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A good quality mother’s room is essential for any business to not only enable their employees to be more productive, but also to retain their talent in the workplace. While the law requires companies to provide a space that is private and not the bathroom with break times, it only takes a few more amenities to make this space more comfortable and accommodating. It’s stressful for a mother to pump 3 times a day while juggling meetings and work. Your employees will appreciate and feel supported by having a comfortable mother’s room. An accommodating mother’s room allows a mom to be more efficient in pumping milk and reduces her stress level. The happier your employees are, the more likely they are to stay with the company. Here is a list of key features to make your mother’s room accommodating and comfortable for your employees.
Have an ergonomic table and adjustable chair at the appropriate height. A pumping station should allow a mom to sit comfortably with her pump at the level of her chest so she doesn’t have to strain to reach up or down. The right height and distance also helps keep her attached to the pump so the tubing doesn’t accidentally come off because the pump is too far away. An adjustable chair is helpful for women who are petite or tall, so they don’t have their legs dangling, or squatting too low.
There should be an electric outlet at every station for the company’s hospital grade breastpump or the mom’s personal pump. Since most mothers usually bring something they need to plug in, like a laptop or cell phone it is essential that the outlet be close to where a mom is pumping. The outlet should be close enough so the mother can reach it and sit comfortably.
The room should be temperature controlled, so it’s not excessively hot or cold. It’s difficult for moms to let down their milk and start pumping in a cold room with their blouse unbuttoned or shirt pulled up. Nor should there be a fan with air blowing on them. We have had moms who have experienced cold air conditioning blowing right on top of their pump station!
Provide a refrigerator in the room for mothers to store their milk. Some states require employers to provide refrigerators. This really helps moms, who would otherwise have to rely on cold packs or a communal refrigerator to store their milk.
The door to the room should lock or have privacy curtains if there are multiple users. If the room accommodates multiple mothers at the same time, install privacy curtains or screens for each station. Some companies provide standing screens; while others have curtains that they can pull all the way around for full privacy, like in a hospital room. If the room is for a single user, ensure that the door to the room can be locked from the inside so no one walks in unexpectedly.
Other features that make a great mother’s room are a sink with towels and Wi-Fi.
With a sink, moms can wash their pump parts and clean up messes. Wi-Fi enables mothers to check email and work or connect to meetings through their laptop, so they can make the most of their time. For companies and universities with multiple mother’s room users, having hospital-grade pumps available make it easier and more convenient for moms to pump milk efficiently. These pumps can be used for multiple users and are more powerful and efficient than personal double electric pumps. The mother’s room should be clean, and cleaned regularly. We suggest having wipes in the room or at each station so a mom can clean up dried spilled milk, or disinfect the surface before pumping. The janitorial staff should regularly clean the floors and wipe down the surfaces and sinks.
And for a bit of fun, decorative touches such as warm colors, artwork, mirrors, and rugs help make the room more welcoming and inviting.
To learn more how you can make your mother’s room more accommodating for your employees, contact Healthy Horizons.