Support for Pregnant, Postpartum and Breastfeeding Students

Durham Tech seeks to be a supportive environment for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding students. We provide personal consultation to expecting students to assist with academic planning and accessing resources both on campus and in the community to meet needs and concerns. 

If you are in your third trimester or have a newborn, connect with the Student Parent Success Network to receive a free New Baby Care Package!

Resources for Faculty

What are your Rights?

Get informed about your rights under Title IX.

Excused Absences and Accommodations

Excused Absences: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) requires Durham Tech to adopt a policy to excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor says it is necessary. The College will provide students the following:

  • The opportunity to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before the student’s medical leave began;
  • The opportunity to make up any any missed work, tests , or be provided with an alternative assignment or assessment; and
  • The same special services it provides to students with temporary medical conditions.
  • The College shall ensure that instructors understand the Title IX requirements related to excused absences. Instructors may not refuse to allow students to submit work after a missed deadline due to pregnancy or childbirth. If an instructor’s grading is based in part on class participation or attendance, and a student missed class due to pregnancy or childbirth, the student should be allowed to make up the participation or attendance credits.

Students who wish to use an excused absence for pregnancy or childbirth must submit a Pregnancy/Childbirth Notification form and any supporting documentation as soon as possible.

View the Class Attendance policy and procedure for more information.

Breastfeeding/Lactation: Breastfeeding/lactating students should be allowed reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible.

Accessibility Services: Durham Tech provides disability accommodations and services designed to create equal access to the many aspects of education. Pregnant students may qualify for reasonable accommodations based on complications related to pregnancy, a temporarily medical condition, and/or a disability. Learn more about Accessibility Services or email with questions.

For assistance, please complete the Pregnancy/Childbirth Notification form. The Title IX Coordinator, Accessibility Services Coordinator, or designee will be in contact to request a meeting to review support options and more.

Promoting Academic Success: Key Options, Support, and Accommodations for Pregnant/Postpartum Students

At this significant moment in your life, Durham Tech aims to ensure you feel supported towards your goals, informed about your rights, and empowered to make informed choices about your options.

Here are a few examples of options pregnant and postpartum students may request, depending on your circumstances and needs. For support navigating these options and developing an appropriate support plan, students are encouraged to submit a Pregnancy/Childbirth Notification form.

  • Request Academic Supports/Accommodations: Students are encouraged to complete the Pregnancy and Childbirth Notification Form and speak with their instructors as soon as they are aware an adjustment will be necessary. Students and instructors may mutually agree upon adjustments, so long as the agreed upon adjustments do not alter the learning outcomes or access to educational opportunities for the student, as protected under Title IX. When medical documentation is needed to support a request for accommodations, students/instructors should connect with Accessibility Services, and/or complete the Pregnancy and Childbirth Notification form. Supports/accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
    • Providing adjustments requested by pregnant students to protect the health and safety of students and/or the pregnancy (such as allowing students to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances)
    • Making modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating, or being able to sit rather than stand)
    • Extending deadlines and/or allowing students to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy or postpartum-related absences
    • Offering alternative learning options, such as a written assignment in place of an exam
    • Excusing medically necessary absences
    • Providing more frequent or longer breaks (including bathroom breaks and breaks for lactation/breastfeeding)
    • Requesting an incomplete in a course when applicable and appropriate
  • Incomplete Grade (Make-up Work Required): The grade of I may be assigned if a student has completed at least eighty (80) percent of the coursework and has a grade of C or better at the time of the I grade request. The I grade is reserved for extenuating circumstances (which may include circumstances related to pregnancy and childbirth) and is not appropriate for students who otherwise fail to turn in final assignments by the last regular class day or fail to appear for the final examination. Deans have the discretion to determine grading options for students who have completed less than eighty (80) percent of the coursework but have maintained a grade of C or better average at the time of the I grade request. Students who wish to request the I grade must confer with their instructor and submit their request on or before the last class day of the term. If the request is approved by the instructor and the dean, the request will include written instructions specifying the work to be completed and the completion deadline. Refer to details in the Grading System policy and procedure for more information on receiving an Incomplete Grade.
  • Medical Withdrawal: Students with medical situations that necessitate requesting withdrawal from all or some credit courses past the established withdrawal deadline for the applicable term may decide to request a Medical Withdrawal. Students requesting a medical withdrawal may request an exception to only withdraw from specific courses (and not all), if they meet established exceptions to do so. View details on withdrawal policies.
Key Durham Tech Contacts

Accessibility Services: Connect with Accessibility Services for assistance requesting accommodations during pregnancy or following childbirth. Email or call 919-536-7208.

Title IX Coordinator: If you feel you have been a victim of sexual or gender discrimination or inequity, Durham Tech has a system of care and support to provide you with assistance. Learn more about Sexual Misconduct/Title IX and how to file a complaint.

Resources for Faculty

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) “makes it illegal to discriminate because of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or related conditions, including recovery (“Title IX Basics,” The Pregnant Scholar).

To adhere to Title IX, all instructors should understand the Title IX requirements related to excused absences/leave and accommodations for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding students.

  • Review details related to Absences and Accommodations for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding students in the section above.
  • Review examples of supports and accommodations in the section above.
  • Encourage the student to complete the Pregnancy/Childbirth Notification form, which is received by the Title IX Coordinator and the Accessibility Services Coordinator.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • When in doubt or with any questions, contact the Title IX Coordinator and/or Accessibility Services Coordinator.

Additional Resources for Faculty Regarding Title IX Basics and Best Practices:

Community Pregnancy Support Resources

County Departments of Public Health: Prenatal care and childbirth classes; Newborn home visiting and postpartum care; Family planning. Accept Medicaid and most insurance; Fees for uninsured patients are based on income, and some services are free of charge.

Equity Before Birth: Offering Black birthing persons connections to and financial assistance to cover culturally affirming prenatal services, including doula services, childbirth education, and more. 

MAAME, Inc: Birth, postpartum, and lactation support for Black, Indigenous, and other birthing people of color provided by doulas. 

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Benefits: WIC is a food assistance program for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and children under 5. WIC can also provide access to free prenatal vitamins to help you get essential nutrients needed during pregnancy.

  • Durham County WIC: Call Lincoln Community Health Clinic WIC Office at 919-956-4042
  • Orange County WIC: Call Orange County Health Department at 919-245-2422 or 919-245-2447
  • Wake County WIC: Call Wake County WIC Program at 919-250-4720
New Baby Resources

Diapers:Diapers, wipes, and baby food are available through the Durham Tech Campus Harvest Food Pantry. Location and hours

Pac n Play: If you do not have a crib or other safe place for your new baby to sleep, community partners can provide a Pac n Play with a built-in bassinet for $15 or less. Email Mina Abdul-Mutakallim at, 919-536-7200, ext. 1817 for a referral.

Car Seats: Welcome Baby can provide a car seat for your little one for just $10! Contact Alfonso at 919-560-0535 to learn more.

Baby Clothes: Welcome Baby’s Giving Closet provides clothing items for sizes newborn – 7/8. The Giving Closet is currently open by appointment only. Call 919-560-1750 for details.

Free (Virtual) Nurse Home Visits: Family Connects Durham provides no-cost postpartum home visits, available for all parents of newborns in Durham. Sign up for a (virtual) home visit at the Center for Child and Family Health or call 919-385-0777.

Support for Paid Leave and Essential Services after Childbirth: Equity Before Birth offers sponsorship for Black birthing persons, including  supplemental income in the absence of paid parental leave and/or support covering the cost of essential services following childbirth. Email Joy Spencer

Breastfeed Durham: Many support resources and a comprehensive community-wide calendar of free lactation support groups.

Welcome Baby: Provides classes in English and Spanish for families with children age 1-5, along with free diapers and children’s clothing. Email Cindy Riley or call 919-560-7319 to learn more.

La Leche League: Provides mother-to-mother support, encouragement, and education for breastfeeding. Virtual group meetings available.

Triangle Area Parenting Support: Connects parents to neighborhood based peer support groups, information, and resources.

Books, Books, and more Books! 

Ready4K: A free text message service for parents of children age birth to eight that gives the information needed to help build children’s language and literacy skills by the time they start kindergarten. Sign up to receive these practical and encouraging texts. Text DPFC to 70138

Postpartum Support

Postpartum Support International: “We want you to know: You are not alone and you are not to blame. Help is available. You will get better.” Connect with meaningful supports 24/7 by calling 800-944-4773 or texting 503-894-9453. 

Equity Before Birth: Offering sponsorship for postpartum support for Black birthing persons, including supplemental income for up to 3 months of maternity leave, grocery deliveries, and postpartum/new baby kits. Email Joy Spencer

Emerald Doulas: Peer support and judgment-free community when motherhood feels overwhelming. For women experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders during pregnancy or the post-partum period.