New lactation room open for student-moms
Edmonds College's new, private lactation room, outfitted with comfortable chairs and couches, is in Brier Hall 246.
A private room for breastfeeding moms is in Brier Hall 246.
“Having a quiet, comfortable place to breastfeed or pump helps student moms, and gives babies a healthy start in life,” said Snohomish Health District Breastfeeding Coordinator Lily Sheremeta. The Health District provides services through the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program at its clinic near the college in Lynnwood, as well as in downtown Everett.
“Breastfed babies get sick less often, which means fewer missed classes and better education for student moms,” added Sheremeta.
Helping WIC mothers to breastfeed — and continue for at least six months — is the highest health priority of the WIC Program. Trained staff and peer counselors help pregnant mothers plan for breastfeeding and support them through the beginning stages of breastfeeding. WIC also loans breast pumps to mothers so they can continue breastfeeding when they return to work or school.
Kristina Madden attended Edmonds CC as a breastfeeding mom and working mother of three. She spearheaded the effort to get a lactation room on campus by working with student leaders and the college’s Center for Student Engagement and Leadership. Madden excelled at the college, where she studied the immunobiology of breast milk in her honors classes and earned a prestigious national scholarship. She also worked as a breastfeeding peer counselor for WIC.
“It was important to me to know I was continuing to give my child the best nutrition as well as helping keep both of us healthy. It was also an important way for me to stay connected to my child through a rough transition back to school,” said Madden, now a nursing student at the University of Washington.
Thirty-three percent of students at Edmonds College have children in their care. The college serves more than 20,000 students annually.