I’m so thrilled to introduce you to Tina Raasch-Prost. Not only is she a fabulous mom she has combined her passion for interior design and helping moms to design Lactation Lounges. I have pumped in my fair share of shabby pump spots so I got giddy when I heard that she is designing sustainable spaces for mommas! She is a woman after my own heart! So cruise over to her website www.trpdesigngroup.com or her Facebook page and show her some love! I hope you enjoy this guest post from Tina as much as I do.
I walked up to the receptionist at the Conference Center where I was attending an all-day seminar and asked if there was a place other than a bathroom in which I could pump? She said you are the 5th or 6th woman to ask me that today. Excited by that rather high number I thought for sure there would be space for me to go to. With great excitement I walked down the hall past the coat check to find a walk through space with no doors and vending machines lining the wall, no table no chair and no outlet and definitely NO privacy. Are you kidding me?! I did find refuge in a bathroom across the hall with an outlet by the sink that was slightly better than my other option…my car. I realized two things that day: don’t leave home without your battery power pack and I could use my interior design passion to help moms!
Breastfeeding is a great way to feed and bond with your baby. If that is the method you have chosen to feed your baby and you have to work outside the home what are your options? Despite what some may think and offer, it isn’t the bathroom. Since 2010 businesses with at least 50 employees need to provide nursing employees with a private space screened from view from co-workers or passersby to pump in. This doesn’t need to be a permanent space dedicated only to pumping but while there is a need, pumping is the priority if the space needs to be shared.
A Lactation Lounge can be as simple or elaborate as a company is willing to provide for their employees. Many employers I spoke with feel a Lactation Lounge is very important for their employees to have access to and something that was important for them to provide. Women who have access to a Lactation Lounge at work are more productive, and take less sick time to care for a sick child. Starting points for a Lactation Lounge include:
What spaces could be used as a Lactation Lounge:
- Conference room
- Office that currently isn’t being used
- Former storage space
So you have a space, here are items you need to make it work:
- A table or shelf big enough to spread out your pump and anything you want to do or work on while you are pumping
- A chair to sit in, I recommend an armless chair so you have room to maneuver while you are setting up the pump
- An outlet, to plug the pump into
Other items to have in the space but not needed are:
- A sink to rinse out your pump parts. A bathroom nearby is sufficient or if that isn’t possible disinfecting wipes.
- A refrigerator is often suggested but I don’t recommend it because if there are multiple moms milk could be switched, you could forget it, and it really isn’t necessary if you have a cooler with an ice pack in your bag.
- If the space will be dedicated to pumping and colors or finishes will be selected, ideally they should be warm neutral colors (think spa) or blues and greens (think, at a lake). These are calming colors and relaxed mom is able to pump more milk for her baby.
If you are expecting soon, or will be returning to work these spaces are something you can legally ask for, so if it is important to you please ask for one. Best of luck to you and your beautiful little baby!
has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design with 15 years of residential and commercial design experience. She is a mother to three boys, nursing each of them for at least 20 months. Having seen the good the bad and the not even there for spaces to pump in, she knows how difficult it can be to find a space to pump in while away from your baby which is what inspired her to help provide Lactation Lounges. In addition she also designs small commercial spaces such as private offices and specialty spaces. All her designs are done with a focus on sustainability so the spaces are healthy for the users and the earth. A portfolio of her work and more information can be found on her website trpdesigngroup.com.