West Virginia Universitys student-centered environment is making room for the nursing moms among its population.

Alactation networkhas been established by the Universitys Council for Womens Concerns, offering private rooms for mothers who wish to continue a breastfeeding relationship with their child after returning to work.

WVU employees volunteer the space.
p. The idea, organizers say, is to keep fostering the benefits of breastfeeding that aid in the health of both the baby and the workplace.

Breastfed babies are less likely to develop allergies and many of the childhood cancers,said Dr. Leslie Tower, a womans health advocate and professor in the divisions of Social and Public Administration who helped organize the network.

Studies show that women who nurse are less prone to breast cancer and ovarian cancer,Tower said.

And women who are able to continue nursing after returning to work, she said, also miss less time from baby-related illnesses.

That translates into higher morale and productivity, said Tower, herself the mother of a young child.

Everyone wins,she said.

The network is an extension of Room 103D Purinton House on the Downtown Campus, which has long served as a private space for women needing to pump breast milk for their babies at home and in daycare.

More locations are now available on the Downtown and Evansdale campuses, Tower said.

All rooms are clean and private, with a lock on the door and an electrical outlet. Rooms are designated with a stylized, blue-and-white logo depicting a nursing mother and infant.

The locations:

Downtown

  • Hodges Hall
  • E. Moore Hall
  • Boreman Hall
  • Knapp Hall
  • Life Sciences Building
  • Mountainlair
  • Stansbury Hall
  • Stewart Hall
  • White Hall
  • One Waterfront Place

Evansdale

  • Coliseum
  • Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
  • Creative Arts Center
  • National Research Center for Coal and Energy
  • Student Recreation Center
  • Allen Hall
  • Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center
  • College of Law

Tower said that while she and her colleagues are already looking ahead to more space for the network, they cant help but be heartened and moved by the generosity of employees who have literally opened their doors to a special segment of the University population.

Were so appreciative,she said.WVUs already a welcoming place, and this just makes it more so.

A link to the network is on the Council for Womens Concerns Web site athttp://www.as.wvu.edu/cwc/lactation/index.html. For more information, contact Tower at leslie.tower@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-3501, ext. 3126.