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First lactation space opens on campus
By Jessica Fish
Monday, October 25, 2004
UNH´s first ever lactation room, locaed in Batcheller House on Rosemary Lane, provides privacy for breastfeeding faculty and staff.
Last week, a small room in Batcheller House reminiscent of a baby's nursery opened its door to breastfeeding women at UNH. The room incorporates a few items not found in an ordinary nursery, including a refrigerator and hospital-grade breast pump.
The room is the first ever lactation space on campus and was created by the UNH Women's Commission. Batcheller House on Rosemary Lane is a two-story building that houses offices for the coordinators of the President's Commission. The lactation space is a private room on the third floor that contains a hospital-grade Medela breast pump, a gliding rocker, CD player and refrigerator for storing milk.
Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to use the room. Women are asked to call ahead to make an appointment to use the space and to bring their own pump attachments for the Medela pump, or to bring their own pump.
Mary Taylor, the coordinator of all the Presidential Commissions, said that the creation of the lactation room was in response to a group of women, staff and faculty who were having difficulty finding space to privately pump on campus. Taylor pointed out that many staff members do not have private offices, and that others work in cubicles, which leaves them with few options.
Gail Klanchesser is a UNH staff member who began looking for a private place to breast pump last year. Eventually, with the help of supporting coworkers, she used an empty conference room and covered the glass door with newspaper. Klanchesser realized there was a demand to create lactation-friendly places after speaking with other breastfeeding women.
"There was a misconception that it could just be done in a bathroom," but one doesn't prepare other meals in the bathroom, Klanchesser pointed out.
The Commission conducted a round table discussion with Klanchesser and other women last semester. During the summer, the Commission bought the pump and created the cozy space on the second floor of Batcheller House.
The Medela pump is an electrically powered pump that allows women to pump both breasts simultaneously if they choose. Pump attachments will be made available to buy at Batcheller House. Taylor hopes that this will provide long-term support for mothers on campus and help make UNH a more family-friendly environment.
Kate Mower is an undergraduate student who worked on the project this summer for the Commission.
"All women need access to a quiet, private and safe space on campus to be able to express their milk," she said.
Mower sees supporting breastfeeding mothers as essential to creating a healthy experience for mother, child and the community.
Currently, Dr. Gale B. Carey, a professor in nutritional sciences, and Athena A. Moutsioulis, a graduate student, are conducting a nutrition and lactation study at UNH.
"Human breast milk is a highly complex mixture of organic and inorganic compounds," Moutsioulis said. "It is important to the health of the infant because it provides a wide array of essential nutrients, calories, growth factors, antibodies and antimicrobial substances."
According to the National Women's Health Center, breast milk is best for a baby's growth and development. It also strengthens the child's immune system. Some researchers believe that breastfed babies may have better brain development that non-breastfed babies. In mothers, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and helps the uterus to resize after giving birth.
For information regarding the lactation space or to make an appointment, please contact the Women's Commission at 862-1058 or Womens.email@example.com. For information on the UNH Nutrition and Lactation study, or if you are a breastfeeding woman interested in partaking in the study, please contact Athena A. Moutsioulis at 862-0664.
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