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Highschool denies teen mom breastfeeding accommodations

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post
Should this teen mom be given a place to pump and store breast milk?

FELTON, DE -- Jaielyn Belong is a sophomore at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Delaware. “She is a good student,” said her mother Betty Belong. “She's a book worm and has occasionally gotten in trouble for reading during class.”

Five weeks ago, she welcomed baby Adrian Amir Belong into her arms at over eight pounds. Baby Adrian now weighs a whopping 10 pounds thanks to his mom who is exclusively breastfeeding him with the hopes of breastfeeding him for at least one year as is the current recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jaielyn, now a teen mom, will soon be returning to school to continue her high school career with the support of her own mother, family and a host of local moms. There’s only one catch:

"I feel the school is discriminating against my decision to breastfeed my son," she said. A sentiment which is seconded by Betty who feels the school is bullying Jaielyn.

The nurse, a counselor and a school administrator recommended Jaielyn only breastfeed her son before and after school hours. This recommendation would not be changed regardless of whether or not a doctor’s note is able to be obtained. This would mean Jaielyn could not pump for or nurse her baby for over eight hours every weekday.

This recommendation goes against Delaware law which reads:

31 Del. C. § 310

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

Some view going to school as the job of a teenager, which would mean the Reasonable Break Time For Nursing Mothers in the Fair Labor Standards Act would also be important to this case, see the bottom for the full text. It states:


Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 19384 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘‘An employer shall provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."

Even so, “The school nurse called me on Thursday and told me they will not be able to accommodate my daughters need to pump or store milk during school hours,” said Betty. “They said the electric pump is noisy and will draw attention to my daughter. Pumping milk is time consuming. They're not even sure she'll be pumping milk when she says so.”

According to Betty, the nurse added that her refrigerator was for medicinal only and that she believes Jaielyn would need to be supervised. “Her peers may tease her,” the nurse told Betty.

Local La Leche League (LLL) leader, Heather Felker said, "It seems illogical that a place cannot be found for this teen to pump. If a teacher requested an area to pump, by law one would need to be provided. The teens mother also mentioned that there is a Bayhealth clinic on site."

Felker, who has alerted the LLL organization as well as the Delaware Breastfeeding Coalition of the situation, said Jaielyn "has shown great maturity by taking responsibility for her pregnancy and now her son. She chose breastmilk as the healthiest possible start for her son, and as a cost saving measure for her family. By not supporting these choices, the school is sending a negative message."

This negative message goes against the Lake Forest High School Student Code of Conduct which reads: "All Lake Forest students shall behave in a manner that promotes a school environment that is nurturing, orderly, safe and conducive to learning and personal/social development."

“I only want what's the very best for him and it is scientifically proven, breast milk is the best choice," Jaielyn said.

Her mom added, “My daughter’s body made this milk for him and she wants him to have what's all natural and made just for him. My daughter just wants to be able to do her academic studies and care for her son's nutritional needs.

"When our children go through life and make positive choices we have to follow through and do what we can to help,” Betty said in support of her daughter’s breastfeeding decision. “I'm so proud of the choices she's made and I have to help in any way I can. I thought I was fighting a losing battle, but knew I wasn't giving up without one."

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM
2 moms liked this
She needs to go to a school that accommodates to young mothers if this is the case. HS should not have to make special arraignments for the teen girls who have children. What will schools become??
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it's bullshit that the school will now allow her to pump and store milk while she's at school. She's making a good and healthy choice for her son and they are being pigheaded about this.

On the other hand could she be home schooled while she's breast feeding?

by Katie on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM
21 moms liked this

 It's really sad that a teen mother who is trying to do 2 things to make a better life for her child, breastfeeding and finishing school, is being given such a hard time, but "mothers" like Janelle from Teen Mom are being made into stars.

CafeMom Tickers
by Anonymous 4 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Because the school doesn't provide special accommodations for a teen who made a choice to have a child while still in school? Get real. 

Quoting Anonymous:

That's too bad... No wonder so many of them drop out.

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM
5 moms liked this

i am old school -- if you become a teen mom --- you should get your diploma thru extended classes offered at night school

by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM
15 moms liked this

I bet you would also piss and moan to find out she is getting WIC to provide formula for her baby or if she went on every welfare program there was because she had to drop out to breastfeed for a year and never got to go back. Geeze, she is trying to do the right thing for her baby.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 High school is for learning, not for parenting.  There is no medical need, so it's just too bad, quit school until you're done breastfeeding!

by Gold Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I think people are using breastfeeding as an excuse to have control over everything these days. Shut the fuck up, keep your vag tucked away in your pants, and stay the fuck home. You can ask your teachers to send homework, or finish when your baby is in child care. This is coming from someone who was 2 years senior of being a teen mom. If my school had this policy, I'd stay home or go back when baby is old enough. It's school. It's always gonna be there for you. It's different if she was working, but that's not the case.

by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Because it costs the school a lot more for a student to do that, many counties require a medical reason. Now, homeschooling could be an option if the family has the resources.

Quoting Anonymous:

Why not independent study?

by Lube Girl on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM
6 moms liked this
So she is punished for making a good choice for her child. I love this Country more and more daily *snort*
by Anonymous 6 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM
5 moms liked this
She should be able to pump. Engorgement is no joke!
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