Accommodating Pregnant and Lactating Students
Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Heather Cowan, M.A.
Title IX and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 both prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Title IX includes specific protections for pregnant and lactating students. Student affairs professionals are frequently the ones who bridge the gaps between students and faculty when difficult conversations arise. One of those difficult conversations for students is around disclosing a pregnancy to a faculty member and asking for academic accommodations. We are required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant students that we would provide for any student with a temporary medical condition and can’t discourage a student from pursuing a specific program or class because of pregnancy. One-size-fits-all attendance policies that many faculty have can violate Title IX when it comes to pregnancy and lactation. This webinar will discuss the various requirements for academic accommodations for pregnant and lactating students under Title IX with real-life scenarios and how they were resolved. We will discuss the differences for graduate vs. undergraduate students and offer some practical tips to support pregnant and lactating students on campus.
- Participants will be able to list the main requirements under Title IX that apply to pregnant or lactating students
- Participants will learn basic requirements for lactation support programs under current regulations as well as best practices
- Participants will come away with practical tips for improving their campus support to pregnant and lactating students
- Participants will get some ideas for communicating to faculty about these required accommodations
Heather Cowan, M.A., has over 15 years of professional experience working with diverse student populations in sexual health, student conduct and civil rights investigations. She is currently the Title IX Coordinator at the University of New Mexico. Previously, she was the Sexual Misconduct Program Manager in the Office of Student Conflict Resolution at the University of Michigan and an Investigator with UM’s Office for Institutional Equity.