By Hilary Broman, Staff Reporter
The Executive Council of Students is in the process of establishing Lactation Stations which will provide a clean and private place for nursing mothers to breastfeed or express breastmilk at CNM as part of their initiative to create a more sustainable and family friendly campus, said Tisha Hudetz, President of ECOS.
ECOS is hopeful that the Lactation Stations will be installed by the beginning of the 2016 fall term, she said.
As a working mother and student, Hudetz is passionate about helping student parents get the most out of their time at CNM, she said.
“When I became a mother, my perspective changed in an instant. I realized, that we live our lives not just for ourselves, but for those who come after us. It is our duty, as caretakers of our world, to see that it is not just sustainable, but generative for the future generations as well,” Hudetz said.
Hudetz is concerned about how to succeed as a student, employee and volunteer while being a new mother but she is using this experience as an opportunity to discover the areas in which CNM’s resources are lacking, she said.
“I get to navigate through the pitfalls of being a new mom and a student here at CNM and see what’s needed,” Hudetz said.
New Mexico permits a mother to breastfeed in any public or private place where she is otherwise authorized to be, according to The National Conference of State Legislatures.
In 2009, New Mexico House Memorial 58 requested that the governor’s women’s health advisory council convene a task force to study the needs of breastfeeding student-mothers and make recommendations for breastfeeding accommodations in school environments, as stated by NCSL.
Beth Mestas, a modern language major at CNM and a mother of three is excited about the council’s new project, she said.
“I think it’s a great idea! I believe that breastfeeding is a great way to nourish a child, so anything that supports that is great,” Mestas said.
Although Mestas is thrilled about the Lactation Stations she expressed that there are many other challenges that student parents face, she said.
“One of the biggest challenges for me is finding suitable child care during classes. It would be nice if there was a daycare on campus that I could trust and have my kids close by. More online classes would be a nice alternative as well so I can schedule my classes around taking care of my children,” Mestas said.
ECOS is passionate about helping the CNM community and making a difference, said Shaun Patterson, ECOS Vice President.
Patterson and the rest of the council are confident in Hudetz’s leadership and inspired by her passion for women’s rights and her “no nonsense” approach to situations, he said.
Hudetz recognizes the challenges that ECOS may face, “The truth is that nothing is ever easy but the reward in finding the solution is worth more than the cost of not trying,” she said.
Photo Credit: Hilary Broman/ CNM Chronicle