(CNN) Assistant professor Adrienne Pine is starting her fourth year at American University in Washington D.C.
The single mom normally leaves her daughter Lee at a day care while she goes to work, but on the first day of classes, her daughter woke up with a slight fever.
"I didn't have emergency day care and I couldn't bring her to the regular day care. So I was faced with difficult choice of being there for my students, which as a professional is the most important thing for me to do, or being there for my daughter. And the only way I could do both of those was bring my daughter to class," says Pine.
During her class of 40 students, her daughter began fussing. Pine who says she has nursed her daughter at other public places and started to breastfeed her daughter during class.
"I very discreetly fed her. I don't believe any part of my breast was showing. I don't think my nipple was showing. The most important thing for me was feeding her and within a couple of minutes she fell asleep," says Pine.
One student, Jake Carias was shocked and tweeted the professor was a total feminist.
"She could have taken a sick day, stayed with the child, the TA would have came into the class, read the syllabus, gave us an explanation as to why she wasn't there, our class would have left early, and nobody would have complained. There would have been no problems at all. A professor missing a class on occasion is perfectly normal- there's nothing wrong with that. She kind of blew it up in the wrong way" says Carias.
Sophomore Nia McCarthy was in the class.
"She let us know that she was about to, so I wasn't too surprised. I think she handled it in the most professional way that she could."
The breast-feeding incident happened in a class called "Sex, Gender and Culture."
Pine says she didn't want to cancel the first day of the class because her daughter was sick. The university says it doesn't have a policy on breast-feeding but it does give new mothers breaks and a private place to pump breast milk.