Nursing student Reagan Lizardi needed a space at school to do another kind of nursing – to pump milk for her 4-month-old daughter.
“I was instructed to use a restroom to pump,” Lizardi said. “For some women, it can be difficult to pump if they are uncomfortable or not in a calm environment.”
“Fortunately, I was told about the lactation rooms before the semester begun,” she added.
The Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society identified a need for designated lactation rooms at Polk State College’s Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses when a few Nursing students became new moms.
The rooms at WMS 104 and LMA 8003 opened in Spring 2017, but the Honor Society and Nursing program held official grand openings this month to raise awareness about the rooms’ availability to all students, faculty, and staff.
“This is an example of students supporting students,” Professor of Nursing Jean McDonnell-Bennett said. “The group (Honor Society) came up with the idea to have a dedicated space when they saw a need for it.”
Ashley Edmund, a student with the Honor Society, cut the ribbon – actually, red and black crepe paper – on Sept. 6 to officially open the Winter Haven room.
She said the rooms are not only helpful to those who will use them, but they are also a good opportunity for students in the Honor Society to display informational projects and posters they are working on about different health topics, including lactation.
The projects aren’t on display yet, but the Honor Society envisions the rooms with the posters and more decorations to make the moms feel more comfortable in the spaces.
The College has provided the rooms and some furnishings – chairs, side tables, and other basics. The Honor Society students are sponsoring the rooms with upkeep and additions to the rooms.
“We really just wanted to provide them with a private, comfortable space,” Edmund said.
Lizardi will make use of the rooms at both campuses.
“I’m very grateful to have a dedicated space to sit and pump,” she said. “It’s better than having to use my car or the restroom.”
“Without designated lactation rooms, it would be more difficult for me to attend my classes and continue breastfeeding.”