Mississippi has one of the highest rates of low birth weight and premature babies in the U.S. and the University of Mississippi Medical Center's newborn division is actively promoting breastfeeding among new mothers to benefit these babies. The CDC's 'Healthy People 2020' breastfeeding objective is for 81.9% of infants to be breastfed for any length of time, or 'ever breastfed.' The national average for infants being 'ever breastfed' is 81.1%, and Mississippi is currently ranked last at 52%. Additionally, 23.9% of breastfeeding in Mississippi lasts for at least 6 months, compared to the national average of 51.8%. The Medical Center currently has two 'Nursing Mother's Rooms' on the 195 acre campus, but both are in the hospital area. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 states that, in addition to allowing a nursing mother time to pump breast milk, 'Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm.' Rowland Medical Library RML is providing space for a Nursing Mother's Room within the Library. The close proximity to the educational buildings will enable students, faculty, and staff to have a private and secure location to pump breast milk. RML seeks to contribute in two ways: 1. Expand current digital signage within the medical center to promote free NLM resources including LactMed, one of the databases found within ToxNet, along with other NLM databases. 2. Provide a large monitor and computer within the Nursing Mother's Room to give students, faculty, and staff the ability to privately search for information in LactMed. While Nursing Mother's Rooms are becoming more common in libraries, RML is hoping to do its part to ensure healthy babies.
University of Mississippi