Lactation rooms, commonly known as a Mother’s Rooms, are becoming a workplace norm after decades of being an afterthought.
More than 80 percent of mothers start off nursing their newborns, according to the 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Breastfeeding Report Card. And many of them will continue for months—the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and then continue for at least one year, in order for a child to take advantage of the health benefits associated with nursing.
While it is important for mother’s to receive support from their family, friends, and healthcare professionals, support from their workplace is also just as important.
It's the Law
Did you know that according to federal law, nursing mother's are to be provided a dedicated space in the workplace?
The federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law requires employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide basic accommodations for breastfeeding mothers at work.
What the Law Says:
“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” — U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act — Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision
“Reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk” — U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act — Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision
Furniture Must-Haves for a Mother's Room in the Workplace
A mother's room doesn't have to be something big. A space that is private, secure and
comfortable are the key factors to consider when designing a mother's space. At a bare minimum, a mother's room must have a glider or rocker (or comfortable lounge chair), a side table and easy access to power.
However, there are a few more ideal must-haves you need to consider:
glider or rocker* Provides comfort and a soothing motion during breast feeding and/or pumping. Research shows most mothers prefer a glider or rocker over a stationary seat.
side table* A side table provides a dedicated space for mothers to place their pumping machine and any other necessities they may need during this time.
easy access to power* Providing a power console, surface power or a power tower is a Mother’s Room must. Mother’s need a place to easily plug in their pumping machines and any other technology like their phone, iPad and even a laptop during their time in the room.
ottoman Creating a space of comfort is important for a mother’s room. Offering a place to sit back and put your feet up adds to this comfort.
lighting Adjustable lighting allows mothers to customize the space to their current needs.
storage A storage cabinet can be helpful for storing disinfectant wipes, tissues, paper towels and other toiletries.
mini refrigerator Providing a small refrigerator separate from the employee break room allows mothers to store their supply without worrying about contamination or interfering with coworkers.
sink While it is not required, it is an added thought to have a place where a mother can wash her hands and other tools outside of a bathroom or community break room.
mirror It’s nice to have a mirror for a mother to check herself before entering back into office.
Lockers (for securing personal belongings)
Television/Bluetooth Speaker/Sound Machine
Microwave (for sanitation purposes)
Download our Guide
Nursing mothers need a space that is comfortable, safe, secure, and most of all-private. Our guide is designed to help provide inspiration for the necessary equipment required for a mother’s room in the workplace.