Breastfeeding Student

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding and employment. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 


 

I am a breastfeeding student. I go to school part-time and just received two Associates degrees. I am starting on my Bachelors degree this fall. Let’s start off this post by acknowledging the fact that I am an untraditional student and I don’t expect to have everything catered around me.

Colleges and universities do not seem to expect a parent of a baby or toddler to ever enter their campus. In the one college and two universities that I have been to on multiple occasions, I have yet to find a single changing table. I also have yet to find any sort of plan for breastfeeding mothers.

You would be surprised how many moms go to school—I certainly was. Ideally we would be done with things like school before starting our journey of motherhood, but life just don’t work ideally. So many moms out there continue their education along with their new mothering gig. The Department of Education recently reported 13% of students are single parents. So that’s over 1 in 7 students and it doesn’t even count married parents! Yes, we’re still the minority, but I think that we at least need a changing table.

When Peanut was just two months old, I went back to school part-time. I thought it would be easy to just sit in my car and pump between classes. Ha! It only took a few weeks of trying to handle the pump under my hooter hider and failing miserably before I started skipping classes. I even tried the bathroom a couple times out of desperation, but of course the loud pump made that embarrassing. I couldn’t even get letdown half of the time! I am honestly lucky that I didn’t fail any classes that semester.

After that first bad semester, I started doing classes far enough apart that I would be able to go home and feed Peanut between them. I was also going to school 45 minutes away, so this meant for a lot of driving. Really, if I weren’t so stubborn determined, I would have easily either quit school or breastfeeding.

So all I ask is for a plan. Maybe somewhere reasonably close with a locking door that I can nurse/pump. I don’t care if it’s an open classroom, just somewhere that I can be alone and uninhibited. When you’re worrying about your classmates hearing the pump, dropping your supplies on the gross bathroom floor (not the mention into the toilet!) or dying of heat in the car, it’s pretty difficult to produce milk. Should it really be a one or the other type of thing? Either you breastfeed or your a student? Why should it take absolute determination to do what is biologically normal while trying to better myself?

You know what? While I’m at it, at least one changing table per campus would be nice too.

 


 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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5 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Student

  1. My second semester in community college I was able to get DD1 into the childcare on site. They were okay with me coming in between classes and breastfeeding in the infant room. But when she moved into the 2 year old class the teacher told me I was not allowed to breastfeed her anymore. I was heart broken, I complained, but the director told me that since there was no nutritional need to breastfeed she could not help me out. I ended up picking her up early from school and tried to get all my classes squished together, so I could get out of there sooner. It left me with no study time outside of home. Shortly after I weaned DD1 at 2 1/2. It was just too much stress on me. I really regret not fighting it more and weaning her before she was ready.

    • You should write a letter or something to that director explaining the nutritional value of breast milk for toddlers! It still has so much value!

  2. That is so crazy that a college campus doesn’t cater AT ALL to Mom’s. I hope that this is brought before major schools and that this changes!

  3. Wow, not one change table? That is awful! Although to tell you the truth, I have no idea if there are any on our university or college campuses either. Good for you for being so determined and sticking with the BFing, despite all of the challenges. Campuses all over need to get with the times and realize that not all students are young, single and kid-free!

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