Teen mom denied right to breast feed
After sophomore Jaielyn Belong was denied breastfeeding accommodations at her Delaware high school, moms across Facebook came together to support the new mother.
Yesterday, a community – both real and virtual – came together when a Delaware teen was denied breastfeeding accommodations at her high school.
Five weeks ago, Felton High School sophomore Jaielyn Belong gave birth to her son, Adrian Amir Belong. As the new mom heads back to high school next week, she plans to exclusively breastfeed her baby as per the current recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The only catch? The nurse, a counselor and a school administrator recommended Jaielyn only breastfeed her son before and after school hours, reports MommaTraumaBlog.com. This would mean Jaielyn could not pump for or nurse her baby for over eight hours every weekday.
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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.
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Local La Leche League (LLL) leader, Heather Felker, said Jaielyn "has shown great maturity by taking responsibility for her pregnancy and now her son. She chose breast milk 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."
Moms of all ages were outraged by this message and took to Facebook, starting a ‘We support Jaielyn Belong’ Facebook page that garnered more than 1,400 ‘likes’ in one day.
School officials took notice, and the pro-pumping Facebook page posted a message they received from Jaielyn’s mom, Betty Belong: “She's allowed to pump her milk and they will provide a private area for her!”
The post added that someone has agreed that if the school will give her the space she needs, they will donate a refrigerator so that she will have a place to store her milk.
“I only want what's the very best for him and it is scientifically proven, breast milk is the best choice," Jaielyn told MommaTraumaBlog.com.
Listen to a WXDE Delaware 105.9 News Talk Radio interview with the Lake Forest High School superintendent here.
Do you think teen moms should be able to pump and store breast milk at school?
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Photo: via Facebook
This is what's wrong with America!!! ...As a mom, teacher, & tax paying citizen... I feel that she should not pump at school. She should have release time at lunch to go feed her child and it would save tax payers the cost of formula. We already had to probably pay for WIC, the hospital bills... teen parents should pay this all back on a loan not government welfare.
she is only a sophomore! she isnt "making the best of a difficult situation" she made the choice to be inappropriatly, and unpreparedly, sexually active and she is reaping the consequenses. The fact that the school would not accomodate her shows me that there is still hope in america of teaching morals and values! the administration should not bow to the hounding of other teenage idiots-sorry, teenage slut mothers, but instead they should expell her and other class mates caught having intercourse under the age of 18 for inappropriate behavior and file complaints on the parents for neglect. If you allow your underage child to have intercourse then your doing something wrong. furthermore, if you do allow them to have intercourse because your the "cool" parent, then 1st you are definitly NOT the cool parent, your a teenager yourself still obviously. 2nd, if the child ends up pregnant then both parents of the empregnated teens should force those kids to quit school, get a job and an apartment - not milk off mommy and daddy or their friends, and the govenment should not give aid to underage parents because it shows that they support-no, encourage it. thats the same reason we have an immigration problem is because we give everything to foreigners and teen parents and nothing to our elderly, our soldiers, or the truely needy. teenagers need to be taught responsibility and self respect-both of which they will not be taught while we encourage immoral and irresponsible behavior.
There should be school policy against aiding teen parents (this goes for the teen fathers as well, thus the parents not mothers), as well as changing in laws prohibiting aid to teen parents. We must begin to teach the old and right decisions and morals as we use to.
The issue I take with it is that a baby does not belong in a high school during the school day.(Liability and safety are big issues.)
And it's obvious that the information in the story is contradictory. The headline says she was being denied the right to breastfeed. The body of the story says she will pump and store milk.
So which is it? They are literally two different things, after all.
At any rate, pregnancy and child rearing are not handicaps as defined by statute. So reasonable accomodations are harder to secure.
I fear that if we as mothers force the issue, we may see a return of pregnant or nursing students removed to alternative education sites, where there is greater leeway to meet the accomodation.
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