What is a Lactation Room?
We will be honest, before we began our journey with Lactl we weren’t sure what a lactation room was either. So we are here give you some simple language on just what exactly is a lactation room and what you can (should!) expect from one.
The Clue is in the Name
Essentially a lactation room is a private room or space that a nursing mother can use to express milk in. Often now dubbed ‘Mothers Rooms’, lactation spaces come in all different shapes and sizes.
Some companies provide completely separate rooms and spaces for their nursing employees, which can include anything from simply a comfy chair to sinks, plug sockets, refrigerators for storing breast milk, and even beds or sofas for moms to take a rest on!
Generally speaking, the federal law (FLSA) doesn’t state what should be included in a lactation space other than it has to be a space other than a bathroom. However some state laws go way above and beyond this and include statements on what kind of facilities should be included (fill out our survey to get your personalised breakdown of laws in your state!).
Why a Bathroom Isn’t a Suitable Lactation Space.
This has a whole load of complications that are just too much to go into in this blog post, which is why we will do a completely new in depth post looking at why bathrooms aren’t suitable for breastfeeding moms to use. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to get notified about our weekly blog posts so you can catch this one when it comes out!
However to give you an overview it essentially boils down to the following:
A restroom is where you go to do your biz, not pump food for your infant child whose immune system is still underdeveloped and susceptible to infection.
Most restrooms are shared spaces and although have private cubicles alot of mothers may not feel completely relaxed (essential to expressing milk) in a stuffy cubicle. Not to mention a lot of bathrooms are often now gender neutral or some offices only have a single cubicle toilet which poses a problem if there are other employees queuing up to use it!
There is a long list of gear needed to comfortably express milk; from bulky pumps, bottles, massagers, to cleaning equipment and any extras - it’s a full on affair! All this gear has to be put somewhere (not to mention the pumped milk!)
and not having a side table can be really difficult.
In our opinion it’s an absolute no brainer to provide a lactation space for employees. Mothers are the fastest growing segment in the U.S labor force, with over 70% of mothers that are employed having children that are younger than 3 years of age. One third of mothers return to work after 3 months, and Two thirds after 6 months. The benefits of providing amenities to employees and the effects of employee satisfaction on productivity are so well known we won’t bore you with them here. But employers - provide for your mothers! And see the benefits for yourselves.
Get in touch to see how we can help you to create the perfect lactation room and space for your breastfeeding employees! Book your free consultation today.