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Nursing mothers report they feel safe and confident expressing milk at work when the space is private. The federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law requires that employers provide a space that is private and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public. The law does not specify that the milk expression space must have a door with a lock. However, the company must assure that each nursing woman's privacy will be respected.
A variety of options help provide privacy for nursing moms who are expressing milk at work.
Standard Lock. A common solution for privacy is to include a door that locks from the inside. This gives nursing mothers control over who can enter the room.
Keypad Lock. A keypad lock is a privacy solution for single or multi-user space. Women who register to use the room receive a key code. An "Available" sign with the keypad lock alerts women when others are in the room.
Electronic Lock. An electronic key is often used in large facilities such as hospitals.
Signage outside buildings or key areas helps increase awareness of available services for nursing moms.
The lactation room is included in the building directory at a large university.
In a larger building, directional signage alerts employees of available support.
A simple door sign is made by downloading the International Breastfeeding Symbol at: www.breastfeedingsymbol.org. If signage is used instead of a lock, a well-communicated policy helps all employees respect the privacy of nursing moms.
Content last updated August 04, 2014.
Resources last updated April 15, 2014.