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April 17, 2014 - USA Medical Center Opens New Lactation Room
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Breastfeeding mothers now have a place to go at USA Medical Center when they need to pump. A lactation room on the seventh floor officially opened last month.

The lactation room was the project of a Professional Action Coordinating Team, or PACT, from the Nursing Congress led by Nurse Educator Anna Gillman, a registered nurse. Gillman, a mother of two, had been a breastfeeding mother herself and knew the obstacles first-hand.

“Finding a secure, private place to pump is a challenge for a new mother returning to work wanting to breastfeed her baby,” Gillman said. “We wanted to designate a special room, so women could have a secure, clean place to pump.”

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Nursing mothers have to pump on a regular basis during the day, otherwise the body automatically decreases milk supply. For some women, the buildup of milk also becomes uncomfortable. In the lactation room, a new mother can pump the milk and put it in the provided refrigerator to feed her baby later when she gets home.

“There is so much evidence about how breastfeeding is healthier both for the baby and Mom since it boosts the baby’s immune system,” said USAMC Assistant Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Mestas. “Being a healthcare community, we are more aware of these facts and are helping to support this practice.”

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Nearly 75 percent of USA Medical Center’s employees are women.

The PACT received approval from administration to commandeer a seventh floor maintenance room for the project. Furniture and a refrigerator were donated. The room is supplied with pumps, a sink and has cordoned-off areas for privacy. The room is also padlocked and users have to sign up to gain access.

Several women have taken advantage of the new resource. One component of the PACT project is to keep track of the number of users to determine the room’s long-term sustainability.

To schedule time in the room or for more information, contact Anna Gillman: agillman@health.southalabama.edu.

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