By Michelle Trujillo
Finding the lactation room at any one of the Pima Community College campuses isn’t that difficult.
Finding out details about the rooms, however, proves to be much harder. After contacting three people at Student Life, emailing and calling Human Resources, additional details were scant at best.
Having a baby in college can be a bit rough and time consuming and there aren’t many comfortable places for women to go to release the pressure from the build-up of milk besides the privacy of their own home. Over the past few years, college campuses and workplaces have been adding lactation rooms to better serve pregnant and parenting women.
In late July 2014, Pima Community College designated a lactation room for both students and faculty at every campus.
“Pima had made available designated rooms at each campus for lactating mothers who are employees and students of the college in accordance with Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938,” said Roxana Lucero, Student Life employee at West Campus.
The rooms were originally meant to be only for PCC employees but the school decided to open the resource up to students as well.
Each PCC campus has one designated lactation room. The rooms are not very big, but there is plenty of space for one person.
“They are very private,” Lucero said. “We have at least one person use it every semester.”
The lactation rooms were converted from existing space already in the campuses buildings.
“No additional costs were associated with any “new build,” however there were minimal costs associated with the converting of the lactation rooms” Alison Colter-Mack, Assistant Vice Chancellor, said.
“Rooms were converted from existing space so no additional costs were associated with any
Lucero said that the rooms aren’t just for anybody. Only student and faculty can use it. The room is permitted for only students and faculty that are lactating.
“The rooms are specifically for women to lactate; they’re not for breastfeeding,” Lucero said.
Student Life at each campus is in charge of loaning out the rooms to students and faculty. Student Life can be contacted for a room in person, by telephone, or by and email request. The rooms are used for a 30-minute time period. Lucero said the room at West Campus is used at least twice a week.
At each PCC campus there are designated staff who assist in providing information regarding the lactation room. Information can be found online on the Pima website under the Health, Wellness and Safety tab.
Former student Val Robles knows what it’s like to be a lactating mother in college first hand.
“I think a lactation room would have been good when I was a student because I would have had a private, safe, clean place for me to go (while at school) to pump milk,” Robles said.
There is no set way Pima gets the word out about the lactation rooms but students know that Pima offers them.
“I heard about those,” PCC student Kriste Tam said,”I feel these rooms make it easier for young mothers to pursue their education, we owe it to at all students to be accommodating and respectful.”
Tam said these services and resources are necessary to the student body over all.
Nathan G. Toy, a student at PCC, said he feel the rooms are a resource that can be used.
“I think the importance or demand of the room depend on how many people need the room and use it, if people use it, it is necessary.” Toy said.
PCC student Artan Bela didn’t know about the lactation rooms Pima offered but he believes they are necessary to have.
“You can’t just be milking milk in the cafeteria.”