Stony Brook University’s brand new breastfeeding rooms are now available on campus, providing state-of-the-art breastfeeding facilities to the campus community.
The Department of Student Community Development in the Division of Student Affairs designed these lactation rooms with the goal of creating a safe and relaxing environment for nursing parents who need a space to express, retain and collect the breast milk or breastfeeding their child.
“The goal of these new lactation rooms is to provide a private and comfortable space for milk expression and to provide a supportive and inclusive experience for faculty, staff and student-parents,” said Emily Snyder, Director of the Student Community Department. Development. “Through the use of these facilities, we hope to encourage the growth of a nurturing and supportive community of users on campus.”
These new lactation rooms are spread across campus, providing greater convenience for student-parents who have classes in different buildings, as well as easy accessibility for faculty and staff. Current locations include the lower level of the Stony Brook Syndicate (L06-14) and the second level of the Health Sciences Center (2-295). Additional locations at the Student Activity Center (SAC), as well as the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building (SBS), are scheduled to open in fall 2021.
The creation of the Stony Brook campus lactation rooms was inspired by Snyder’s own experience returning to work after having her first child. “I felt lucky to have a semi-private office space to accommodate such needs, but I’ve become hyper-aware of what the experience must be like for colleagues and students who don’t have such space. on the campus.” When starting the project, Snyder turned to an “exclusive” online peer support group of over 6,000 users to lead an informal discussion group; users were asked to share the amenities they would like to see in an ideal lactation room space. The thread generated significant feedback, much of which carried over into the final result of the new campus spaces.
Stony Brook nursing room amenities include hospital grade multi-user double electric breast pump (Medela Symphony), changing table, cleaning and personal care supplies, noise canceling sound machine, privacy screen, a full length mirror and a comfortable sitting area with a pillow and blanket. In addition, a mini-fridge is accessible in each space for daily milk storage as well as a microwave for steam cleaning as needed. Mini storage lockers are available in some locations, where users can temporarily store personal nursing accessories.
After a Google form, accepting the terms and conditions of use, users have access to all active lactation rooms on campus. Card access to these rooms is not exclusive to faculty, staff, and students, but is also available to other parties with proper identification who frequent campus and need to use these facilities. such as volunteers and affiliates. One-time access may be granted to campus guests by contacting the facilities manager responsible for the building in which they are interested.
In addition to the lactation rooms, other efforts to provide more support for parents on campus have been put in place. Six new changing tables have recently been installed in the busy SAC washrooms, in addition to the six washrooms at the Stony Brook Union, which already have space for this purpose.
Funding for Lactation Rooms was made possible through the generous support of Stony Brook University’s Office of the President, Chief Diversity Office, and the Renaissance School of Medicine.
For more information, details of current locations, terms and conditions of use, and to access active spaces across campus, visit stonybrook.edu/lactation.