I am writing for a change in wording of the Policy regarding children in class.
Higher education is something sought after by many who are also leading full everyday lives. This often includes new mothers. It should not become a choice for a new mother between attending classes or nursing/bonding with their child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and La Leche League International advises that mother and baby need to be together to establish a satisfying relationship and healthy milk supply.
With these recommendations, it would be beneficial for new mothers to be allowed to bring their newborns with them to class. Current policy asks that students not bring children to class unless they have no other choice and to speak with the instructor beforehand. Newborns are not children who are active and disruptive. A mother can discretely nurse a child without disrupting the course of a class. It would be beneficial for these new mothers if the wording of the policy were changed to allow and encourage them to bring infants up to 8 weeks old with them to class. While the campus currently has a Lactation Station, this still means the mother is leaving her class and missing valuable learning time. As a world-class institution, the University of Washington should be at the forefront of supporting women in attaining their desired degree.
Kimberly R Doering
As a member of the Master in Social Work program at the Tacoma Campus, I would like to see a change made to the policy regarding children attending class.
Currently the programs blanket all children as not welcome in class, however, with many women trying to “be everything to everyone” and this includes becoming mothers, often times while they are attaining advanced degrees. I feel an adjustment is due. Babies under the age of 8 weeks are not welcome at daycare. What is a new mother to do? New babies sleep over 17 hours a day. I feel these mothers should be allowed to bring their babies to class, as long as they are quiet and do not disturb others. This policy would allow mothers less separation time from their newborn, when bonding is still occurring. It would also facilitate and encourage breastfeeding, something our society is not doing a great job of promoting.