Drexel Opens Nursing Mother's Room in Nesbitt Hall
Drexel now has a room dedicated to nursing mothers. It is located on the first floor of Nesbitt Hall, (128C), the new home of the School of Public Health and is available for use by all Drexel students, faculty and staff.
The nursing mother’s room is an important milestone for Drexel University, according to Jennifer Breaux,DrPH, MPH, an assistant professor and director of the undergraduate public health programs whose research focuses on maternal and child health and breast feeding.
“The World Health Organization recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months,” said Breaux, “yet FMLA allows only three months time off. Therefore, returning mothers need to pump at work or between classes for students. This room will offer a safe, warm and nurturing environment.”
Perry McFarland, MBA, SPH’s associate dean for finance and administration, was instrumental in seeing the project through to fruition and championed the idea from a building facilities point of view. Said McFarland, “This space was designed for this specific use from the beginning. The room’s design is efficient and compact and contains a sink, chair and filing cabinet.”
Terri Schmitt, Drexel facilities senior interior designer, followed guidelines set forth by the American Breast Feeding Committee and Human Resources and Services Administration.
Said Breaux, “The project is getting a life of its own. Drexel residence hall representatives have expressed an interest in developing other specifically designed spaces elsewhere on campus.”
Breaux hopes to see at least 10 to 15 new mothers using the facility this year. “Research shows that breastfeeding mothers that have strong support at their places of work and from their employers are more satisfied at their jobs. There is also a higher employee retention rate and a lower rate of absenteeism as compared to breastfeeding mothers who do not have workplace support.”
Breaux is managing the room scheduling through Microsoft Outlook. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.