Women no longer face the struggle of finding a comfortable place on campus to do something that has been part of the natural female body since the beginning of time: breastfeeding. App State now has a lactation lounge available for students, faculty and campus visitors.
Located on the second floor of Plemmons Student Union, the lounge offers three private pods with soft seating, a lamp, foot stool, table, sound machine and outlets to charge electronics.
The lounge also includes a common area with a sanitized microwave, specifically used for breastmilk, a sink, drying rack, freezer and fridge with individual lock boxes for milk bottles.
Melanie Turner, graduate assistant for the Women’s Center, said the lounge is a great response to the “societal confrontation” some feel about breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is a natural process that has been frowned upon because females breasts have been sexualized,” Turner says.
Turner said the creation of the lounge has called attention to the need for spaces conducive to breastfeeding.
“As a society, we’re increasingly becoming in tune to needs and where our shortfalls are,” said Jeff Cathey, director of the department of student engagement and leadership.
Turner said the lounge gives women the opportunity to have normal work and school schedules.
Cathey said this was a result of App State’s response to the ongoing goal to better accommodate students’ needs across campus. He said he believes it’s part of the “inclusiveness priority” on campus.
In Turner’s eyes, the Lactation Lounge’s biggest contribution is increasing discussions about gender equality.
“Equity comes down to us giving that extra step, providing that lactation lounge, recognizing that breastfeeding mothers need this extra resource to be productive, and that’s not weakness, that is equity,” Turner said.
For more information about the Lactation Lounge, visit the Women’s Center or make an appointment at the PSU information desk.