||New mothers pump
breast milk at Lactation Station
By Sonal Patel
The University of Houston College of Optometry has constructed a Lactation Station for new mothers, making it more convenient for women to pump breast milk while away from their infants and homes.
Located on the second floor of the J. Davis Armistead Building, the station caters to at least 200 female members of the professional college.
According to UH College of Optometry Dean Jerald Strickland, the initiator of the Lactation Station, the number of women entering optometry has increased dramatically in the past decade. There is now a trend of greater numbers of professional students and faculty becoming new mothers and choosing to breast-feed their babies at work and school.
Sixty percent of the Fall 1998 entering class was comprised of women, while more than 250 female staff members were in an eligible condition to use the station, said Strickland.
"The Station was created not only to service mothers in the college, but mainly for the babies who deserve to be breast-fed," he said.
"It is a good public health policy, because making mother’s milk available for the baby increases its immunity and nourishes it more. The ‘babies’ asked me to do this for them."
The station is a small room, furnished with a sanitary and secured breast-pump and refrigerator, an area rug and one solitairy chair.
"All facilities will be kept sanitary and locked — only mothers have the key to the refrigerator, and the entire room itself is a lockable area for privacy purposes," Strickland said.
The station has been available for more than a month and is being utilized effectively.
Though it is the first Lactation Station at the University, Strickland
hopes that other colleges will follow in its footsteps and mandate Lactation
Stations of their own.
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