While Giants-Patriots rivalries reign on the playing field, nursing mothers are likely to pump both sides, instead of taking sides, at the Lactation Station provided for Superbowl guests.
Open from January 27th through February 5th, with 24-hour coverage starting today through Monday, this lactation suite is the first ever to be approved by the NFL and is part of the Super Care Clinic. The warm and cozy lactation room is outfitted with breastfeeding chairs, a hospital grade pump; sterile, individual-user pump accessory kits, activities for siblings and great WHO-Code compliant samples and information provided by Healthy Baby Bags. “Mothers who are bottle-feeding and need a quiet place or the use of a microwave are welcome, too”, explained Sarah Walter, Director of Communications for the Indiana Perinatal Network, which worked with MESH to set up the room. The lactation room and Super Care Clinic are located at Union Station at 300 S. Meridian Street and can be reached at (317) 636-CARE (2273).
For mothers who need to pump, or who are not comfortable nursing in public, the lactation station is a wonderful safe haven. I imagine that breastfeeding tips and tricks will be shared, and experiences compared, as is usually the case when nursing mothers get together. Luckily Indiana is one of 45 states that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, and most moms will happily nurse while out and about, but a lactation station is also a great place to go if a nursing mother needs an ice pack for a plugged duct, has a breastfeeding question, or maybe if she has a restless toddler and just needs a quiet place to nurse that is free from distractions!
Fans looking to keep up with the play-by-play needn’t worry: a T.V. has been set up in the room so festivities and scores won’t be missed. So far, the dozens of moms who have used the room have been thrilled. “They’re coming up and thanking us for including them and for making it easier for them to provide for their babies and still be able to participate in the fun,” says Walter. “Mothers who left a pump flange at the hotel room needn’t drive all the way back and miss the action.”
Just like the bi-partisan “Boob Cube” in Washington, we think this lactation station is awesome. “The NFL, and all the partners in the Super Clinic have been so supportive. As soon as they realized there was a need, they backed it 100%,” says Walter. Best for Babes hopes that the NFL will make it standard fare for every Superbowl. It sends a powerful signal that breastfeeding is a normal, natural activity that is as healthy as exercise, and that moms deserve to be accommodated. Considering that breastfeeding is associated with improved adolescent muscle strength, who knows, maybe a future quarterback will be nursed in Indianapolis this weekend!
Do you want to help us encourage the NFL to bring the lactation station back year after year? Leave your comments to let the NFL know you think this is great, and we’ll collect them and forward them on! Let’s show ’em that nursing moms and babies count, from first down to Endzone!