Cerritos College holds first pregnancy and lactation resource workshop

Scarled Murillo

Cerritos College held it’s first pregnancy and lactation resource workshop for students on Sept.19.

This was the first initiative piloted from the Pregnant Scholars Expecting Academic Success campaign.

The SEAS campaign provides one-on-one student consultation and training on various topics that pregnant, parenting, and lactating students need for a successful education.

The workshop talked about student rights, leave process, breaks, safe spaces to pump and pre/postnatal accommodations.

This workshop was organized by:

  • Hillary Mennella, Associate Dean of Student Health and Wellness.
  • Amber Dofner, program facilitator of student equity, cross culture, and title IX resources.
  • Dr. Valyncia C. Raphael, Director of diversity, compliance, and title IX resources.
  • Lana Joy Wahlquist, adjunct faculty and leader of La Leche League of Whittier and Downey.

Speaker and organizer of the campaign, Amber Dofner said, “We hope to continue our efforts in educating pregnant and parenting students on their rights and resources and most importantly to let them know, they are not alone.”

Pregnant and parenting students have many rights they should be informed about. Most importantly they should be aware of Title IX which prohibits discrimination in educational programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

New mothers were informed that they are allowed many breaks and excused absences, delayed and adjusted deadlines, time to pump milk during class or exams, and note taking with a medical note from a physician.

Another great accommodation for new mothers is the lactation room or “comfort room” near the library. To request access in the room a special code is needed from Donna Sheibe who can be contacted by email, [email protected] .

This room provides a safe and private area to pump which includes areas to clean up and store milk for later use. If the room is being occupied you can also go to the student health center and child development center. It’s best not to use a bathroom for pumping.

Continuing in the workshop, speaker Hillary Mennella, Assoc. Dean of Student Health explained some of the resources the Health Center provides for new mothers.

Mannella talked about two common issues breast-feeding mothers may face: mastitis and engorgement. The Student Health Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays from 8 to 11 a.m. located in the back of campus. All appointments are free.

One of the last resources the campus offers for mothers and parents could be nterested in is childcare in the Child Development Center. This program accepts children ranging from two through five years old. The monthly tuition fee for a child in a non-subsidize family is around $991.

If the resources at school aren’t enough you can reach out for outside programs in your city. La Leche League of Whittier and Downey is a group of mothers that may be helpful.

Not many students attended the workshop, but one student that would like to remain anonymous explained her excitement for all the new knowledge she received in the workshop. She said, “I’m glad I’m not alone and I’m very happy people are being informed on their rights of breastfeeding.”