Reeshika Sharma | Staff Writer
Whitworth University recently installed a lactation pod on campus as a significant step toward supporting diverse needs in the community, especially for nursing mothers.
Timothy Caldwell, the associate dean for Student Life, discussed the university’s new lactation pod implementation in response to a recently passed federal law. The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act expands workplace lactation accommodations to all breastfeeding employees to have a space to comfortably pump.
This new law includes the “basic requirements of having a lactation center available for the community, but our desire was [not to just] meet bare minimum criteria, but actually do something that’s going to be beneficial for all our community,” said Caldwell. Mamava, the company working with Whitworth to provide the lactation pod, provides an app that “opens up the door [and] tracks how many people use [the pod,” said Caldwell.
Having these resources on campus sends “a message that we want to support our staff, students, faculty and our community members who have small infants or that need to pump,” said Caldwell.
Rhosetta Rhodes, the vice president for Student Life and dean of students, played a significant role in this project, as she “wanted this pod to be more than meeting the basic requirements,” said Rhodes.
This initiative reflects a broader trend of institutions recognizing the importance of inclusivity around the community and creating a tangible expression of commitment.