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Thread: Need your input for designing a lactation room

  1. #1

    Default Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Hello All-

    I am delighted to have been asked to create a lactation room at my place of employment (a university of 20,000) and am looking for some advice. I am not a nursing mom and therefore I am coming to you for guidance.

    Current plans are for a space where two mothers can nurse/pump- with far more pumping than nursing. A refrigerator, some general supplies for the comfort (and clean-up) of mothers, a changing table, and generally peaceful décor/setting are planned. However, I am really stuck on how to divide the room. The two options I can think of are hospital curtains and folding dividers/shoji screens. One seems too sterile or institutional and the other not private enough. Is there another option you can think of? How do you feel about the two options already listed?

    Is there a type of chair that you prefer? Low arms, high arms, no arms? I think leather is a given. I am eager to hear any feedback you are willing to give. I want this room to be the first of three or four and I want it to be spectacular!

    Sincere thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    That's wonderful that you are putting so much thought into this! Much appreciated! I actually work at a university and what you have planned sounds far nicer than any of our lactation rooms. We have hospital curtains and it isn't terribly private. Which turned out to be okay in the long run because I got to know several of the other pumping moms. But if you're not going to have a lot of privacy anyway, the folding dividers/shoji screens might be more aesthetically pleasing.

    One thing you don't mention is whether there will be a sink available? I don't know if that's possible but again, our lactation room did not have that, sometimes it's nice to have a sink to wash out pump parts or simply wash your hands. (If not, having hand sanitizer available would be a nice touch; I carried my own).

    I think the chair should have good back support and be height adjustable. It can be nice to have arms when pumping. I've always found it most convenient to have a table or desk of some kind to put my pump onto.

    Another nice feature would be internet access. I often took my computer with me to get some work done while pumping.

    I think for nursing, the most comfortable might be an armchair. But for me that wouldn't be great for pumping. So maybe a mix of chairs so that moms can pick whichever works best for them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    171

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Hi, I'm glad your company will provide a lactation room. It will really help most employees who are still nursing their LO. I'm not sure if you already have but you did not mention about having a clean sink either nearby or in the same room. This will help mothers in washing bottles and pumping equipment. For the chair, I think it should be low enough to the ground so that a mother’s feet can touch the ground for comfort. Another thing you might want to add are few breastfeeding magazines or books for reading. Folding dividers for me are fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*eve9 View Post
    Another thing you might want to add are few breastfeeding magazines or books for reading.
    Oh yes, that's a very good idea. Maybe The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Eight Edition!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Minnesota
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    240

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Room dividers sound a lot more "zen" than hospital curtains.

    I like a table high enough to work at: maybe something like a folding TV tray that slides up in front of the chair. Coffee tables are too low to reach comfortably while nursing or pumping.

    Personally I am not a fan of leather. If you have your shirt off and it is warm out you might stick to it...

    Other ideas - wireless internet access, electrical outlet close to each station and definitely a sink and fridge. How many women are you anticipating? Lockers might be nice so moms can store their pumps right in that room but 200 lockers is unrealistic...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    The other posters have great ideas. My thought is when i had a pumping room at work, it was in the middle of a large brick building. So no cell phone reception and the only phone in the room was not hooked up for outside calls. It was very frustrating to not be able to talk to my husband and check up on things. We didn't have any sort of divider but the lack of privacy was not a problem. I think hospital style dividers would have made me anxious so I'm voting on the folding dividers.
    This is random but looking at pictures of their baby can help increase output so maybe a bulletin board where moms can hang pictures of their babies. Maybe also a CD player with some relaxation geared CDs like deep breathing etc.
    A foot stool of some sort always helped me while nursing.

    Lastly, thank you so much for putting this much effort in to this project! The support from a woman 's work/school institution has a tremendous impact for pumping mothers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,960

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    This might sound dumb, because I'm sure you already thought of it, but a sign for the door is probably a must, so that people won't automatically barge in. If you can set it up so that there's privacy from the door, that would also be great. That way if someone came in, they would have to look around a screen or a corner before they got an eyeful of a mom in the process of pumping, and the mom would have a chance to yell "occupied!"
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    I second the locker or storage space if it's possible (like lockers or drawers). I was the only one pumping at my work at the time, so I could leave all my stuff in the room. It was great to not have to lug it all in and out of the room numerous times a day. Also, the internet access, or even a TV or radio or something. I read a lot, but there were days I'd forget my book and just be staring at the walls.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Replying to you all in a mass post- First, THANK YOU for your input!

    - Unfortunately a sink isn't going to happen. The quote came back at >$10,000 because they would have to cut through the floor of the building to tap into lines that run in the top of an underground parking lot. Disappointing, but still the room will be so much more than what moms have now.

    - I think the lockers or other lockable storage is a great idea! There is a small nook in the room that is begging to be used and this could be it.

    - The room will be accessed by a code. Only those registered to use the room will know the code. So, it's possible that someone might walk in while one is pumping, but at least it would be a another nursing mom!

    - I am truly surprised how many of you said shoji screens but hey, that's why I asked!

    - Artwork?? Do you want large, adorable pics of babies as well as a place to put a pic or your own baby, or just your baby and then other pretty art but not of babies? Does that even make sense?!

    - Hadn't thought about a table tall enough for doing work. Good point.

    - The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding- duly noted.

    - Working Mother magazine? Family Fun? Or, just some magazines you'd enjoy but not necessarily mommy-focused?

    - I can certainly have hand sanitizer. Also writing companies for freebies like little packets of lansinoh, etc.

    - Open to any other ideas! Hoping others will chime in, too!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Need your input for designing a lactation room

    Have some sanatizing wipes available so moms can wipe up any spills or just sanatize the table for germs so they don't get sick especially during flu season. And I agree with the previous suggestions. Also you might get a water cooler I know i get thirsty while nursing and pumping and sometimes forget my water.
    Its awesome you are helping to create this space for breastfeeding moms. I work at a hospital that delivers babies and our room is not even close to this awesome! LOL and I'm pretty sure I have traumatized two housekeepers that ignored my pumping sign and just barged in. LOL
    Good luck!
    First time momma to one amazing baby girl 2/28/2013
    Natural non medicated hospital birth

    We also practice EC

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