Administrators, faculty, students and staff gathered at Bayramian Hall on March 28 to celebrate the CSUN campus’ first “lactation pod.” Cassidy Butow, administrative coordinator for CSUN’s Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing, welcomed attendees to the grand opening, which featured a baby shower theme, complete with sugar cookies, balloons and gift bags.
President Erika D. Beck cut a ceremonial red ribbon in front of the small, brightly colored pod, designed with inspiration from the local landscape, that serves as a private space for parents on campus to breastfeed or pump breast milk. The pod is in Bayramian Hall’s main lobby on the ground floor. As a mother herself, Beck highlighted the positive impact of the pod for students and families.
“I, too, have heard a lot from our parent students, and the need for additional resources to really help them thrive and to honor the richness that they bring to our academic community,” Beck said.
Student campus quality fees funded the purchase of the pod. “We would not have been able to do this without the help from the student body,” said William Watkins, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, who also emphasized the need for more campus facilities that serve the unique needs of student parents.
The pod is a single room that offers a spacious, private layout. To access the pod, parents need to download the Mamava app on their phones and make a reservation. The pod is only accessible through the app, but parents can also call or email the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing for assistance or for an access code.
The pod contains a small refrigerator for parents who may need access to cold storage. There are multiple electrical outlets and a mirror. Users can also adjust ventilation and lighting through the app.
Elizabeth Sussman-Dabach, a professor of family and consumer sciences, nutrition and dietetics attended the event with her 11-week-old son. Sussman-Dabach noted that not many other public facilities offer separate lactation spaces for breastfeeding.
“A facility like this is great because it makes things more convenient,” she said. “It’s great for faculty, staff and students! Anyone that needs to use it can.”
Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing staff said they hope to provide convenient access to lactation spaces around campus. For more information on the lactation pod or other lactation spaces, contact the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing at email@example.com and at 818-677-7715.