breastfeeding mom
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
October 27, 2020 ·  3 min read

Breastfeeding mom fights back after professor ‘humiliated’ her in front of entire class

Every mom out there knows that when a baby needs to be fed, they need to be fed now, not later. In some ways, COVID-19 has made this easier for working or studying moms, and in other ways, this has made it much more difficult. After being humiliated in front of her entire class by a professor, this breastfeeding mom clapped back on Facebook. She wants to prove that moms can do it all. (1)

No Accommodation for Breastfeeding Mom

Fresno City College California student Marcella has a 10-month-old daughter. Often during class time, her child needs to be fed. When that happens, she’ll simply turn off her camera and microphone and continue to take notes while she feeds her little girl. (1)

She then received an email from one of her professors saying that all students are required to turn their cameras and microphones on during class time. This makes it easier for professors to make sure students are paying attention during class time. (1)

Marcella, a breastfeeding mom, replied to her professor’s email to explain her situation. She told them that she had no problems following the rules, however, asked if it was okay for her to be exempted if/when her daughter needed to be fed. (1)

She was shocked by the response she got from her professor. The response was completely negative. (1)

“I am glad to hear that you can have your camera and microphone on, but please do not breastfeed your daughter during class time because it is not what you should be doing,” the instructor replied. “Just do that after class.” (1)

I never write long posts but this is a good one! • • • I didn’t want to post this picture because I just wanted it for…

Posted by Marcella Mares on Thursday, September 24, 2020

Breastfeeding Mom Humiliated

Before Marcella even had an opportunity to respond, she then received a second email. This one was sent not just to her, but to her entire class. (1) The email reads:

“I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time. You guys need to understand that you have priorities now and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention in my class.” (1)

Marcella was both embarrassed and angry. Inappropriate? Prioritize class over the needs of her child, especially when she is fully capable of attending to both at the same time? (1)

She decided that she was not going to accept this rude and ignorant behavior. Marcella knew she had to take a stand for her fellow breastfeeding moms out there. (1)

The Facebook Clap Back

Marcella had a photo of herself sitting in front of her computer taking notes while simultaneously breastfeeding her baby girl. She originally was going to keep it just for herself, but after her professor’s comments, she decided it was important for everyone to see. (1)

“I didn’t want to post this picture because I just wanted it for me but I just wanted to show that I CAN focus in class WHILE breastfeeding my child,” she wrote in her caption on Facebook. (1)

She went on to explain just what was so wrong with her professor’s response:

“It was one thing to send the email telling me what I can and can’t do in my house with my child. But it’s a whole other thing when he announced a “weird” email was received about ‘inappropriate’ things. I felt so unmotivated during class I was so hurt that an actual human said these things about me & my breastfed baby in public to other students. I was humiliated.” (1)

She then reached out to the school’s Title TX coordinator, who immediately apologized to her. She was given permission to turn off her camera and mich to breastfeed her child whenever she needed it. (1)

School Policy

Fresno City College Public Information Officer Kelly Bonilla has since confirmed that there is actually a law in California that requires schools to accommodate students who are pregnant or with young children, including lactation needs. (1)

Though Marcella has since dropped the class for unrelated reasons, she has brought to light an important issue that women and young parents face in both the academic and work setting. (1) Women and parents must be supported so they can have both careers and families, with no exceptions.