Some resources at Clark are well advertised while some fall through the cracks, like the lactation station. For over five years, Clark has provided a private place to pump in the Counseling and Health Center located in the Health and Science building.
Information about the lactation station can always be found on the Clark’s website under Counseling and Health Center directory. Information can also be seen on the resource and event slideshows that play on the big monitors located in the student center and other monitors around campus.
The college’s lactation station shares a location with the physical exam rooms in the Counseling and Health Center.
The Counseling and Health Center program coordinator Marianne Luther sees over the lactation station, along with the rest of the department. When asked if she considered advertising more, Luther said that she has reached out to communications in marketing about having an icon on the map directories that are seen around campus.
Her concerns with the current status of the lactation station is that it could be in a better location, it could be more visible, and it could have less constricted hours of availability.
“It’s great, but it could be better.” Luther said, ”We’re kind of out of the way so it’s tough for students that are across campus that have to come all the way here with enough time to pump and then go back to class.”
Offering more advertisement on campus about the location of the lactation station for breast feeding students is a crucial resource for pursuing their degree. Not only does it provide a place to pump milk so parents can comfortably and easily move through their day on campus, but it provides support by welcoming the decision to breastfeed.
New parents face many problems while entering back into the work and college world such as separation anxiety, postpartum depression, affordable and appropriate child care and the problem of where to pump milk, if that parent breast feeds.
Providing students with a lactation station prevents nursing moms from having to pump milk in their cars, in bathrooms, or from pumping milk at all. “There is no better alternative to a lactation station.” Luther said, “Going in your car that’s not really private, and going in a restroom is not very hygienic. It’s a monitored space here so students can feel secure in those rooms without thinking that they’re going to get walked in on.”
Typically, milk flow is determined by the baby. Medela breastfeeding tips say “The more you breastfeed, the more efficient the baby is in emptying the breasts, the more milk your body produces.” So pumping milk is a good substitution for the baby and good for keeping up milk supply.
Breastfeeding goes beyond feeding a baby belly, according to the Save the Children Organization, breastfeeding can boost a babies immunity as well as reduce a mothers chance of ovarian and breast cancer.
Providing time and space to dedicated breastfeeding parents is ultimately helping them nurture members of our future generation. “We have a lot of students who are parents and it’s important to support all of our students, even the ones who are parenting.” Luther said.
Jan. 31 2020 Update: It was brought to my attention that there is a lactation room in Foster Arts center 121. This is considered the main lactation room and the key for the room can be checked out at the Human Resources Office.