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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Retention plan targets breast-feeding mothers

    A grant from the Commission on the Status of Women is funding a new UA program that offers lactating mothers a discount when buying or renting a breast pump at University Medical Center.

    The program, Mommy Connections, is an extension to the UA Life Work Connection services geared toward recruiting and retaining a diverse student/employee population on campus, said senior coordinator Caryn Jung.

    Renee Palting, a board certified lactation consultant at University Medical Center and for Mommy Connections, said the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive breast milk for at least the first year of their lives.

    She explained that some mothers go back to school within a year after giving birth, and the Mommy Connections program was created to facilitate a way for mothers to provide breast milk for their babies and to minimize obstacles mothers may encounter when returning to campus.

    “”We strongly feel there shouldn’t be any barriers for moms to provide breast milk for their babies,”” she said.

    Palting said breast milk was beneficial not only for the babies, but also economical for mothers.

    “”Providing breast milk is affordable health care,”” Palting said.

    The program started this spring in partnership with UMC Lactation Services and with a $500 mini grant offered by CSW, Jung said.

    Jung said the grant will permit interested UA mothers to get a one-time $25 subsidy for the first month’s rental of a breast pump or a $25 discount at the time of purchase.

    Mommy Connections is one of several programs at LWC created to support work life issues and designed for individuals who return to campus after facing life-changing events, Jung said.

    Mommy Connections partnered with UMC because it is an authorized Medela breast pump rental and resale center, Palting said. She added that Medela is the leading international manufacturer of breast pumps worldwide.

    Mothers can either rent a hospital pump for $35 a month or they can buy a personal-grade pump ranging from $25 to $265, Palting said.

    She said the Lactation Services at UMC provided the Mommy Connections program with lactation information, support and consultations for breast-feeding mothers.

    Women interested can go to UMC to get advice about whether to get a long-term lactation pump or a short-term one, Palting said.

    Barbara Hoffman, chair of CSW, said they provided mini grants of more than $5,000 to programs like Mommy Connections that support women and promote a positive campus climate.

    “”I hope it will make it easier for mothers to be comfortable at work,”” she said.

    Jung said the program also benefits the UA, not just mothers.

    “”It supports work life issues for a diverse and multigenerational work force and student population,”” she said.

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