Christina Chunn, president of the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition, left, presents the "Caught You Caring Award" to Sirena Cantrell, dean of students and Title IX coordinator at The W. Photo by: Chris Jenkins/MUW Office of University Relations
August 11, 2018 10:05:40 PM
A recent recognition by the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition has reinforced that Mississippi University for Women cares about its campus community.
On Aug. 1, Sirena Cantrell, dean of students and Title IX coordinator at The W, was presented with the "Caught You Caring Award" by representatives of the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition.
"I was delighted to accept this award on behalf of the university. It was great to hear that our students, faculty and staff had shared with the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition about the support they received during breastfeeding times," said Cantrell. "In the past few years we have worked hard to ensure mothers (faculty, staff and students) on campus have places they can utilize. Each of these spaces may be used to breastfeed or to express milk using a breast pump. The designated locations are identified by signage marking each one as a Lactation Room."
There are three lactation rooms on campus at this time: Eckford Hall, Health Center, Room 12; Education and Human Sciences, Room 121D; and Cochran Hall, Room 311.
The W also has a Nursing Mother's Policy that can be found in the Student Handbook and the Employee Handbook.
Cantrell added, "We want to ensure our campus is equipped and supportive of our breastfeeding mothers."
Christina Chunn, president of the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition, said they hear many stories from breastfeeding mothers who have expressed difficulties finding time and space to pump when they return to work or school.
"We know that supporting breastfeeding mothers is a 3:1 return on investment through lower health costs, lower absenteeism rates, lower turnover rates and higher employee productivity and loyalty," she said. "We also know that 26 percent of undergraduate students are also parents of dependent children. Too often we hear stories of mothers who are forced to choose between following their pediatrician's recommendation to breastfeed or stopping breastfeeding in order to finish their degree."
Chunn added the coalition is excited that local universities have established rooms for their employees and students. "We heard from many of your students (especially in the school of nursing) regarding the support and accommodations they received that allowed them to continue providing their baby breast milk."
The East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition has a mixed membership of individuals, including parents, doctors, dentists, nurses, lactation consultants, La Leche League Leaders, WIC personnel, doulas, dietitians, social workers and health educators. Anyone interested in helping to promote and protect breastfeeding in the Golden Triangle is welcome to join.