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Permanent dedicated milk expression rooms and flexible space options require basic amenities to be considered functional. These basic needs include a chair and a flat surface such as a table, desk, or shelf for the employee's breast pump and supplies. Many companies go beyond the basic requirements to make the rooms even more comfortable and convenient. Employees report they appreciate these extra gestures to make the room relaxing and useful.
Room amenities can be simple or elaborate, depending on the needs of the business and the nursing moms.
Electrical Outlet. An electrical outlet is not required, but is preferred by nursing mothers since most efficient breast pumps are powered electrically. Many businesses report that it costs little to wire a small area for electricity.
Sink with Running Water. It is recommended that businesses select locations for milk expression areas that are near a source of water. Providing a sink in the area enables women to wash hands and clean breast pump parts before leaving the room.
Refrigerator. A small refrigerator provides convenient storage for expressed milk.
Wall Decorations. Posters from the local health department or breastfeeding coalition are often used by businesses to provide visual appeal in the milk expression room.
Wall Decorations. Framed photos or other artwork make a room attractive and appealing.
Bulletin Board. Many women find that having a visual image of their baby makes milk expression more efficient. Many milk expression rooms provide a bulletin board for mothers to share photos and celebrate successes with one another.
Making Rooms Cozy. Women report they appreciate having private space that is comfortable. Many businesses use warm colors, soft lighting, and comfortable chairs to design a room that is homelike.
Microwave. A microwave oven in or near the milk expression room enables nursing women to heat meals so they can eat while they express milk. Some women also use it to steam-clean bagged breast pump parts.
Communications. A telephone and computer in the room enable nursing mothers to continue working while they pump, if desired. Women should never be required to continue working during a milk expression break, though some prefer to do so.
Content last updated August 04, 2014.
Resources last updated April 15, 2014.