New State Law Requires Rooms For Breastfeeding In Public Schools by The 21st published on 2017-12-14T19:36:31Z In 2015 more than 8,000 teen mothers gave birth according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. And new teen mothers heading back to school face a lot of obstacles when they return to class. A new state law might make that transition easier. It goes into effect January 1st and requires public schools in Illinois to provide a room for students to breastfeed. Meaning a room, besides the bathroom, which is where many students have had to pump and feed in the past. The law also says the room must have an electrical outlet and a fridge where students can store milk. Finally, students cannot be penalized for missing class due to needing to pump. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first six months, a study from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health finds more teenage mothers switch to formula within the first few weeks than their older counterparts. We were joined on the line from Chicago by Pat Mosena, who is the founder and president of Options For Youth. Don Owen, superintendent for the Urbana School District, was also with us in our Urbana studio.