Breastfeeding moms have new support at Ridgewater
November 17, 2021
New moms who are either students or employees at Ridgewater College now have new, private spaces, just for them.
It’s not easy for breastfeeding moms to be away from their little ones, let alone find private spaces on a college campus during busy days to pump as needed.
Last week, Ridgewater added freestanding Mamava Lactation Pods on both the Hutchinson and Willmar campuses to support breastfeeding moms and to remove a potential barrier for student success.
“The pods are private spaces intended to accommodate nursing mothers in a clean and comfortable space in a neutral and easy-to-access location,” explained Heidi Olson, Ridgewater dean of students.
The pod interiors have bench seats, power outlets, shelves, occupancy-activated lighting, vents, and more.
Olson explained that pod entry is easy. Users can either access the pods with their smart phones using the QR code on the side of the pod, or they can contact her office for a code.
Just days into providing the new option, Olson began receiving messages of gratitude.
“I have been a Ridgewater student since I was pregnant with my second (child) and nursed him throughout the entire time I have been in the MANE (registered nursing) program at Hutchinson,” said Aly Keenan. “I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who made these possible on campus. I spent a lot of time pumping and this is so needed for nursing mothers to feel good about pumping while being away!”
Obtaining lactation pods has been on Olson’s radar for several years. She is thankful for administration’s innovative support to make this happen. As far as Olson knows, not many Minnesota colleges currently offer them.
“We are simply thrilled to be able to provide this type of accommodation to our students and employees who need it,” Olson said.
For more information, contact Heidi Olson at [email protected].