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The CafeMom Newcomers Club The CafeMom Newcomers Club

Breastfeeding Student Told to Use the Bathroom to Pump UPDATE

*this was also posted in the Breastfeeding group*

UPDATE AT BOTTOM IN RED


Hello! I am a college student with a 2 month old little boy. My school has been of no help in trying to find me an appropriate place to pump. I have been told to use the bathroom and a locker room. I have started a petition to change this. Not just for me, but for all breastfeeding students (current and future). If you could take the time to sign and share the petition (link is at the bottom of this page), I would really appreciate it. You can read the full story below from www.latchthebabes.com:


20130827-002337.jpg

Shelbi Wallace, an American Sign Language major at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, has been denied a place to pump for her two month old baby and has been forced to pump in the hallway while using a cover. Any mother who has ever pumped knows that not having a quiet, comfortable place to pump can greatly decrease letdown and the amount of milk pumped can be compromised from the stress. This can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby.

Ms Wallace has gone through several different support services at the college to no avail. She called the ombudsman, whose job according to Sinclair’s website, is:

The Ombudsman provides assistance to the students who indicate they have problems/issues or concerns that need resolution.

It may involve:

  • Listening Carefully
  • Answering Questions
  • Investigating Complaints
  • Making Appropriate Referrals
  • Mediating a Resolution
  • Helping Students Persist Toward Educational Goals

The Ombudsman can:

  • Listen to problems
  • Investigate
  • Mediate, facilitate, and clarify policies and procedures

Ms Wallace was basically told, “Sorry, there’s nothing that I can do. But at least we know about it. Good luck.” She then spoke with the director of the ASL lab where she was told to use the bathroom, even though there are private areas that could be used for pumping. Someone named Kevin in the Department of Facilities told Shelbi that “there was nothing he could do until his manager got back from vacation in 2 weeks and that all the space they have is for learning”

Hey Kevin…find an empty classroom with a plug in! Simple as that!

She finally decided to seek help on Sinclair’s Facebook page and their reply to her post was, “We contacted several departments and were given the same reply, so we aren’t sure who else to contact that could make some progress…perhaps the Ombudsman. She is the campus/student advocate for Sinclair and may be able to help move your voice along. You can contact her office at 937-512-2205. It’s no guarantee that she’ll be able to find a new spot for you, but at least she’ll be aware of the situation. Good luck and please let us know if you have any more questions or concerns!”

Then when she pressed further, she was told that there was a locker room that she could use in buiding 8, which is all the way across campus from where her classes are in building 9, which would mean her having to walk 15 minutes across campus, pump, then walk 15 minutes back to class. This is an unreasonable suggestion and is flat out discrimination.

They were nice enough to provide a map for her, though with the message, ” Shelbi — according to several campus sources, the women’s locker room in building 8 is available for these sorts of things. We attached a campus map so you can visually see where building 8 is.”

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151619593419702&set=p.10151619593419702&type=1

These sorts of things? Seriously, Sinclair? This woman just wants to be able to provide milk for her child!

What I find ironic though, Sinclair offers a list of 53 resources spanning from drug addiction to preparing resumes, but absolutely none for mothers who need to pump for their babies. Find that page here:https://resources.sinclair.edu/MyGPS/index.html#/MyGPS/search.html

They even provide a nice little powerpoint presentation on helping students to succeed seen here,http://www.sinclair.edu/support/success/pub/CTLpresentation.pdf , but yet they have no interest in helping Shelbi to suceed, since clearly she doesn’t fall into the appropriate category of those who need support, her being a breastfeeding mother and all…

In Shelbi’s words, “It’s a shame I have to use my energy in finding a place to pump instead of focusing on my classes”

Perhaps we should MAKE them care about supporting breastfeeding mothers….

Here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sinclaircommunitycollege?fref=ts

Ohio State University has 8 nursing rooms on their campus. Duke University has one in every building. Maybe Sinclair should take some serious notes from them!

Shelbi has started a petition urging the school to support breastfeeding mothers.

A breastfeeding mother who returns to work or school cannot continue to breastfeed if she can not pump. A breastfeeding mother cannot express milk sufficiently if there is not a comfortable and sanitary place to do so. The United States government has recognized this issue and has put in place “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA).The law requires employers to provide “reasonable” break time and a private place other than a bathroom where a working mom can express breast milk for her nursing baby. However, the law doesn’t say anything about college’s doing the same for their students.This petition can help change that for Sinclair. As of right now, there is one area that is known as the “mother’s room” and this room is actually a locker room. A locker room is not an appropriate place to make food for a child. It also does not offer privacy. In addition to it being in an inappropriate location, it is only on one side of campus. What about the mom’s who have classes on the other side of campus? It is not reasonable to think that these mom’s can leave class, walk 10-20 minutes to this space, pump for 15 minutes, and then walk back another 10-20 minutes. In the time it takes for someone to do that, class would be over. Some women might be embarrassed or not want to deal with the hassle of getting someone to help her find a place to pump and thus, quit breastfeeding. Sinclair should support breastfeeding and encourage mother’s to continue to breastfeed by providing spaces that are not a bathroom and that have privacy available. These spaces should also be available through out campus and not just one area. It is important for mothers perusing their education, to know that just because they are going to college, does not mean that they have to sacrifice their breastfeeding relationship with their child.

You can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/sinclair-community-college-support-breastfeeding-mothers?share_id=wEnlhVujYv&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition


UPDATE: I don't have the energy to reply to everyone's negativity (and why should I?). But the local news covered this story last night. You can find the link below. In addition, there is another news station wanting to do a story and the Dayton Daily News does too. So obviously, they think the story needs to be heard (whether you agree with it or not). To those that support me and other nursing mothers, THANK YOU. This is not about me "being special" it is about bringing change for MANY women.  If you are ok pumping in your car or a bathroom, thats fine! Some are not (including me!)You can argue all you want but I'm not reading the comments anymore. Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean it is wrong. To bring change, you have to stand up for what you believe in. I am getting results doing this, so I will continue to speak about this until it is no longer a problem.


http://www.fox45now.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/wrgt_vid_15661.shtml

"The woman who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been." Albert Einstein

by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Replies (31-40):
GirlieGal76
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM
4 moms liked this
Wait, you only have one class a day? How long is this class? Unless it's 3+ hours long then why can't you just pump before and after class? I agree with you that I wouldn't want to pump in a bathroom, but a locker room would be okay with me and I'm kind of a germaphobe. I don't understand why this is such a big deal if you only have one class a day though.....
Katt709
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I e pumped in my car. Is that am option for you?

Good luck with your petition
Katt709
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this
Wait- 1 class?! What's the big deal. Just go home after.
illinoismommy83
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM
2 moms liked this

If you only have ONE class per day, why would you miss your class? For goodness sake, does your college not teach common sense? Pump BEFORE and again AFTER class, you know, in your HOME or car or some place you find sanitary. Tada. Problem solved. You act like you are at class all day and night, but you only go to one class per day.

You really cannot go a couple of hours without pumping? Wear some nursing pads for leaks. Your body will figure out the routine.

Students are not getting the shaft. You are CHOOSING to go to school for that whole one class a day. You can somehow manage to get through ONE class without pumping. 

I'm a mom and a full time college student. Somehow I magically manage to get through a whole class without the world stopping for my every need. Lots of other moms figured it out as well.  My baby was nursing through my first two semesters and somehow I managed. I didn't have to pump every 5 min - I managed to focus on class.

Quoting YngCollegeSMom:

So why should students get the shaft? The locker room is AGAIN unsanitary. I only have one class a day but my child is 2months old and we feed on demand. When he gets a bottle I have to pump. Walking across campus, pumping and then walking back would make me miss my entire class.

But this is NOT just about me. Yes there are students who could schedule class around that if they have more than one class but sometimes that's not an option. Why is it so hard to have a sanitary area for moms to pump in every building? There are plenty of other colleges who are more than happy to accommodate this need.


Quoting illinoismommy83:

She is a STUDENT, not an employee. What is wrong with the locker room? Ok, its a 15 min walk. That means SHE needs to take responsibility and schedule her classes an hour apart so she has time to go pump between classes. 

I'm not going to cry for her. She just wants special attention and is throwing a huge fuss. They offered solutions and she just threw a fit. I guess she is sleep deprived from having a baby and isn't thinking straight. The world doesn't revolve around her. The University is in the right.


terpmama
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM


Students have the ability to schedule their classes to allow for a 15 minute walk. And just because baby gets a bottle at 10:05 doesn't mean you have to pump at 10:05. And before you start yelling I breasted and pumped for both of my kids.

Quoting YngCollegeSMom:

So why should students get the shaft? The locker room is AGAIN unsanitary. I only have one class a day but my child is 2months old and we feed on demand. When he gets a bottle I have to pump. Walking across campus, pumping and then walking back would make me miss my entire class.

But this is NOT just about me. Yes there are students who could schedule class around that if they have more than one class but sometimes that's not an option. Why is it so hard to have a sanitary area for moms to pump in every building? There are plenty of other colleges who are more than happy to accommodate this need.


Quoting illinoismommy83:

She is a STUDENT, not an employee. What is wrong with the locker room? Ok, its a 15 min walk. That means SHE needs to take responsibility and schedule her classes an hour apart so she has time to go pump between classes. 

I'm not going to cry for her. She just wants special attention and is throwing a huge fuss. They offered solutions and she just threw a fit. I guess she is sleep deprived from having a baby and isn't thinking straight. The world doesn't revolve around her. The University is in the right.



Retrokitty
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

My teacher refused to let my pump in the bathroom. She made the staff find a room for me. 

Retrokitty
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Also I don`t know about that school but at my school we are allowed to use empty classrooms at any time.

Retrokitty
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Where do you live that you can schedule classes anytime you want? Many schools only have 1 maybe two options for a class. I know in my classes especially they only have 1 class per year they do not do duplicates. 

Quoting terpmama:


Students have the ability to schedule their classes to allow for a 15 minute walk. And just because baby gets a bottle at 10:05 doesn't mean you have to pump at 10:05. And before you start yelling I breasted and pumped for both of my kids.

Quoting YngCollegeSMom:

So why should students get the shaft? The locker room is AGAIN unsanitary. I only have one class a day but my child is 2months old and we feed on demand. When he gets a bottle I have to pump. Walking across campus, pumping and then walking back would make me miss my entire class.

But this is NOT just about me. Yes there are students who could schedule class around that if they have more than one class but sometimes that's not an option. Why is it so hard to have a sanitary area for moms to pump in every building? There are plenty of other colleges who are more than happy to accommodate this need.


Quoting illinoismommy83:

She is a STUDENT, not an employee. What is wrong with the locker room? Ok, its a 15 min walk. That means SHE needs to take responsibility and schedule her classes an hour apart so she has time to go pump between classes. 

I'm not going to cry for her. She just wants special attention and is throwing a huge fuss. They offered solutions and she just threw a fit. I guess she is sleep deprived from having a baby and isn't thinking straight. The world doesn't revolve around her. The University is in the right.




Love.Love.Love

quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Sorry but I think its a bit much. A locker room is perfectly adequate.
little.worthen
by Tess on Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Lol..

You are not in your workplace. And students are obviously different or they would have put "workplace or school" into the law.

I get what you're saying generally, but you sound entitled here. And what's wrong with a locker room? There is a wide open space and seats. A bathroom, I understand, but what's wrong with a locker room?


Quoting YngCollegeSMom:

You are ignorant and I bet I can find 400 people that agree with me. This is not just about me, it is about all the BreastFeeding mothers who have had to pump their child's food in an unsanitary place like the bathroom. Do you not know that a mothers supply can dramatically decrease if she does not have a comfortable place to pump? That can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship. The government has put into place laws that say the workplace has to provide a place for a mother to pump that is NOT a bathroom. Why should students be any different?



Quoting momdoes:

 



You are not special. Get over it.



The school does not have to provide a room to pump your breasts nor do they need to allow you to use one of their empty rooms.



Quoting YngCollegeSMom:



They don't have to build a room. There are plenty of empty rooms available. They just need to allow me to use them!



Quoting momdoes:



 



Also, lets not forget that most schools do not have the funds to build a room like that on the spur of the moment, if at all.



Quoting YngCollegeSMom:






Quoting momdoes:



Sorry, I side with the school on this one. I am also a colleg student and the last thing I need to see in class, the hallway, the empty gym, etc, is a woman pumping her breasts. It is not like she is feeding baby right there with her, so the bathroom or locker room that is designated for women, is appropiate to me. As a mother, I would not want to pump in front of anyone or even in a place where just anyone can see it. PUMPING is not ACTIVE BREASTFEEDING.



That is exactly my point. I don't want to breastfeed in front of anyone but I have had to pump in the hallway with a cover because a locker room or bathroom is NOT sanitary. I am asking for a private room so nursing mothers can pump in PRIVACY and in a sanitary place.



 



 









 

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