Mamava lactation pods arrive on campus


Mamava lactation pod located on first floor of MS building.

Keila Menjivar, Staff writer

Mamava lactation pods located on the first floor of the MS building and second floor of the S building are set to fully launch sometime in the summer, according to basic needs coordinator Johanna Aleman. 


Lactation pods are mobile rooms designed to provide lactating parents with a safe, accessible, and private space to pump and breastfeed. Prior to the lactation pods, students could access a lactation room located in the G building in room G-212. However, accessibility seemed to be an issue. 


“With my background in DSPS, accessibility is a huge thing for me, not just mobility wise, but do we have the things we need, and are they easy to get to for the students, because the lactation space just became de facto just for staff and faculty,” said Aleman.


First year biology student Jocelyn Perez is a mother and student who started school when her son was 5 months old. Her lab classes run from 8-11a.m., which are incredibly difficult to sit through for a lactating parent. 


“For me, I have to pump every two hours, so when I leave class, I’m a bit in pain because it hurts holding all of that in,” said Perez.


Perez struggled to get access to the lactation room. Nobody seemed to know where it was and when she emailed the address provided on the school website, she received no response. Though she finally found out about it via another student parent, she has been unable to use it due to the long commute from her classes. 


“For this semester, it’s actually not convenient for me, so I’ve been pumping in the gender neutral bathrooms or in the Star trio, they let me use their office sometimes to pump. I wish there was more rooms on campus, honestly,” said Perez.


Mamava lactation pods will make life a little bit easier for student parents. The pods are incredibly user friendly, the app directs users to the nearest pod, indicates occupancy status, and provides vacancy alerts. The pods themselves contain hospital grade surfaces with rounded corners for effective sanitation, two benches, a large acrylic composite counter, outlets, 2 USB ports, and a cubby model that functions as a storage compartment. Parents can also adjust the occupancy-activated lights with the Mamava app, and relax to ventilation fans that provide white noise. 


Though the pods are currently in their permanent homes, they are not up and running just yet. Aleman foresees they will be fully operational and available for students sometime in the summer.