By Mackenzie Shirley:
There are 4.8 million people enrolled in college who are parents in the United States and 71 percent of them are women. This is why Amarillo College officials say they have created a lactation room for breastfeeding mothers to be able to comfortably breastfeed, pump or store milk.
“This is amazing,” Daniela Campos, a nursing major, said, adding that she had to feed her baby in the car. “My mom had to come to school with me. On my breaks, I would go and feed her, making sure I was parked far away from other people because of the looks I would get when they walked by my car, even though I was completely covered,” Campos said.
Currently, there is only one lactation room located on the first floor of the College Union Building in room 104 at the Washington Street Campus.
According to Steven Smith, the vice president of business affairs, soon every campus will have a room for breastfeeding mothers.
“I think it’s a great idea. I don’t disagree with moms breastfeeding publicly, but I do think that in a setting like school, it is a safer and more private environment,” Samantha Kenny, a mother of two, said.
Denese Skinner, the vice president of student affairs, said AC students came up with the idea of creating a lactation room. “AC listened to the needs expressed by our students who are breastfeeding and found space on our campuses to serve their need. AC constantly strives to identify the unmet needs of our students and find appropriate solutions,” Skinner said.
Smith agreed, noting that it is important to look for ways to make it easier for parents of infants to attend college. “We constantly look for ways to better support our parenting students to continue their education and maintain their academic needs,” Smith said.
“All of AC values center around caring for our students. Having the lactation room is one more way that we will serve the needs of our students,” Skinner said.