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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 (681-687):
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:57 PM
You don't know what she chose to do. No, she doesn't. What the school is doing is wrong, and quite possibly illegal. Also, there may not be a school for teen moms.

Quoting Elle.tea.22:

Quoting AdellesMom:

Honestly? Not my problem. She will have to "just deal" a lot from now on. She chose to have a baby in HS, nobody is going to accommodate her so she needs to make her way and get shut done swimming against the current. She wants accommodation? She can go to a school for teen moms. They will let her do what other mothers do. If she wants to stay in that school she has to play by their rules.
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by Anonymous 94 on Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

Where in the story does it say that she was offered that?

Quoting Anonymous:

Read the fll story, not just half.  She is a 15 year old girl who was provided an opportunity to go to a school WITH her baby so she could breast feed all day, learn parenting skills, and still get her HS education.  She turned down the option to breast feed all day because she said she wanted to "chill with her friends" and wanted to pump instead.

She's not some good mom looking to do what is right.  She is a selfish, spoiled teenager.

Quoting Anonymous:

Wow a teen mom who wants to continue her education and who is also commited to breast feeding. Wonderful. I think that is wonderful. A lot of grown women dont even make that commitment. My thought is if they cant end up winning with the school is there a way she can home school instead? 

by Gold Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM

How do you know adoption would be a better life for the child, because the girl is young means she's going to be a bad parent? I have a cousin who was a teen mom and her kids couldn't have a better life than what they do with her.

Quoting Anonymous:

The best thing she could've done was to give the child up for adoption and give it a better life.

Quoting kysmama08:

Everyone seems to be missing the fact that the young girl is trying to get her life back to normal and continue her matter what the age she shouldn't be treated the way shes being treated regardless of her age or that she's in school and not at a job and blah blah blah. 


by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM
1 mom liked this
She should be allowed to pump and store her milk wherever the teachers who are breastfeeding do it
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by Gold Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

That's part of having a child...I never once said schools need to accomodate her lol...she's trying and does not need to be treated like an outcast, I'm sure you'd be bitching up a storm if you have a teenage daughter who ended up pregnant and the school was treating her like dog shit...then again you may not give 2 shits because some people just don't...

Quoting SterlingHeart:

She got pregnant - her life will never be normal -- she needs to accept her NEW role in the world and just go forward and do the best for her and her child -- our schools shouldn't have to accomidate her actions and current situation.  If she wants to get knocked up and have a child like an adult - she can go to Adult School and finish with dignity

Quoting kysmama08:

Everyone seems to be missing the fact that the young girl is trying to get her life back to normal and continue her matter what the age she shouldn't be treated the way shes being treated regardless of her age or that she's in school and not at a job and blah blah blah. 

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

When should she pump then? While she's at home she's probably breastfeeding. She would need to pump at school to keep up her supply and make bottles.  Not only that, have you gone more than a few hours without pumping/breast feeding? I don't know about you, but I get very engorged and it hurts... A LOT!

by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

The school has withdrawn their refusal and is now working with the teen mom to give her a place to pump:

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