CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Under federal health care requirements, employers are required to provide break time for nursing mothers with lactation needs.
But finding privacy can be difficult.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is pleased to provide multiple lactation rooms across campus to meet the needs of nursing mothers.
The University just recently opened its third lactation room. This new room is an example of the school’s commitment to support new mothers as they return to work and school.
“It benefits everybody. It is a win-win situation for everyone," says Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Executive Assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Maricela Alexander. "I would like to see, my hope is that we get them across campus in different buildings. The need is there, and we can accommodate that need for whoever needs it.”
Whether you are a student or an employee, you are entitled to opportunities during the day to breastfeed or express milk.
“This allows women to be here at work, nearby, near their offices, near where they have class so they can take care of this in a private space, where they can relax and not be interrupted in a space that is clean so they can preserve their babies' milk,” said Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Lisa Comparini.
Katelyn Hoipkemier, administrative associate at the university, agrees.
Before having her child a couple of months ago, Hoipkemier said she was worried about where she would pump and store milk while on campus.
“You don’t have to think about it; you don’t have to consider what you are going to do, how many times you are going to do it, and obviously having a very supportive administration helps in the relief of that stress," Hoipkemier said. "But knowing that the easy convenience of being able to take care of my needs is just, it does, it really alleviates that stress and makes life much simpler.”
In the lactation room in the Faculty Center, accommodations can be found for two nursing mothers at a time. The room features rocking chairs, a mini-fridge, a noise-canceling machine, and a wall partition; it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“It is not just progressive, but it is something that is needed. And it is almost a no-brainer as to why we would even need these,” said Alexander.
The newest addition is located on the second floor of the Faculty Center and is open to students, faculty, and staff.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding lowers mothers’ risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. It also reduces infants’ risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.