Xander and his mom Michelle

TMC Foundation Lactation Suite


That’s a big yawn from baby Xander!

Being a baby is tough work, and, often, so is being a parent of and infant. Especially when your baby is born weeks ahead of schedule.

Michelle spent 41 nights at the Ronald McDonald House while Xander was being cared for in the Northwest Medical Center NICU. During that time, she came to appreciate “making friends with all of the other moms here at the House. There was a lot of support and we had our own little community.”

When a child is hospitalized, it can be a very isolating experience – alone in a new place, machines beeping, crushing uncertainty from one moment to the next. Michelle recalled how difficult the initial stages of breastfeeding can be, and how support and encouragement from her new friends at the Ronald McDonald House was key. Families here have a “little community” through which they can share stories, successes, and struggles, keeping their world as open and airy as the Tucson desert.

Nearly one-third of our families at the Tucson Ronald McDonald House have a baby in the NICU, so we’re creating a special place just for those moms. Soon we’ll open the TMC Foundation Lactation Suite. It will be a beautiful room devoted to those mothers who are breastfeeding or need to pump breast milk for their babies who have to stay at the hospital. The room will have at least two chairs, separated by a privacy screen. There will be a refrigerator/freezer, beautiful artwork, television, oil diffuser, and a special entrance lock so it can only be accessed by the families who need it. The Lactation Suite will have several medical-grade pumps, saving some families rental or purchase fees.

Soon moms just like Michelle will have their own space that is peaceful and appropriately private.

In the next couple of weeks, you may receive our Gratitude Report in the mail. You’ll read about the TMC Foundation Lactation Suite and the new ways we’re expanding “beyond the House.” Keep an eye on this space and we’ll add a link here to the digital version as well.

If you are interested in supporting this project and others like it, please call us at 520-326-0060 or visit the Donate page.