Breast-Feeding In Class: AU Professor Sparks Controversy with Hungry Baby

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Archive photo of woman breast feeding her child. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Archive photo of woman breast feeding her child. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — American University professor Adrienne Pine sparked controversy by breast-feeding her child in front of her class.

Knowing daycare was not an option due to the baby’s fever, and feeling pressure not to cancel the first day of class, Pine says she decided to bring her daughter with her to work.

A teacher’s assistant tried to occupy the sometimes fussy child while Pine attempted to rush through a lecture in her “Sex, Gender Culture” class.

As she grew increasingly restless, Pine briefly fed her while continuing the talk. In her blog, the professor said the child fell asleep shortly thereafter.

The controversy began when a student in Pine’s class reported the incident to the school’s newspaper.

Reaction on campus has been largely mixed.

“If she couldn’t find a family member or someone to take care of her, I still would think it’s really inappropriate to bring the baby to work,” sophomore Brian Kim said. “I still don’t think it’s necessary to do that or if she did, she should have left the classroom.”

The university does not have a policy that specifically addresses breast-feeding in class and adheres to District laws which say a mother may legally do so in public.

“AU provides for reasonable break times and a private area to express milk for a nursing child for up to one year from the child’s birth,” a university statement read.

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