Lactation Accommodations advocates for more lactation spaces

room with sofa and printer
The Santa Susana Lactation Space. Photo credit: Andrea Esparza

CSUN Lactation Accommodations provides safe spaces for breastfeeding mothers on campus and advocates for more lactation spaces in the hopes of ending the negative stigma surrounding public breastfeeding.

“Mothers shouldn’t be shamed into spaces,” Cassidy Paige Butow, Administrative Coordinator for the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing, stated. “When a baby needs to eat, it needs to eat, and I think it’s unfortunate that we see breasts used in the marketing of hamburger or clothing, yet when a mom decides to breastfeed her baby in public it’s some sort of bad thing.”

Lactation spaces on campus provide safe places for breastfeeding students and faculty. Even with five locations at CSUN, Butow hopes to increase that number across campus.

“It’s important that we have even more breastfeeding stations than we do now, breastfeeding benefits the child and the mother, and it’s important to encourage and support that any way CSUN can,” Butow stated.

The Santa Susana room location alone was used 924 times last school year, and that is just one of the locations out of five spaces on campus.

Butow and the Institute also hope for CSUN to invest in lactation pods. These pods would be placed in the areas that CSUN has not installed lactation spaces, particularly on the northern end of campus.

“We are doing a fundraiser in collaboration with Alumni Relations for a lactation pod, which will provide a self-sustainable space for women to breastfeed,” Butow said. “We don’t have a lot of spaces on campus, especially near University Hall and Bayramian Hall, so we are hoping that the lactation pod will address these issues.”

Lactation spaces provide breastfeeding mothers a sanctuary to escape from the harsh critics of society. It allows all mothers to feel comfortable and less worrisome as to where they will pump and store their milk for their babies.

Butow also stated that these spaces will alleviate mothers from having to breastfeed in their cars or in public bathrooms.

“We welcome you to the Institute, please come and reach out to us,” Butow concluded in a final message to all breastfeeding mothers. “We encourage you to keep breastfeeding despite the challenges that you face. You are doing good work, and you are doing something good for your child. We support you!”