Teenage mothers in California could soon be given the space and resources to breastfeed their children in school if Gov. Jerry Brown approves a bill currently awaiting his signature by October.
AB 302, introduced by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Los Angeles County), would mandate schools allow the appropriate space and time necessary for student mothers to breastfeed their children on school grounds.
The bill would not require the school to construct new space for breastfeeding mothers, but would instead designate certain areas for those mothers to feed their children.
“They have to give up pumping,” Garcia told Capital Public Radio of the impetus for introducing the bill. “Or some of them try to pump and they’re trying to do it in the five minute breaks and it’s not enough time. And if they are able to pump, they have to do it in the bathroom. That’s your child’s food. Is that really where you want to be?”
The bill would add AB 302’s Section 222 to the state Education Code, under which the following measures would apply to all California schools:
(1) Access to a private and secure room, other than a restroom, to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child.(2) Permission to bring onto a school campus a breast pump and any other equipment used to express breast milk.(3) Access to a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk.(4) Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.