NMD’s Right to Breastfeed in School

Q: We have a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) who gave birth 3 months ago and has returned to high school. Her school has refused to provide her a time and/or location to pump or feed her baby and the only response we get from administration there is “she can go to another school.” Is any requirement for school to assist a student who is parenting to pump and/or breastfeed? This has affected her ability to focus, put her in severe amounts of pain and strains an already delicate mom/baby relationship.

A: According to the California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide, “the law says you can breastfeed your child anywhere you and your child have a legal right to be. If you are allowed to bring your child to school, you can breastfeed there. You cannot be forced to breastfeed in the bathroom or anywhere you don’t want to be.” (CA Civil Code § 43.3). 

For more information about the rights of parenting youth in school, please visit the California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide, which is a resource developed by the National Partnership for Women and Families. It includes answers to many questions related to the rights of pregnant and parenting youth, including questions specific to foster care.

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