Lactation Room Supplies:
Chair – Now that you have the location picked out and it has a lock, let’s talk about what goes inside. The most critical item is seating. There are a lot of options and your choice is important. You should provide an ergonomically designed task chair suitable for a workstation. Casters are very important to allow the mom to move about even while both hands may be occupied with bottles and pumps parts. While it may seem like having a big, comfortable recliner is a great idea, it’s not conducive to a good pumping session. I’ve also used pumping rooms where there is a small stationary chair with an attached desktop. This design is also not the most suitable option for daily pumping.
Workstation – Keep in mind that a mom is likely going to be carrying other things with her, such as her purse, briefcase, magazines, laptop, etc. It’s really nice to have somewhere to sit everything besides the floor. Some form of storage is also important. This allows the pumping mother to leave her pump and supplies in the lactation room than lugging it back and forth from her office to the mommy room multiple times a day. In order to improve the productivity of the mom, having a good workstation with room for a laptop computer is important.
Refrigerator – This is not a requirement, though it’s highly preferred. After expressed breast milk is collected, it must be refrigerated within a few hours. Most moms would prefer not to leave their breast milk in the communal break room fridge that is filled with moldy salads and month-old leftovers. Having a fridge in the mommy room is much more sanitary and provides a better sense of relief for the mother. This is also the more efficient option since your employee doesn’t have to make an extra stop by the break room each time she pumps. We aren’t talking about a full-size refrigerator, just a small, dorm-size fridge is all that is needed.
Microwave – Certain pumps require that a mom sterilize the parts in the microwave before or after use. For under $100 you can provide mom the privacy of not sterilizing her breast pump parts in the break room. This small investment in the mommy room will go far.
Sink – After pumping, a mom has to clean her pump parts for the next use. Rest assured that cleaning breast pumps flanges and tubes isn’t something your working moms want to do in the community break room. And, it’s probably not something your other employees will be comfortable with. The other option is the restroom, which is the next best option to having a sink in the room. If having a sink in the room is cost prohibitive, consider locating the mommy room fairly close to the women’s restroom.
Signage – Having a discreet sign on the door that lets others know the room is occupied is very important. This is especially critical if you do not have a lock on the room. Yes, people can knock, but being on the inside of that room a knock can be distracting to some pumping moms. Plus, knocking on the door makes a mom feel rushed. Having an occupied side on the door is a better option for all parties.
Accessories – a few additional accessories can put the finishing touches on your mommy room including a mirror, magazines, a trash can and a wall clock.
Finishing Touches and layout – Now that you have all the supplies you need for setting up a mommy room, it’s time to set the room up. Moms prefer to have the back of the chair face the door. It just makes things seem a lot more private and comfortable. Lighting is also important in the mommy room, natural light is wonderful, but if that’s not an option, consider a lamp.