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Accommodations for Pregnant and/or Breastfeeding Students

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Southwest Minnesota State University prohibits discrimination in its educational programs and activities on the basis of sex. This includes pregnancy and related conditions.  Any complaints of harassment or discrimination due to pregnancy should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator.

Students who are pregnant or breastfeeding may request adjustments based on general pregnancy or breastfeeding needs or the ADA disability accommodations based on a pregnancy-related complication.  Accommodations may include extensions for assignments, schedule changes, reasonable breaks to express milk, excused absences from class, furniture adjustments and food/drink allow in class.

To get started………

  • If pregnancy related adjustments are needed, we ask that you provide documentation to guide our office in determining what is appropriate. This Request for Accommodations Due to Pregnancy form should be completed by your health provider.  Accessibility Services will email the student upon receipt of this supporting paperwork to invite a meeting.
  • Please call Accessibility Services (507-537-6492) to schedule a meeting.

Absences and Making Up Missed Work

Students absent for medically necessary reasons related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding are allowed to return to the same academic status as before the absences and be allowed to make up missed work, including any missed participation-related points, as long as the student’s doctor deems the absence medically necessary.  Instructor’s rules about attendance and make-up work generally cannot override the legal accommodation requirements.

Mother's Rooms

Space is available on the SMSU campus for students, staff and faculty to breastfeed or pump milk in a private and clean individual room at the following locations:

Frequently Asked Questions for Pregnant and Parenting Students


Do TITLE IX protections for pregnant students and parenting students apply to undergraduate and graduate students?

Yes, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Sex includes pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions such as abortion.  Southwest Minnesota State University receives federal funding and therefore legally required to comply with Title IX.  The protections afforded to pregnant and parenting students until Title IX applies equally to all students on the SMSU campus, regardless of whether they are undergraduate or graduate students.

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Do I have to go through Accessibility Services to receive accommodations?

It is strongly recommended that students go through Accessibility Services to receive accommodations but, no. Our pregnant and parenting students are not required to go through Accessibility Services to get accommodations.  If a student chooses to proceed with an accommodation through Accessibility Services, then Accessibility Services will ensure that the policies and practices of the individual instructors are aligned with Title IX regulations and do not discriminate against pregnant students.

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I am a graduate student and currently have a Graduate Assistantship, can I get accommodations for my Graduate Assistantship?

Yes.  Accessibility Services have previously assisted students who have graduate assistantships.  Accommodations may differ depending on the assistantship and the type of pregnancy and medical documentation provided. 

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I want to breastfeed and/or pump for my infant, where can I do that on campus?

There are two lactation rooms located on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus. 

The Woman’s Center has space for students and employees to breastfeed and pump.  They also have a refrigerator available for breast milk storage and lactation supplies. 

For more information on Pregnant and Parenting Students, visit the National Women’s Law Center  and Frequently Asked Questions,

There are several excellent community resources for additional information on health care and child care options.

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Pregnant or Parenting Know Your Rights

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Last Modified: 3/20/23 3:28 PM | Website Feedback