The 4-foot-by-8-foot Mamava lactation pod, or mom pod, comes equipped with a sitting bench, a changing table and electrical outlets for breast pumps. The pods also will be available to any breastfeeding mother who is at the courthouse. El Paso County employee and expectant mother Alejandra Ibave praised the new addition to the courthouse.
The “pods are going to be more private and more comfortable, which is important for a mom to be able to express enough milk,” Ibave said. “There are not a lot of places that offer a place to breastfeed.”
District Judge Linda Chew noted that many workplaces are ill prepared to accommodate their female employees who have to breastfeed. “The stories of women having to pump in break rooms, storage closets, dirty bathrooms, parked cars or judges’ offices could fill a library,” Chew said. “But raising awareness and educating society about women's needs in the workplace is a first crucial step, and the county is taking the first step.”
The county bought two pods for a total of $49,000, human resources director Melissa Carrillo said. “We've had this idea in the back of our minds for over a year. We really wanted to make things more accessible for working moms. And we are now a Mother Friendly certified work site. By doing this, we foster a good culture for women to come work for us, whether they are a mother or not."