A Mothers Place is a room designed to provide a clean, private and comfortable facility for lactating mothers who want to continue breast feeding while at the college, to go to express their milk.
Breastfeeding forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness. It is recognized as the preferred method of infant feeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Diabetic Association, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Public Health Association and the Healthy Babies Coalition.
Consequently, California’s governor, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have proposed that by 2010 75% of mother’s begin breastfeeding after birth and 50% maintain breastfeeding until their infants are 6 months of age. One way to support this endeavor is to provide working women and students with a private and hygienic area where they can go to express their breast milk. Until now, Sierra College has had no such facility.
The benefits of breastfeeding can’t be denied. Mothers who breastfeed are expected a more speedy recovery from pregnancy and childbirth and a quicker return to pre-pregnancy weight. They have reduced risks of ovarian and breast cancer and fewer numbers of hip fractures due to osteoporosis. Children who are breastfed incur fewer common infections such as diarrhea, ear infections and respiratory tract infections. They are less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma, diabetes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This not only benefits the mother and baby but the reduced healthcare costs, benefits the community as well.
Because of the overwhelming evidence in support of breastfeeding, California is one of the first states to enact official legislation (Assembly Bill 1025, 2001). Currently, all employers are mandated to offer a lactation facility other than a bathroom stall and sufficient break time for expressing breast milk.
As an educational institution, offering a private, hygienic and comfortable space where lactating mother’s can express breast milk, meets the State law, offers our children optimum health, and provides the campus’ breastfeeding mothers support and encouragement to continue breastfeeding.