LivingFive lactation rooms at the University of Vigo, to...

Five lactation rooms at the University of Vigo, to help students and workers rejoin after maternity

Although the many benefits of breastfeeding have been endlessly shared, there are still people who resent it when mothers breastfeed in public, which is completely natural.

Today, in addition, many women are afraid or ashamed to breastfeed in public. Hence, initiatives such as the provision of lactation rooms in public institutions are still necessary and welcome.

Thus, although from Bebés y Más we defend breastfeeding in public, we applaud that breastfeeding is always facilitated, as has now been done by the University of Vigo, the first educational institution in Galicia and the fourth in Spain to have lactation rooms on its campuses, to favor a better reincorporation of the workers and students after maternity leave.

With changing tables, specific chairs and refrigerators

The idea of installing these rooms was forged a year ago when staff from various faculties demanded from the Equality Unit the need to have a space to express their milk when they were breastfeeding and a researcher gave them her office .

This is how Águeda Gómez, director of the Equality Unit of this university, explains it, because “we do not want to become an institution that discourages breastfeeding, that never again a woman from the University who opts for breastfeeding is forced to abandon it.”

Two lactation rooms have been installed on the Vigo campus (in the Filomena Dato building and in the Cinbio research center) and another two, in Pontevedra (in the School of Forest Engineering and in the Faculty of Fine Arts). Shortly, a fifth will be inaugurated in Orense (in the Rosalía de Castro Library).

“We identified the fundamental elements to set up the rooms, both to breastfeed ‘in situ’, and to express milk and end the ordeal of many University workers who had to go to the bathrooms, something that produced little guarantee of safety and hygiene “.

Hence, Águeda Gómez comments, that the rooms have spaces for extracting milk, cushions, specific chairs, changing tables, curtains and refrigerators to “end the ordeal of workers having to go to the bathroom.”

With these rooms, the University of Vigo attends to recommendations on breastfeeding made by different organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), which indicate it as the healthiest way to feed babies, in exclusively during the first six months of life and, on demand, up to two years, together with solids.

The fourth campus in Spain with lactation rooms

The University of Murcia pioneered the installation of a lactation room as early as 2009.

It was followed by the University of Valencia, which in 2018 inaugurated different conciliation spaces with several multipurpose lactation rooms destined, and in March of this year it was the University of Seville (US) which presented its first lactation room, included within its new program of activities called ‘Violet Wednesdays’, a conciliation measure.

Now, these universities have lactation rooms, which should be a private and quiet space, assigned so that breastfeeding mothers can enter and breastfeed their babies.

The idea of these spaces is to facilitate the time of breastfeeding for babies, when they are away from home, so that they are not distracted by people passing by or noise, and thus can eat what they need without him or his mother have difficulties.

Source | University of Vigo

Photo | iStock

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