Title IX prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against pregnant students based upon their marital status and cannot discriminate against a student because of childbirth, false pregnancy, or recovery from related conditions. Under Title IX, a pregnant student can obtain a leave of absence from UMass Amherst for as long as it is deemed medically necessary to be absent and to resume the academic status held when the leave began. You do not have to drop out of your classes, program, or change your educational plans due to pregnancy, but you may be required to make up work that is missed. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students Office.
- Office of Family Resources
- Disability Services – accommodations for pregnancy related conditions
- Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School by the Office for Civil Rights
- Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students
- National Women's Law Center (NWLC) – Pregnant and Parenting Students’ Rights: FAQs for College and Graduate Students
Access to childcare is key in balancing work/school and family life. UMass Amherst provides a childcare tuition assistance program for student parents, on-campus childcare through the Center for Early Education in Childhood (CEEC), and information about various community childcare centers and programs through the Office of Family Resources (OFR). Information on babysitting and childcare co-ops is available here.
Breastfeeding & Pumping Areas on Campus
Breastfeeding is not limited to specific areas on campus. For those who would like more private space for breastfeeding or pumping, however, the campus has an number of specifically designated lactation rooms. A map of these spaces is available at go.umass.edu. Individuals who need private space for breastfeeding or pumping are also encouraged to speak with the Office of Family Resources or their office supervisors. In many cases, space beyond officially designated lactation rooms is available.
- Amherst Family Center, a program of the Office of Family Resources, located in downtown Amherst, provides families with parenting education workshops, support groups, and respite from the pressures of parenting.
- Mothers of Color Awareness Initiative offers groups and activities including a weekly support group cosponsored by MotherWoman and the Women of Color Leadership Network of UMass Amherst.
- MotherWoman is an Amherst based organization that offers a Postpartum Stress Support group in Northampton. 24 hour Parental Stress Line 1-800-632-8188 is a toll-free helpline for Massachusetts parents and caregivers with problems related to their children.
- Adoption Journeys, a program of Berkshire Children & Families, located in Hadley, provides families with post-adoption support services, including support groups, liaisons, and limited respite services.
- The Student Legal Services Office can provide UMass Amherst students with counsel, advice, legal representation, and referral for child support concerns and child custody disputes.
- The Parenting Resource Directory can connect you to resources in Western Massachusetts.
Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Sexual Assault Survivors
- Sexual Assault and Pregnancy – Nurturing the Survivor
- Breastfeeding as a Rape or Sexual Abuse Survivor
- Coerced Pregnancy and Partner Rape and Pregnancy Resources
- 7 Ways Sexual Trauma Can Affect Someone During Pregnancy
- About Partner Abuse During Pregnancy