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
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