Understanding the Value of Wellness and Mother’s Rooms
If you want to make your workspace more attractive to the growing number of women with young kids in the workforce… consider a mother’s room.
A mother’s room is a private space in your facility where a breast feeding mom can pump and store milk throughout the work day.
Do you have to do it? Well, that depends. The ‘Break Time for Nursing Mothers’ law of 2010 requires employers to provide all nonexempt (meaning hourly) employees with a private place that is not a bathroom… as well as reasonable break time to pump enough to keep up their supply. There are also a variety of state laws in place and organizations like the United States Breastfeeding Committee are pushing to expand protection to the millions of salary workers around the county.
Today, over 70% of moms with young children are working, up from 47% in 1975. Did you know that mothers are the primary breadwinners in four-of-ten U.S. families?
Making the appropriate accommodations for these women could mean difference in their decision to work for you.
Here are some things to consider when building on an effective mother’s room.
Provide comfortable furniture. Consider something from one of the many healthcare lines we offer to combine comfort, with commercial-grade quality and durability. Chairs with arms and a tablet arm or mobile table that can be brought to the chair is ideal.
Ensure there is a flat surface near the chair with an outlet nearby for mom to put the pump on. A surface is also a great place for a laptop or tablet. After all, Moms definitely know how to multi-task!
Include a refrigerator for storing and keeping the milk cool. Make it known in your office that this refrigerator is to be used for milk storage and medical needs only. It should be separated from food storage and other cafeteria items.
Ensure the door is solid with no side light, and that there is a lock on the door for security and privacy. An ‘occupied’ sign is also a good idea. Room schedulers can also show when a room is available. Work with your IT team to ensure the room is available to reserve in your calendar software.
Implement policies that allow the room to be used. For most moms, that’s around 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours… but it will vary for each individual.
Consider adding relaxing accessories to the room like plants, artwork, dimmable lamps and rugs to aid in relaxation. This can increase the amount of milk a mom is able to pump. One cool idea we’ve seen is companies hanging up bulletin boards that their employees can hang pictures of their children on! We’re actually considering doing that here.
Sanitation options, like anti-bacterial wipes, tissues, a microwave for steam-cleaning pump pieces, and a sink with soap and paper towels to rinse out parts are also well received.
You might even consider calling this space a ‘wellness room’… and expanding its use to accommodate first aid emergencies, diabetic needs and for short term emotional and stress relief.
Don’t have a space in your office that makes sense? Talk to our modular walls team for ways to add greater flexibility into your working environment!
Creating a great place to work is about valuing the people who work in it. A mother’s room is just one way to make an important investment in your team. Connect with our team of workspace experts to learn more ways to maximize the opportunity in your workplace.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Connect with us today to discover how to create a culture of wellbeing at your organization!