The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Nursing rooms made more accessible to mothers

    After noticing the challenges faced by nursing mothers to feed their babies on Mississippi State University’s campus, senior business administration student, Anja Scheib, began the “Pregnant on Campus” initiative to convince administrators that these students, faculty and staff members deserved more accessible nursing rooms.
  Nursing rooms were always kept locked due to abuse of space in the past. The rooms could only be used by finding someone in the building with a key and leaving an ID at a desk, which wasted time for students and faculty trying to use the rooms between classes. 
  The main goal of the “Pregnant on Campus” initiative was for MSU to install key card systems in two of the most used nursing rooms on campus, which are located in the Union and the Cullis Wade Welcome Center. This key card system would grant students, faculty and staff who needed to pump or otherwise feed their child access with just the swipe of a card. 
     Under the new system, not only would nursing mothers save time and have easier access to the rooms, but the issue of ensuring the rooms are being used for the right purpose would no longer exist.  The university would have an electronic database of who was using the room and at what time.
  Scheib said if one mother saves time and feels more comfortable while nursing, she has accomplished her goal.
  “Pumping can take 20-30 minutes most often, so every minute between shifts and classes counts,” Scheib said. “The ID scanner capability keeps the room both private to only mothers and also convenient to the breastfeeding process, thus fulfilling its purpose.”
Scheib said the two rooms have the key card system installed, and they are working on finalizing the registration process to make it easy for both moms and the school. The system should be ready to go in the fall semester. 
   Scheib said she got her initial inspiration to start the initiative from working with families in the Starkville community.
 “People in the community gave me ideas to improve life for the working and schooling mother,” Scheib said. “They have been involved with many initiatives for mothers in the community and brought the need for improvements to the rooms to my attention.”
  This goal led to a more active administrative Lactation Support Committee that now meets to address all improvements that can be made to the rooms. More departments and key administration are involved in knowing what more can be done to address the needs of mothers. 
     Scheib has big dreams for the future of her initiative.
   “I would absolutely love for Mississippi State to one day have a lactation room in every building,” Scheib said. “It’s a way the university can send a message to working and schooling mothers that they are a precious, non-overlooked minority to us all.” 
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, the organization Scheib partnered with for the initiative, said she couldn’t be more proud of the work Scheib has done, and that this initiative is an example of what happens when we put women and their babies first.
  To learn more about the initiative or to speak to Anja Scheib or Kristan Hawkins, contact Kristina Hernandez at [email protected] or 908-902-8473.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Nursing rooms made more accessible to mothers