CWLC Initiative: The ABCs of Breastfeeding (2021)

Title IX prohibits all forms of gender discrimination in schools, including any limits placed on female students who need to express milk. Additionally, California laws require most schools to provide reasonable accommodations to lactating pupils and adequately address their needs related to breastfeeding.

In 2015, CWLC partnered with the ACLU of Southern California and BreastfeedLA (The Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles) to perform an initial audit of the state of lactation accommodations for students and employees in Los Angeles County schools. Together, we published our findings in the ABCs of Breastfeeding in Los Angeles County report card which found the average grade across all schools was a “D.” Only ten out of eighty-one districts had adopted the appropriate breastfeeding policies, and only 25% of districts had posted their Title IX Coordinator on their website as required by law.

Since then, CWLC has prioritized bringing school districts into full compliance. In 2017, we worked with BreastfeedLA to produce another report, Lactation 101, which broadened our coverage to more than one hundred colleges, universities, and institutes of higher learning in Los Angeles County. We established a set of five criteria to determine the accessibility of lactation policies. Still, of the 107 institutions evaluated, only four schools met four or more of the criteria, and a staggering 39% of schools did not meet any.

After years of partnering with schools and institutions to guide compliance efforts, CWLC released a 2019 updated ABCs of Breastfeeding report card for Los Angeles County school districts. We are proud to report that sixty-three districts now have both employee and student lactation accommodation policies in place, and 100% of districts are compliant with the Title IX notification requirements.

CWLC is expanding this work to school districts across the state, and we continue to provide assistance to districts striving to meet the criteria necessary to receive an “A” grade and fully support their students and staff.

You can read our press release and media coverage from NBC4The Downy Patriot, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and KPCC, and find our report cards and other information below.

ABCs of Breastfeeding Report Card (expanded statewide in 2021)Download 
ABCs of Breastfeeding Report (2019 Updated Report)Download 
ABCs of Breastfeeding Report (expanded to include higher education in 2017)Download 
ABCs of Breastfeeding Report (initial 2016 findings)Download 
Federal and State Laws Requiring School Districts to Accommodate and Not Discriminate Against Lactating Employees and StudentsDownload