this sounds like a difficult situation but I don't understand how you expect this to work. I don't want to be a downer but um, do you realistically expect to give birth and complete the semester?  I think your body and your baby need some time together without the stress of class. I think most people wouldn't have registered for class this semester, regardless of when they want to register.

 

Is this your first baby? A lot of people think infants "sleep all the time" and "nurse the rest of the time." But many don't. Many are high needs. Many cry for no reason. Many are irritated by lights/noise/people or stressed by the same. It isn't like they are a loaf of bread or a magazine picture. Many moms have struggles at the begining with their body and nursing. This is why even the state says that you need 6 weeks of physical recovery. I'd really urge you to consider taking a leave of absence or withdrawing with an agreed upon completion date for your classwork.

 

It is true that on demand nursing is the best way to establish breastfeeding. But don't you see, you are already sacrificing that. You can't learn to nurse an infant and an infant learn to nurse while you are also trying to do something else. Your body is going to hurt, your hormones are going to be unknown, you are simply putting a tremendous amount of pressure on yourself and baby.

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#10 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Some newborns sleep all the time, and some don't.  And you don't know what you're going to get until the baby's here.  And a newborn who sleeps the whole first week may "wake up" the second.  And some newborns only sleep when being carried by a moving person.  Do you really think that you pacing up and down the back of the classroom shushing and humming won't be distracting? 

 

Not to mention: your plan is about being able to BF on demand... waking up and making noise is how babies tell you they're hungry.

 

I'm sorry, but the policy sounds reasonable to me.  I would be very annoyed if I was paying expensive college tuition and there were children hanging around the class.  You're probably just going to have to pump and hope that the baby's sleepy stretch is when you have class.  It's not ideal, but plenty of women do it.  Having someone bring the fussy baby into the middle of class so you can feed it really isn't going to work.

 

How long is class?  My college classes were mostly an hour, with a few that were an hour and a half.  If you feed right before class, it will probably be fine.


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#11 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 06:46 PM
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As an academic, I don't think a baby who fusses momentarily with a responsive mama who immediately starts nursing and/or whisks him/her out of the room is that much more distracting than a cell phone ringing, for example. Interruptions happen. The class doesn't lose all of its pedagogical value simply because there was a momentary disruption.

 

OP, you are definitely between a rock and a hard place since there are 6-8 of you. If you were the only student in this position, it would be much easier to talk to your profs and work something out. With so many, it's very difficult for them to make an exception for one person.

 

That said, I strongly suspect that the concern is less about having babies in class at all, and more about having babies in class without anyone to take them outside and away from the class. You may want to discuss your own personal plan, i.e., having a caregiver right outside in case you need to hand the baby off, and so on, and see if they are OK with that.

 

I also agree with others who suggest that in the worst case scenario, have your caregiver outside with the baby, and you go out when babe needs to nurse. And pumping and bottlefeeding for a few hours here and there may be a workable approach. Not ideal, but workable. How often and how long are your classes? That would be the deciding factor for me.

 

Good luck to you.


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#12 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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If you feel it is necessary to file a complaint then do so.

 

The options I could think of are:

Have baby outside of class with someone, and go outside the room to nurse when you are needed. Maybe get a baby monitor, or put your cell on vibrate so you know when you are needed.

Or just nurse in classroom and ignore the policy.


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#13 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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I had a baby mid-semester last year as well and took a little less than 2 weeks to get back to teaching and class, so I feel your stress. How long are your classes? Do you have them every day? Are there gaps in between.

 

For me, I had 2 classes, 2 days a week each that lasted 1.5 hours at a time. I also taught 2 classes in a row for a total of 4 hours once a week with a 10 minute gap between. I would pump between the 2 classes, or have my husband bring DS between if he was fussy. If it's only the 1 class for a couple days a week for an hour or so, I don't really see the harm in having someone outside text you in case. Just feed him/her before and after, he probably won't refuse.


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#14 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Do you know this professor?  Is there a way you could appeal to them personally BEFORE baby arrives?  I cannot believe this is a womens' only college and you are getting a healthcare degree...i mean...thats over the top.  Your baby HAS to be with you.  Day care starts at 6 weeks, that is no option.  How long are these classes anyway?  I think a newborn in a sling would work just fine, have Mom or DH waiting outside IF baby gets unreasonably fussy or  - on that rare occasion - is wide awake and does NOT need to nurse. 

I used to leave class to grab a cigarette ....i would not worry about becoming a distraction to anyone!

If it turns out your prof is extremely anti-BF for whatever reason...you must file a grievance...there HAS to be a way for you to finish your degree....what if you broke your leg mid semester??

good luck and let us know how it turns out!!


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#15 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~pi View Post

As an academic, I don't think a baby who fusses momentarily with a responsive mama who immediately starts nursing and/or whisks him/her out of the room is that much more distracting than a cell phone ringing, for example. Interruptions happen. The class doesn't lose all of its pedagogical value simply because there was a momentary disruption.

 


I've never taken a college or graduate level class where cell phones weren't strictly prohibited.  Are you suggesting that a cell phone call in the middle of class isn't distracting? 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by motherhendoula View Post

what if you broke your leg mid semester??

 

 

Then she would have to take a medical leave of absence and withdraw for the rest of the semester, if the broken leg meant that she couldn't continue with her classes.  Students have to do it all the time.


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#16 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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A classmate of mine had a baby in Feb of our last semester of grad school. We had classes one day a week, there were three of them, and they were 2.5 hours long. After two weeks off she brought the baby to school and her husband came with her. They camped out in the family room (right downstairs) and she spent as much time there as she could. She would nurse the baby and when she could, step away and go to class. After a few weeks she got a feel for the professors and their reactions, as well as the feel for the other students in the class. Sometimes if it was a light week (hey, it was our last semester after all), she would bring the baby into class while we were all working on some project and it was fine. She didn't nurse in class, ever, because she didn't want to push other students' comfort levels, and if the baby got upset she left the class.  She made it work somehow and finished all of her classes. 

I think your best bet is to expect to have the baby just outside the class. Talk with your professors and see how much you can miss, what you can make up, etc.. It's likely you'll be floating in and out of attention and real presence in class when you return. I hope that these are filler classes and not something completely essential! 

 

Good luck. It'll be hard, but it can be done.


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#17 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 09:09 PM
 
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As someone who went to undergrad, grad and just finished a certificate program for working professionals I can honestly say no where in any of those programs were infants or children.  We had lots of mommys-to-be and new mommies but none even thought to bring the babe to class.  If you are at an all womens college its most likely a private university and has its own student conduct code etc.  By enrolling you are essentially agreeing to that code of conduct which now includes that new 'pet/child' policy.

 

As a student I wouldn't want an infant in class.  yes im a mom and as a mom I woudnt take my baby to class with me.  If I felt that strongly about BF I would take the semester off and finish classes over the summer or next term.  There comes a time when you need to decide school or baby.  I agree with the PP who asked if you really think you can have a baby and go back to school in the same week or so??  Every pregnancy is different and every birth is different, my birth ended with a week in ICU and almost 12 weeks of at home recovery so obviously I wouldnt be in class with that schedule.   If I was in your situation I would have cleared everything I needed with my professors BEFORE i registered and probably gotten approval in writting.

 

You say the college is trying to ban something.  But have they ever allowed this?  Just something to think about


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#18 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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Isn't it a liability issue to have babies in class on a campus?  My school has a breastfeeding room where moms can breastfeed and/or pump but I'd never expect that I could bring a baby into class with me.  It's really not appropriate, IMO.  Even when I did my Montessori from 0-3 training, the one mom who had a new baby only brought her in to visit when it wasn't lecture or practicals.  And the class was completely focused on that baby's age group!  We had all the materials to keep a baby occupied... still, it was a master's degree program for many of the students in my course, and an infant in the room for anything more than a few minutes wouldn't have really been fair.  My instructors were absolutely attachment parenting and breastfeeding friendly, but that meant that their first choice was babies would be at home with mom - not in class - and the next best thing was a adequate environment with a loving caregiver if mom (or dad) had to be elsewhere. 

 

I'd pump and leave baby with a trusted person, if I had no way to get out of the last 6 weeks of class.  I would never dream of complaining about not being able to bring a newborn to school with me. 


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#19 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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Not all newborns are quiet and peaceful.  My kiddo would have been a huge distraction in her first 6 weeks and I would have been too distracted by her to focus on the class.  breastfeeding wasn't immediately easy for the two of us and she had a lot of gas issues.  No way could I have attended classes with her.

 

I think a better option would be talking with your professors NOW and coming up with a plan of action to better help you finish out your semester without worry of a newborn in class with others who have paid for a class expecting there to be no babies.  Working ahead, getting notes from some classes so you don't have to attend each day, taking tests at a different time... whatever you have to do that your professors are willing to work with to ensure that you can meet your baby's needs while still maintaining a more formal student attitude.

 

Depending on the spacing of your classes, I think it would make more sense to have baby on campus with someone and visit between each class for a feeding and snuggle.  pump where you can so they can have at least a partial feeding on hand til you can give a full good one.

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#20 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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I am sorry if this will offend you but I not only think the policy is perfectly reasonable, but I think you are being rather unreasonable to expect them to bend the policy for you, particularly on the BF angle.  The policy does not state BF is prohibited, it says don't bring your kids or pets to class. 

 

It doesn't matter how much your child sleeps, the child is a distraction.  A distraction for you, constantly trying to ensure that he or she is being quite, is comfortable so that he or she stays asleep/quite, working on nursing properly (because it really doesn't matter how many kids you have nursed or not, that particular little one has never nursed before and it's a whole new learning experience all over again, each time,) and so on.  Caring for a new baby will be a distraction for you, distracting you from learning what you need to know.

 

And, the baby, even if quite sometimes, will be a distraction for others.  You have no guarentee that the baby, even one who sleeps alot, will be sleeping at the same you have class, every time.  And, even asleep, the baby makes noise, rolls around, and otherwise is "so cute!!!!"  Even if you leave the room every time the baby gets antsy, just getting up and leaving class regularly is a distraction.

 

As a student, I would be angry to have a parent bringing a child to class every class period.  As a former student single mom, I would be even more angry that I made the effort to have a sitter for every class, or I didn't attend class, and yet another mom, who has a partner, doesn't have the same respect for the rest of the class.

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#21 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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Instead of launching to the defensive in a formal complaint, perhaps you could contact your college's accessability office. You will be medically disabled for at least 6 weeks PP and there are federal and state laws in place to help you have fair access to your classes, regardless of whether or not you are breastfeeding. This could include someone videotaping lectures, a scribe to take notes for you and make-up exam times.

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#22 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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Some ideas:

Can you work ahead? Would it be possible to get everything (or as much as humanly possible) done and turned in prior to the birth of the baby?

Could you work from home? Is actual in-class attendance mandatory? Could you have someone tape/audio record the lectures for you?

What about the possibility of taking an Incomplete? You would work out a plan with the professor, receive an "I" on your grade report, and when all of your classwork is complete, that "I" would change to your actual grade (so it would probably delay graduation 1 term -- and you'd graduate in August instead of May).

 

I've worked at 5 different colleges (a move accounts for some of that, but mostly it's just that an adjunct instructor has to pick up classes here and there) and every single one has had a strict "no children in class" policy.  As an instructor, I would be very pro-BF, but I would still have to enforce the campus policy -- and if I didn't, not only could students complain, it could cost me a contract for the next semester.

 

If I were in your shoes as a student, I would nurse the baby in the hallway (or an empty classroom or a lounge close by) immediately before going in to class, hand her off to DH, let him wear her walking around (and it'll be nice outside), and if he needs you to feed her, he can send you a text and you can step quietly out. Let your instructor know ahead of time that you might duck out in the middle of class or towards the end, and just do it in a way that is not disruptive (take a seat in the back by the door, for example). Then I'd pray the that the baby slept until you got out (and after a feeding, being worn, and being outside, mine would).


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#23 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
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As an academic, I don't think a baby who fusses momentarily with a responsive mama who immediately starts nursing and/or whisks him/her out of the room is that much more distracting than a cell phone ringing, for example. Interruptions happen. The class doesn't lose all of its pedagogical value simply because there was a momentary disruption.

 


I've never taken a college or graduate level class where cell phones weren't strictly prohibited.  Are you suggesting that a cell phone call in the middle of class isn't distracting? 

 

 

Of course I am not saying that a cell phone call isn't distracting; I am saying that a minor distraction really should not be the end of the world.

 

Note that especially in health care, sometimes people cannot turn their devices off because they are on call and may need to deal with an urgent clinical concern. It happens, it's a very minor distraction, and then everyone moves on.


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#24 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 11:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLace View Post

Because the baby is coming in the middle of the semester (not the best timing... but the baby is already on his/her way), and the school also doesn't allow missing class for maternity leave.... I am not sure what I am supposed to do.  If my grades are going to suffer because I be given permission to make work up I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.  I will have to go back as soon as possible, but I don't think it is good for a tiny baby (1-2 weeks old) to be away from me.

 

I guess I am surprised to hear that people think the baby would be a distraction.  Newborn sleep the majority of the time and are often otherwise breastfeeding.  I agree that it could be disruptive for my husband to have to be outside the class with the baby... but if I can't miss class and I can't have the baby with me I am not sure what else to do.  There is no day care and even if there was I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving such a young baby in one.  For successful breastfeeding and to build the best supply, early on-cue feeding is the best method and I just don't think I should have to sacrifice that.  I am ready to be mindful of other students and the class as a whole, I just think that my baby's health and a successful nursing relationship are life long issues to consider.


THis.  I am always surprised when people claim a  baby would be a distraction, especially a newborn.  What if people adjusted their idea of "distraction" to include the normal (quiet) noises of a newborn.  People clear their throats, their phones might accidentally go off, etc... wuld a baby really make more noise than that?  Doubtful.

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#25 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 11:14 PM
 
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Some newborns sleep all the time, and some don't.  And you don't know what you're going to get until the baby's here.  And a newborn who sleeps the whole first week may "wake up" the second.  And some newborns only sleep when being carried by a moving person.  Do you really think that you pacing up and down the back of the classroom shushing and humming won't be distracting? 

 

Not to mention: your plan is about being able to BF on demand... waking up and making noise is how babies tell you they're hungry.

 

I'm sorry, but the policy sounds reasonable to me.  I would be very annoyed if I was paying expensive college tuition and there were children hanging around the class.  You're probably just going to have to pump and hope that the baby's sleepy stretch is when you have class.  It's not ideal, but plenty of women do it.  Having someone bring the fussy baby into the middle of class so you can feed it really isn't going to work.

 

How long is class?  My college classes were mostly an hour, with a few that were an hour and a half.  If you feed right before class, it will probably be fine.


Regarding the bolded.  Crying is a late signal of hunger.  There are many cues that happen before a baby starts crying to indicate hubnger, like rooting, putting fists in mouth, all nice and quiet.

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#26 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 11:15 PM
 
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As an academic, I don't think a baby who fusses momentarily with a responsive mama who immediately starts nursing and/or whisks him/her out of the room is that much more distracting than a cell phone ringing, for example. Interruptions happen. The class doesn't lose all of its pedagogical value simply because there was a momentary disruption.

 

OP, you are definitely between a rock and a hard place since there are 6-8 of you. If you were the only student in this position, it would be much easier to talk to your profs and work something out. With so many, it's very difficult for them to make an exception for one person.

 

That said, I strongly suspect that the concern is less about having babies in class at all, and more about having babies in class without anyone to take them outside and away from the class. You may want to discuss your own personal plan, i.e., having a caregiver right outside in case you need to hand the baby off, and so on, and see if they are OK with that.

 

I also agree with others who suggest that in the worst case scenario, have your caregiver outside with the baby, and you go out when babe needs to nurse. And pumping and bottlefeeding for a few hours here and there may be a workable approach. Not ideal, but workable. How often and how long are your classes? That would be the deciding factor for me.

 

Good luck to you.



Should have read ahead - great post!

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#27 of 144 Old 01-27-2011, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SilverLace View Post

Because the baby is coming in the middle of the semester (not the best timing... but the baby is already on his/her way), and the school also doesn't allow missing class for maternity leave.... I am not sure what I am supposed to do.  If my grades are going to suffer because I be given permission to make work up I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.  I will have to go back as soon as possible, but I don't think it is good for a tiny baby (1-2 weeks old) to be away from me.

 

I guess I am surprised to hear that people think the baby would be a distraction.  Newborn sleep the majority of the time and are often otherwise breastfeeding.  I agree that it could be disruptive for my husband to have to be outside the class with the baby... but if I can't miss class and I can't have the baby with me I am not sure what else to do.  There is no day care and even if there was I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving such a young baby in one.  For successful breastfeeding and to build the best supply, early on-cue feeding is the best method and I just don't think I should have to sacrifice that.  I am ready to be mindful of other students and the class as a whole, I just think that my baby's health and a successful nursing relationship are life long issues to consider.


THis.  I am always surprised when people claim a  baby would be a distraction, especially a newborn.  What if people adjusted their idea of "distraction" to include the normal (quiet) noises of a newborn.  People clear their throats, their phones might accidentally go off, etc... wuld a baby really make more noise than that?  Doubtful.


mine made a lot more noise than that.  No way could I have brought kiddo to a college class as a newborn.  there is no saying whether or not OP's newborn will be the picturesque quiet newborn or a newborn like mine or many other newborns I have known.

 

Moreover, if I pay good money to attend college and earn a degree, I WOULD probably be distracted by a baby.  I get distracted just by other students fidgeting around.  I didn't pay to go to class with a newborn who may or may not just sleep and/or be very quiet.  There are plenty of options for OP to explore before bringing her baby to class.

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I can see why they would say no Children in these types of rooms. If your taking a test or listening to a lecture, and someone has their baby with them that starts screaming that would not be good other students won't be able to hear or concentrate. Plus you want to do good in school and a crying baby while being postpartum is a huge stressful distraction. Also you don't want your new born around all the germs that may be present. Maybe see if your School offers on-line classes. My college does and that is how I'm finishing school. I get to spend the whole day at home with my baby girl. I don't have to drag her around a collage or to a sitters. Also even if they have daycare again you don't want your new born around kid germs. Germs spread like wild fire through kids at daycare. You also mentioned having your DH or mom at school with you? To help outside the classroom? If your mom is retired she can stay at home with the baby and you can pump and leave breast milk with your mom. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, its not the help you were looking for. But these may be the only other options. 

 

 

I hope this helped a little and all honesty on-line school is wonderful when you have a family. 

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Originally Posted by SilverLace View Post

Because the baby is coming in the middle of the semester (not the best timing... but the baby is already on his/her way), and the school also doesn't allow missing class for maternity leave.... I am not sure what I am supposed to do.  If my grades are going to suffer because I be given permission to make work up I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.  I will have to go back as soon as possible, but I don't think it is good for a tiny baby (1-2 weeks old) to be away from me.

 

I guess I am surprised to hear that people think the baby would be a distraction.  Newborn sleep the majority of the time and are often otherwise breastfeeding.  I agree that it could be disruptive for my husband to have to be outside the class with the baby... but if I can't miss class and I can't have the baby with me I am not sure what else to do.  There is no day care and even if there was I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving such a young baby in one.  For successful breastfeeding and to build the best supply, early on-cue feeding is the best method and I just don't think I should have to sacrifice that.  I am ready to be mindful of other students and the class as a whole, I just think that my baby's health and a successful nursing relationship are life long issues to consider.


THis.  I am always surprised when people claim a  baby would be a distraction, especially a newborn.  What if people adjusted their idea of "distraction" to include the normal (quiet) noises of a newborn.  People clear their throats, their phones might accidentally go off, etc... wuld a baby really make more noise than that?  Doubtful.


mine made a lot more noise than that.  No way could I have brought kiddo to a college class as a newborn.  there is no saying whether or not OP's newborn will be the picturesque quiet newborn or a newborn like mine or many other newborns I have known.

 

Moreover, if I pay good money to attend college and earn a degree, I WOULD probably be distracted by a baby.  I get distracted just by other students fidgeting around.  I didn't pay to go to class with a newborn who may or may not just sleep and/or be very quiet.  There are plenty of options for OP to explore before bringing her baby to class.


so, how do you handle that?  Do you ask the school to ban fidgeting?

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Originally Posted by lach View Post

Some newborns sleep all the time, and some don't.  And you don't know what you're going to get until the baby's here.  And a newborn who sleeps the whole first week may "wake up" the second.  And some newborns only sleep when being carried by a moving person.  Do you really think that you pacing up and down the back of the classroom shushing and humming won't be distracting? 

 

Not to mention: your plan is about being able to BF on demand... waking up and making noise is how babies tell you they're hungry.

 

I'm sorry, but the policy sounds reasonable to me.  I would be very annoyed if I was paying expensive college tuition and there were children hanging around the class.  You're probably just going to have to pump and hope that the baby's sleepy stretch is when you have class.  It's not ideal, but plenty of women do it.  Having someone bring the fussy baby into the middle of class so you can feed it really isn't going to work.

 

How long is class?  My college classes were mostly an hour, with a few that were an hour and a half.  If you feed right before class, it will probably be fine.


Regarding the bolded.  Crying is a late signal of hunger.  There are many cues that happen before a baby starts crying to indicate hubnger, like rooting, putting fists in mouth, all nice and quiet.

you're right.. crying is usually a late sign of hunger.  However, mine stopped doing those things on her own without fussing first after just a couple weeks.  I had to touch her cheek to see if she'd root for my finger to determine whether her starting to fuss was hunger or something else.  and I was obsessively watching her so I'm positive I wasn't just missing cues.  She just turned to fussing first after a couple of weeks.  Its not crying, but it would have been distracting to a college lecture.  It is outside the OP's window of concern but by 3 months she stopped showing hunger signs altogether actually, rooting for my finger on her cheek included.  I had to start putting her to the breast at any fussiness as well as watch the clock to determine how long it had been since her last feeding.  and if I was wrong?  She'd often start crying at the breast.  She also wouldn't comfort nurse as a newborn (within that 6 weeks.)  If I tried to put her to the breast when she didn't want to eat... she'd cry.

 

OP needs a back up plan beyond 'bring baby to class' because even if it were allowed, that does NOT mean she'll be able to keep up with it.  newborns aren't like on tv.  They aren't all silent other than the two minutes you see them on camera.
 

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