Lactation Rooms – The Secret to Successful Pumping at Work
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Does your workplace offer you a warm, inviting lactation room to pump or breastfeed? Surprisingly, a lactation room, or lack of, can be a huge reason that many women choose to quit breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding friendly workplaces are on the rise, but many are still falling behind the standard.
I’ve heard stories from moms who have worked in places where they are one of the few women and have a gorgeous lactation room. While there are others who work alongside hundreds of moms are shoved into a closet for privacy.
Unfortunately, sometimes the options are limited at your workplace. I get that, I really do. But as a breastfeeding mom, it is so much more comfortable for us to pump in a place that’s comfortable!
I remember going to a mall and finding their “Mother’s Room” for the first time. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! I called my husband right then and there and told him how great it was. I was floored that someone was so considerate of breastfeeding moms that they would make a room like this.
So why was it such a shock?
As a nurse and a woman I should have probably expected pumping rooms like this existed, right?
Here’s the truth. You don’t know how important a lactation room is, until you need to use one.
Again – you don’t know how important a lactation room is, until you need to use one.
I don’t care if you’re the biggest breastfeeding advocate in the world – until you’re that mommy trying to feed her baby, you’ll never understand how grateful we are for a clean, calming space.
*This post is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps and their Pumping Room Makeover Project. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
Want to Skip Ahead to The Part Where You Can Win A Free Pumping Room Makeover?
Click Here for the Aeroflow Entry Form!
Lactation Rooms Helps Improve Your Milk Supply
So why would a pumping room help improve your milk supply?
Stress negatively effects your breast milk supply. You are more likely to produce less breast milk and it could take you longer to pump as well.
When you’re in a room that can’t be locked, you’re probably nervous and hoping someone doesn’t walk in.
When you’re in a room that’s too cold, you’re uncomfortable and probably having a hard time relaxing. This can cause your let down to take longer.
I’ll never forget sitting in front of a door to keep myself out of view of the window and to help keep it shut in case someone tried to come in. Yikes! Can you talk about stressful pumping?
A proper lactation room should be warm, comfortable, and secure. It doesn’t have to be gorgeous or fancy (bonus points if it is!). And it shouldn’t have to be expensive to create.
Want more tips for pumping at work? Don’t miss the 4 Tips To Pump At Work Like A Pro!
Feel prepared with Pumping 101 – it’s packed with great tips and a lifesaver for new or soon to be moms!
What Should Be In A Lactation Room
The basics to every pumping room are pretty simple. As I mentioned, the goal is for moms to be comfortable and have a private space to pump breast milk at work or in public.
Pumping Room “Must Haves”
Electrical outlets are a must for a pumping room. So before you try to use any room as a lactation room, check the electrical. The outlets need to be close to where moms will sit so they’ll have easy access to their breast pump.
There’s nothing worse than trying to rearrange a breastfeeding room during your short break, just so your pump can reach the outlet.
Please stop giving breastfeeding moms that old chair you had in storage that you were waiting to throw out. The chair doesn’t need to be fancy or even new – but make sure it’s comfortable and clean.
The chair will get a lot of use – from one mom alone! Imagine if several women at your workplace are using the same pumping room.
If you have a lot of room and a bigger budget, a small comfortable couch will also work!
Have you ever pumped breast milk with a breast pump sitting on your lap? I have! And it’s not super great. Suddenly your lap is totally out of room from that lovely breast pump!
A side table is a great, easy, and relatively inexpensive purchase that will really help improve a pumping room. Whether you stock if with a Kleenex box, artificial flowers, or just leave it empty, the side table will definitely get used.
Door that Locks or Has a Sign (or Both)
A door that locks is my favorite. I do a cheer anytime I get to pump in a place that feels that secure. However, sometimes that’s not always an option. Certain businesses can’t have locks or even temporary locks, like these, due to fire code.
If this is the case, it’s a great idea to provide a breastfeeding “occupied” sign. You can purchase them online or make your own really easily. Check out my resource library for your free breastfeeding sign printout when you join my newsletter!
Pumping Room “Nice to Haves”
Sometimes lighting can’t be helped, but when it can, it can make such a difference. Add a cute lamp or nice calming lighting to your mother’s room space.
This lighting is not only practical – moms can see what they’re doing with their pump or baby – but also provides a calming and relaxing effect.
As breastfeeding and pumping moms, we are washing bottles and pump parts A LOT. Thankfully, there are some amazing bags that help you sterilize your pump parts faster and easier. Just add water and your pump parts to the bag, stick them in a microwave, and you’re good to go!
A mini fridge is a great addition to a mother’s lactation room. If you have the space and the budget moms will appreciate the thought!
A mini fridge is perfect place for moms to store their breast milk throughout the day. If your workplace isn’t able to offer this, many pumps come with coolers, or you grab an inexpensive one online. I love how cute this one is!
A chair and table are just the start to making a room feel like a home. Yep, I said that. A pumping mom puts some serious time into pumping and she deserves a cozy place that can feel as much like home as possible.
Remember, we’re going for comfortable to improve the chances of successful breastfeeding at work.
Think about painting the walls, adding a trendy rug, and putting some artwork on the walls. Even artificial flowers or a magazine are simple touches that moms are sure to appreciate.
Having a radio or CD player with calming music can make a big difference. Workplaces tend to be one of two things. One – loud and hard for a mom to relax. Or two – super quiet and hard to not feel like your breast pump is being heard throughout the office.
I love this sound soother – it comes with calming noises pre-programmed to help relieve stress and anxiety.
Whatever your workplace is like, it’s nice to have the option of turning some quiet music on in the background while you’re pumping.
Why Your Employer Should Support Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding support seems to be growing among employers, and the reasons why seem to be pretty obvious.
Aside from the simple aspect of good press and a good reputation, moms who feel their employer truly cares about them are likely to remain loyal to their employer as well. Research has shown that retaining employees is much more cost-effective than hiring and training new employees, so treat them well and give moms a great reason to stay!
Improving Your Lactation Room
Are you a mom who’s hoping to improve your work’s lactation room? Maybe you’re a manager or owner of a business who wants to create a better space for your employees or the public. Whatever role you play in your workplace, you can help improve your lactation room!
Right now, Aeroflow Breastpumps are running a Pumping Room Makeover! Imagine Chip and Joanna taking on your lactation room and making it beautiful. Aeroflow hopes to give a makeover every 3 to 6 months to one lucky business.
Pumping Room Makeover Entry Form: Sign Up Here!
Pssst, even if your workplace doesn’t win the grand prize, they’re offering 4 breastfeeding and pumping gift baskets worth $500 each. Doesn’t sound too bad, huh?
I’m off to sign up right now, hope you are too! Good luck mommas, I hope your workplace has one of those beautiful lactation room in no time!
Still have questions about pumping? Pumping 101 will help you feel confident in going back to work!