Category Archives: Support

Sinclair College student told to go to bathroom to pump.

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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

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***UPDATE***
After the blog post went viral, Shelbi was finally contacted by SCC and was told that they would open up the lactation room for students. She was also given a private spot in her building to pump.
This happened after several media outlets like the one seen heregot word of the story and started contacting the school.
Do you think this is enough or should they take further steps? Let us know on our Facebook page

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Discreet breastfeeding? What would Jesus do?

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Oh what a hot button topic! Nursing in public. Can you imagine that some women actually go into public places, pull out their breasts and *gasp* nurse their babies?? Right there in front of God and everyone! Sometimes they don’t even cover up!! What if my children see that? Or worse, what if my husband sees it and it causes him to fall into lust? Can you imagine the nerve of some women?

….But wait. Wasn’t Jesus himself breastfed? History will tell you that he was. There are no mention of bottles in the Bible. They simply didn’t exist.

I realize that not all of my followers are Christians and some don’t believe in anything at all, and that is ok. I still support you in your breastfeeding journey. However, there are many breastfeeding mothers that are Christian, and the scathing glares, hateful comments, and all around lack of support even from their fellow Christians is appalling. This is an area that Christian breastfeeding mothers desperately need support in and providing support is why I am here.
I know the need from first hand experience. When I had my youngest son, I remember going to church for the first time after delivery. I did not take a bottle since I didn’t plan to give bottles. There was no need. I stayed at home with him and rarely left him for more than an hour or so. The first question that I was asked when I dropped him off in the nursery was not, “How are you feeling?” and there was no statement about how sweet the baby was. It was “Where is his bottle?” When I told them that I did not give bottles, you would have thought that I had brought in Satan himself for them to watch by the look on their faces. Oh the horror! They would have to alert me should he get fussy. Worse yet, they might have to see me nurse him! Another mother brought in her baby and told them to just give him a bottle should he get fussy. The nursery worker made a point to say “Now THAT’s a good mother!”, referring to the non-breastfeeding mother who was ok with them giving her child a bottle, suggesting that I was not a good mother because I preferred not to. This happened Sunday after Sunday…
Right then, my thoughts were, “If I can’t breastfeed my baby in my own church, among my “friends” and church family, then I have no chance out in the real world. This is supposed to be my support system. These are the people who pray for me when I’m sick. The people who go out of their way to speak to me at the ball fields or at the grocery store. My second family.
For that reason, I haven’t been back to my church since the birth of my daughter. I have been to other churches and have breastfed during service & without a cover without even a glance. I didn’t want to deal with it, I didn’t feel like seeing the unapproving glances at my percieved lust inducing act. But is seeing a breastfeeding mother lust inducing? How many times do we see men turn their heads at a pretty woman crossing the street or passing by them at the mall? Some men have fetishes with feet and women walk around in flip flops and open toed sandals every day. Should we ban those acts in public also? Don’t get me started on the things that men, Christian men, see on television.
The fact is, breasts are not sexual organs. Their sole purpose is for lactation. Whatever our culture has made out of them is NOT what they were intended for. They are made up of ducts and lobules. Breasts are not genitals. By medical definition, the sex organs are “any organ involved in sexual reproduction”. Guess what? You can make a baby without any involvement of the breasts! As a matter of fact, without muscle tissue, sex, conception, and birth would be impossible! However, breasts have ZERO muscle tissue in them!
But just in case you’re not convinced that breasts aren’t sexual organs, perhaps this quick lesson in breast anatomy & physiology might be helpful.

So now that we have established that breasts are not sexual organs, let’s talk about why women should not be forced to “use discretion” while breastfeeding. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t cover if they choose. I’m saying that women should not feel shunned when they don’t. Women should be able to feed their babies whenever they get hungry & without disapproving comments or disgusted looks . Even at church. After all, all throughout the Bible, there are unashamed and beautiful references to breastfeeding. There are no references to mothers being required to cover. Breastfeeding is seen as the normal and natural thing that it is. But not only that…

Genesis 49:25
New King James Version (NKJV)
25 By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

Did you hear that? Blessings. According to the word of God, breasts are blessings.
They bring life sustaining nourishment and in 1 Peter 2:2 2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby

we are even told to be like newborn babies. We are to crave spirituality as a baby craves his mothers milk! How profound is it that loving and desiring God is compared to a newborns desire for his mothers breast?!
In Joel, we are told to gather…

Joel 2:16
King James Version (KJV)
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Gather everyone for the glory and worshiping of our Lord! Even nursing babies!!! No mention of pumping a bottle for church. No mention of bringing a cover for church so that the elders, bridegroom, and children won’t see breasts! Just gather and bring the nurslings! Wow! I can just see them all gathered eager to worship The Lord, babies happily latched onto the breasts, and can’t help but think that if some Christians held on to verses like these as they do others, we might not be having this conversation at all.
In 1 Thessalonians we are told

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.

which indicates that a breastfeeding mother gives her child the ULTIMATE gentleness. Why else would it be compared? After all, this particular chapter is telling us that we are Gods glory and joy.
Christians should refrain from shunning breastfeeding mothers. Not only should that, but we should support it. We should embrace it even when it isn’t done with our definition of discretion. Just as Jesus himself would have, as indicated in the word of God. Every single reference to breastfeeding in the Bible, and there are many, is written without any shame or stigma. If our ultimate goal as Christians is to live and behave as Jesus would, this is one area that will be easy to achieve that goal.

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