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Herstory of Lactation Support at WVU


In 2003, the  WVU Child Development and Family Support Services, under the direction of Leslie Haning, began offering a private home-like atmosphere for nursing mothers (originally located in Room 103D Purinton House).



In 2006, with the support of the  Council for Women’s Concern’s (CWC), Leslie Tower developed an informal network of WVU employees who were willing to let a nursing faculty, staff, or student use their private space to express milk. The Lactation Network was housed and maintained on the CWC website until it was transferred to the WVU ADVANCE Center.



In the summer of 2011, the ADVANCE Center took over the Lactation Network. Dr. Tower, co-PI on the grant, worked with the Provost’s office to develop a formal Lactation Program that offers accessible lactation rooms and reasonable break times to employees and students. The Program calls for new buildings and buildings that are renovated to consider including a dedicated lactation room. A model for dedicated lactation rooms was designed, based on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) recommendations.



The  WVU Lactation Program, implemented in August 2012, stipulates that “…supervisors should make every reasonable accommodation to support the needs of nursing mothers.” This includes, for example, staff not having to clock-out on MyTime to express milk or permitting individuals to modify their schedules to allow for breaks. The WV Breastfeeding Alliance also donated four multi-user pumps for WVU dedicated lactation rooms.



From 2017 – 2019, the Women’s & Gender Studies students helped keep the Network up-to-date. They also worked to make the Network more gender-inclusive.



In 2019, the WVU Women’s Resource Center assumed responsibility of the Lactation Network, under the new director, Dr. Tower. The website was redesigned. Spaces offered by individual employees were phased-out, as several dedicated lactation rooms had been built and are continuing to be built.



The WVU Women’s Resource Center, in partnership with Office of Provost and Athletics Department, unveiled the state-of-the art, freestanding WVU Nursing Pod. The Pod was paid for by the Office of the Provost.  A s buildings are built or renovated, dedicated lactation rooms are being added. 


The WVU Women's Resource Center, in partnership with the Office of the Provost and Athletics Department, unveiled a new lactation space at Milan Puskar Stadium. 

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