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Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas opens region's first-ever lactation pod

It's a private room equipped with resources to safely breastfeed and pump breast milk. The pod will be open to staff, visitors and members of the public.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas opened the region’s first and only lactation pod, giving parents a private and convenient area to breastfeed their babies in a public setting. 

The $26,000 dollar project, which took more than a year to build, was funded by the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Foundation, and is now open to staff, visitors and the general public.

Employees at Baptist Hospitals noticed a great need for a private and all-accessible space where parents could breastfeed or pump.

Baptist Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant Lisa Carroll says they already offered a space on the third floor of the building, but it’s kind of a hard place to get to. 

For that reason, the hospital built the region's first Mamava Lactation pod for staff and visitors. It is located in the Neches Lobby on the first floor and is equipped with a table and two built-in benches 

Coordinator for Philanthropic Services Olivia Warner explains how to navigate the Mamava app, which allows you to book the pod.

“It will show you where the location is with details showing you exactly how to get to the front door of this pod and it'll give you a one time access code so you punch that into the keypad and you're in,” she said.

The pod has plugs, air control and the ability to dim lighting inside of the pod using the Mamava app.

"It also shows you if it is vacant or in use so you don't come all the way down here and somebody is already in it,” Warner said. 

Warner says the opening of the pod was a very special moment, considering she was about to have a baby herself.

“Dr. Snehal Doshi actually approached me with the idea of bringing a lactation pod here to the hospital and I had just found out I was pregnant with my daughter so it became a very personal project for me to see through,” she said. 

Warner says the board was so excited that they unanimously voted to authorize funds to get this purchased and have it built.

Hospital staff say this investment is well worth it.

“With the formula shortage and stuff going on we have a lot of moms trying to breastfeed and it's not an easy task,” Carroll said.  

Carroll says the pod will provide parents safety and privacy 

“This is kind of a convenient thing where they can just kind of hide away from the world for a second, take a breath, regroup and go back out and conquer it again,” she said. 

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