Lactation Rights & Responsibilities

BREASTFEEDING STUDENTS' RIGHTS

Breastfeeding students are protected by federal and state laws. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal education amendment enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), prohibits federally funded educational programs from discrimination of students based on sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Title IX requires educational institutions to provide reasonable accommodations and equal special services as provided to any other student with temporary medical conditions. See the following link for details and application.

Supporting Pregnant & Parenting Students

Know Your Rights: Title IX Protects You From Discrimination at School

The Pregnant Scholar: Title IX Basics

Oregon state law also protects a breastfeeding persons’ right to breastfeed in public without harassment. Visit here for additional State and Federal Breastfeeding Laws.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Breastfeeding students must contact the faculty connected with their classes and/or clinical or field experiences as soon as they are aware that they will need special services.  It is also beneficial to contact the campus breastfeeding liaison for guidance.

LINFIELD RESPONSIBILITIES

Linfield must provide reasonable and equal accommodations and services to breastfeeding students as would be provided to other students with temporary medical conditions. State and federal laws provide a partial framework for reasonable and essential accommodations, such as providing a private, secure room that is not a bathroom, and reasonable break times for pumping and/or breastfeeding. Other accommodations will be specific to students, such as keeping up with class due to missed time for lactation needs, and making special arrangements for off campus learning such as clinical.  Oregon state law also protects breastfeeding persons’ right to breastfeed in public; this includes Linfield campuses.

Required accommodations:

  • A private, secure room that is not a bathroom must be provided.
  • Reasonable break times for lactation needs must be granted.
  • Communicate with student to minimize effect of any absences. This will differ according to the class, clinical or other off campus learning experience and/or program, but must be consistent with what would be provided to students with other temporary medical conditions.

Suggested accommodations and support:

  • Help student in off campus learning to find a contact person for lactation support and locate a place to store milk and supplies.
  • Collaborate with student when assigning off campus learning experiences, such as clinical, to consider proximity to baby (distance from home); shift length; shift time (day vs nights); and availability of private, secure room other than a bathroom for pumping.
  • Consider allowing student to bring baby to classroom. Child separation can harm breastfeeding.
  • Help student choose seating that would minimize disruption and embarrassment when leaving for lactation breaks, and provide enough space if breastfeeding baby in seat.
  • When aware of having a breastfeeding student in class, reduce the number but increase the length of classroom breaks. Pumping or breastfeeding typically takes between 15 and 40 minutes. This would minimize the amount of missed class time.
  • Provide other physical supports such as a specified refrigerator to store milk, lockers for storing pumping equipment, diaper changing table, and nearby sink for washing equipment.
  • When designating lactation rooms, consider the distance from the learning setting to the room.
  • Consider allowing student to video or audio record missed class time.
  • Help student connect with other lactating students.
  • Include Student Lactation Support Policy in syllabi to increase visibility and encourage breastfeeding students to contact course faculty for support.
  • Breastfeeding Liaisons send campus wide email with Student Lactation Policy link at the start and the middle of each semester for introduction, increased awareness, and invitation to connect.
  • Breastfeeding Liaisons maintain Breastfeeding Students Facebook group.