Nursing mothers now have another convenient resource available at UF Health — a new modular “lactation pod” provides moms on the go a private space for pumping breast milk or feeding an infant in private.
“With our large population of faculty, staff, residents and students, as well as patients and visitors, we needed another discreet and welcoming lactation space at the academic health center,” said Dennis Hines, UF Health Medical and Health Administration associate director.
UF Business Affairs purchased the $15,000 mobile unit. It was installed in September in a centrally accessible space near the first-floor outpatient pharmacy, between the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium and the UF College of Dentistry/west entrance.
Mamava, the manufacturer, designed the pods to “reach mamas where they travel, receive health care, work, shop and play.” They are often located in medical facilities, airports and malls, for example. Compact yet comfortable, they offer a locking door that indicates if the unit is vacant or occupied. Each well-lit pod has two molded plastic benches, a shelf, an electrical outlet and a USB port. They can easily be moved when needed.
The company’s founders are two women who had personal experience with typical challenges faced by other working moms. Their motto is “nursing should be a right, not a privilege.”
As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital system, UF Health shares the desire to support, protect and promote breastfeeding. Lactation resources available to staff, outpatients and visitors at our Archer Road hospitals now include:
- UF Health Shands Hospital, First Floor (near Outpatient Pharmacy and Outpatient Lab)
- UF Health Shands Hospital, Seventh Floor, Room 7502 (five pumping stations)
- UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, Sixth Floor, Room 6012 (two pumping stations)
- UF Health Heart & Vascular and UF Health Neuromedicine hospitals, Fourth Floor, Rooms 4537 and 4539 (one individual pumping station in each room)
(Note: Inpatient needs are accommodated on patient units.)
Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities vice president, suggested, “In addition to using our designated lactation rooms, working moms can ask their supervisors to help identify a local space that’s appropriate, comfortable and may be more convenient. Our Facilities team has made a conference room available for this purpose, and managers often designate an office or other room for a colleague.”