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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 (21-30):
by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM
1 mom liked this

You realize the something else will probably end up being WIC. So instead of giving her a few minutes once or twice a day to pump, the tax payers are going to pay for it?

Quoting Anonymous:

She needs to suck it up and figure something out

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Quoting carterscutie85:

Regardless of age, any woman should have accommodations to be able to pump in order to feed their baby.

The school is being ridiculous. Do they want this kid to get on WIC and put more stress on the taxpayers by getting formula? Do they want to financially strain her or her parents more by having to buy it?

It makes no sense. Let the girl pump for goodness sakes! She is trying to do the right thing by breastfeeding and continuing her education and these fools  are trying to put a big road block in her plan for success.

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by Ruby Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM
1 mom liked this
When I was in school, we got off campus lunch. If she has the same privilege, maybe she can try and work something out there?
Is she enrolled in the....oh what's it called....the program where you finish your classes early and then go to a part time job.....that could be something she could do. That way, she can nurse in the morning, then at lunch, and then leave for the day...that's how I would work around it.
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by Silver Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM
1 mom liked this
I think it is sad that schools even have to worry about stuff like this... that being said... they need to give her a place to pump... it really doesn't take up that much time...
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by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Not all counties have such a school

Quoting LaceNBklyn:

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??

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM
3 moms liked this
It's funny..I bet all of these moms saying that's 'too bad' would change if you said she was in college, not high school. It seems like the BF Nazis even have a grudge against teen moms.
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM
6 moms liked this
Holy cow. A teen mom is showing enough maturity and responsibility to continue with her education AND take care of her child in the best possible way....and the school is against it? That is crazy.
Pumping in a private area will not draw more attention to the girl than her milk leaking through her shirt (soooo embarassing) or huge engorged and painful breasts. This early in breastfeeding not pumping during school hours can lead to problems with her supply...
And if she is having problems woth supply or engorged breasts...her thoughts prolly wont be on schoolwork. Way for the school system to set up this girl for failure.
School is hard. Motherhood is hard. Why make it any harder?
Jeez. All she needs are a couple extra breaks, a empty room and a fridge. That doesnt seem like too much to ask.
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Well this is what she should of thought about before she had a child.

Quoting JLS2388:

Not all counties have such a school

Quoting LaceNBklyn:

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??

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM
Happened to me. That's why my son was only bf for 6 weeks.
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM
3 moms liked this

You know it's funny to me that people flip out over the number of teen moms who drop out of school but are fine with things like this happening! She wants to go to school and finish her education. She should be allowed to pump and store so she can do that. 

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