Hunter: This legislation will keep young mothers in school

mother baby

SPRINGFIELD – Many mothers often worry about finding a safe place to nurse or breastfeed. Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago), public and charter schools will now be authorized to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to students.
“Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants, “said Hunter. “It’s important that we provide our youth, especially, with a private, clean and safe place to produce milk for their young. This bill will also keep many of our young mothers in school who often times miss out because of the restrictions of the campus environment.”

House Bill 2369 requires public and charter schools to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to pupils. Furthermore, a school campus shall provide reasonable accommodations for a lactating student to provide breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding.

Reasonable accommodations can be defined as:
• Access to a private and secure room other than a restroom to express breast milk or breastfeed an infant child;
• Access a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk; and
• Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.

The legislation was signed into law and takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.