Rachel Getman and her son, Nioclas.

Rachel Getman and her son, Nioclas

Like every other mom, Rachel Getman wants the best for her baby. Toward that end, Getman, a professor for the department of chemical & biomolecular engineering, has decided that natural breast milk is what’s best for her child. But sometimes the workplace is not the most conducive place to privately nurse or to pump breast milk for her nine-month-old son, Nioclas.

That’s why Getman is very excited about the new private lactation room that Clemson has made available for all nursing mothers on campus. The new lactation area, located in room 306C of the R.M. Cooper library, promises privacy to mothers who would otherwise have no place to go.

“I used to have to use a conference room before I had my own office,” said Getman. “It would lock, so I would pump in there for my daughter. But there was nowhere else for me to go, so if I was traveling around campus, I was forced to wait. I would have loved to breastfeed her longer than I did, but resources like this lactation room just weren’t available.”

Clemson University has always worked hard to make its campus an inclusive one, and the addition of this area is another step forward for nursing mothers on campus. The lactation room is available to students, faculty, staff or visitors who are nursing or pumping.

“It’s definitely necessary. I will definitely use the room, with Nioclas – or by myself to pump,” Getman said. She pointed out that this is a valuable resource for mothers who don’t have a room where they can sit and lock the door. “It’s nice that mothers have these chairs and a table, and plenty of space to utilize,” she continued.

Whether they are students, faculty, staff or visitors, women on campus need a convenient and private place to care for their babies. With a campus as spread out and as large as Clemson, the library’s central location made it an excellent choice to house a lactation room. “Nioclas comes to visit me two or so times a month. It’s hard as a professor to be nursing so I utilized the room when I’m up and around campus,” Getman said.

The spacious private room, which is locked at all times, can be reserved for use online here, or a key can be obtained at the library’s circulation desk. The new room is an exciting step forward for Clemson and it allows mothers the options of feeding on campus, pumping on campus and, ultimately, the ability to nurse their child for longer periods of time.

The Joseph F. Sullivan Center also makes space available for lactating moms. To reserve an area at the Sullivan Center, call 864-656-3076.

— Julia Turner, Class of 2014