A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Skip Navigation

Womens Health logo
En Español
divider line


Mining operations encompass a variety of job settings and positions, including office workers, field staff, engineers and geologists, equipment operators, underground mining operations, and hourly positions in food service or other areas. This means that supporting nursing women requires a variety of solutions pertinent to each job's setting.

For indoor work stations, nursing women can be supported using permanent or flexible space solutions for milk expression. Permanent space can be created by converting office space and storage areas, and by creating multi-user spaces and other small areas. Indoor flexible areas can include sharing space with an office, conference room, or break area, or finding space within the company on-site clinic, fitness facility, or wellness center. Women working outdoors can use a number of mobile options, including pop-up tents, portable lactation stations, or the cabs of company vehicles.

For women working underground or in hazardous environments, it may be necessary to reassign them to safer locations during pregnancy and breastfeeding to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals or conditions.

Mining companies might include support services for nursing women in the flexible benefits package. This will help with recruiting and retaining female employees.

Feature Slides

  • Nursing women working in the mining industry need a variety of flexible support options.

  • Women working in underground or hazardous areas may need to be reassigned to safer locations during pregnancy and when nursing their baby.

  • Permanent space for milk expression can be created for women working in indoor locations. The space should be large enough for a chair and a flat surface for the breast pump and supplies.

  • Women working indoors can also consider expressing milk in available office spaces.

  • A clean closet or storage area could double as a private space for expressing milk.

  • A conference or meeting room can be shared with nursing women as long as privacy can be assured through a door that locks or signage.

  • An employee break room can be used for milk expression as long as signage is provided to respect the woman's privacy.

  • An on-site clinic within the company might have available space behind a curtain or screened area that can be used for private milk expression.

  • A lightweight mobile tent pops up and folds down easily for a quick temporary solution for women who work outdoors. A folding chair will need to be provided.

  • One manufacturing company extended the plumbing connection from the floor below to provide a sink with running water in the milk expression room.

  • A large manufacturing firm built a wall with a door that locks within a larger room. Amenities include a chair and table, decorative artwork, a lamp for soft lighting, and a fan to help muffle noise.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

View All Slides

Space Solutions

  • Permanent spaces in indoor work settings
    • Small office area
    • Converted closet or storage area
    • Enclosed area of unused space
    • Cubicle lactation area created with partitions tall enough to protect privacy
  • Flexible space options in indoor work settings
    • Conference room
    • Employee's office
    • Office of a manager, supervisor, or colleague
    • Employee break area
    • Shared space in the on-site clinic, fitness center, or wellness center
  • Outdoor/mobile options
    • Pop-up tent
    • Portable lactation station
    • Employee's personal vehicle or cab of company equipment vehicle

Time Solutions

  • Employees use usual break and meal periods to express milk
  • Staff provide coverage as needed

Other Solutions

  • Child care provider brings the baby to the employee for feedings (depending on the work setting)
  • Employee goes home or to the child care provider to feed the baby
  • Employee stores her milk in a personal cooler or insulated lunch bag

Business Examples

Content last updated August 04, 2014.

Resources last updated April 15, 2014.


Return to top