Cape Breton University Unveils Mae’s Room – A Dedicated Lactation and Infant Feeding Space

This March, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Cape Breton University is proud to unveil Mae’s Room, a safe space on campus dedicated to lactation, infant feeding and other childcare needs. The opening of Mae’s Room reflects CBU’s dedication to continued equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Parents will now have a dedicated space to breastfeed, pump or spend quiet time with their babies while on campus. Located in the Students’ Union Women’s Centre, Mae’s Room features a large, comfortable rocking chair, a fridge for milk storage, breastmilk storage bags, a bottle warmer, a change table and more. 

“This project is extremely special to me and was inspired by my own breastfeeding journey,” says Rebecca Jones, Registered Nurse and Assistant Professor of Nursing at CBU. “When I returned to work following my maternity leave I was still breastfeeding my daughter, Mae. I needed a safe, comfortable place to pump during the workday and I knew I was not the only one who would appreciate a resource like this.” 

Rebecca reached out to Jennifer Comer, Sexual and Reproductive Health Nurse at the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre, the team at the CBU Students’ Union Women’s Centre, and together, with the support of the School of Nursing, they began to turn concept into reality. 

Sarah Currie and Sophia Butler-Doucette, CBU students and co-coordinators of the CBUSU Women’s Centre, say they were thrilled to offer such an important resource to parents on campus. “This year we have seen an influx of new mothers on campus, so Mae’s Room couldn’t have come at a better time,” they share. “At the Women’s Centre, we strive to provide a safe and confidential space to access supplies and resources to ensure women can receive an education without any roadblocks. With this new addition to our Centre, we will be able to ensure women have the support they need to navigate both motherhood and their education.”

For Jennifer, the collaboration between CBU staff, faculty and students has been very fulfilling. “I feel inspired by the students of Cape Breton University who are also parents to young babies,” she says. “It is important we reflect on their achievements and take action to support them with a baby friendly space on campus. Mae’s Room is a significant investment in the health and well-being of not only our students, but their families and the entire campus community.” 

To provide a spillover location in case of increased use, additional space has been mirrored in the Nursing Pod of the Arseneau-Britten Building. This space, called the Ksalsuti Space, offers the same resources in another area of campus. Ksalsuti is an Indigenous term for love, and is the first lesson of the medicine wheel. As our first gift, love from the creator and from families, Ksalsuti is a fitting name for the supplemental space. 

Mae’s Room is available to access from 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday to Friday in the Students’ Union Building. The Ksalsuti Space is located in the Nursing Pod on the second floor of the Arseneau-Britten Building (A231D), and will also operate from 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday to Friday.