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Ashland University opens new nursing mothers room

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Ashland University has opened its new Nursing Mother’s Room on the second floor of the student center.

The room gives mothers a private place to nurse or express milk while on Ashland University’s campus. The Nursing Mother’s room is open 24/7. All mothers have to do is get the key from safety services.

Ashland University Campus Wellness Director, Deborah Sullivan, was one of the leaders in the project.

“Actually the idea came about with our Eagle Well Advising Group,” Sullivan said. “One of our members was flying and they noticed that there was a lactation room in the airport and they came back and said we should have one on our campus.”

Sullivan was pleasantly surprised at how well the Nursing Mother’s Room turned out.

“So it was way beyond our expectations,” Sullivan said. We looked up information on what would be a basic room and so on I presented that information to Rick Ewing and the operations folks and they came up with this beautiful room.”

Director of Recreational Services, Janel Molnar and Administrative Assistant for Recreational Services, Jill Mackenzie are nursing mothers themselves. They were both an integral part of the room’s development.

“Debbie just kind of asked us since we are nursing mothers what we needs do we normally have,” Mackenzie said. “Do we need a refrigerator, do we need soap, do we need all of this? So we just kind of helped in that sense.”

The room has a reclining chair, a table, and magazines. There is also a sink and a refrigerator available for use.

The room has multiple outlets for mothers who need to pump according to Sullivan.

“In the hallway, we have lockers so if they choose to bring their pump and store it here there’s a place in the hallway where they can do that,” Sullivan said.

The Nursing Mother’s room is open to everyone including faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

“I think it’s so great that we finally have this space,” Molnar said. “So both of us working within the rec center, we have a lot of different groups and rentals that come in so not only can the space be utilized by students, faculty and staff, but also visitors that are here on campus as well.”

One of the goals of the nursing mother’s room is to promote breastfeeding for new mothers. According to Sullivan, it is recommended that mothers who can nurse breastfeed for the first 12 months of their baby’s life. Breastfeeding helps babies get proper nutrition and builds immunity. It also helps with bonding and aids in postpartum recovery.

“I just think that it’s great that AU is going along with other colleges and other places to have a public place to provide for nursing mothers,” Mackenzie said. “It’s very rare right now so it’s kind of cool that they are on the forefront of doing that.”

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