Provided by Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University held a ribbon cutting Thursday, Dec. 1 to announce the completion of five on-campus nursing rooms and its designation as a mother-friendly workplace.
The program began in June when the Texas Department of State Health Services awarded Texas Tech a grant of $70,000 to implement the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite policy initiative. Texas Tech is one of a select group of businesses in Texas serving as a pilot worksite during the grant period to test strategies, tools and messaging regarding worksite lactation support.
The purpose of the program is to provide a safe, quiet and private place for nursing mothers to express milk. The program also aims to educate the entire Texas Tech community on the benefits of breastfeeding and the needs and resources available for nursing mothers while on campus.
Texas Tech renovated five rooms across campus for convenience and furnished each with a hospital grade breast pump, comfortable chair, access to hot water and other items to facilitate the expression of milk by nursing mothers. Specific locations can be found on the attached map. Resources and support for nursing mothers were also added to the Texas Tech Human Resources website.
The Mother-Friendly Workplace program will serve nursing mothers among approximately 2,179 Texas Tech female employees and approximately 14,223 Texas Tech female graduate and undergraduate students.
A 2009 survey of this population found that 78 percent of respondents had breastfed a child while working at or attending Texas Tech. Before the completion of these rooms, women were nursing in offices, bathroom stalls, closets or their cars. Many chose to stop nursing because it was too difficult to find adequate facilities on campus. Texas Tech's mother-friendly workplace designation now provides nursing mothers access to sanitary and private facilities and campus-wide support.