What would happen if you were asked to redesign the pumping room at your workplace? What would you include? What if there were literally no limit to your budget? In today’s post, I am going to share my own experience redesigning two pumping rooms at my workplace and share ideas gleaned from my Instagram mommas over at @Pump_Momma_Pump for their dream pumping rooms!
Mother’s Room Redesign #1
Being the pumping aficionado in my place of employment, I was given the opportunity to redesign the “Mother’s Room” in two of our buildings. Here’s my first project, room number 1 (shown below.) The space is very small but accommodating (given that some people do not even have a dedicated space to pump!) I warmed it up with a pale sea-salt pink wall color, and lightly feminine décor. It was a pretty simple project and I was so happy with the little space I made for my mommas!
A warm, soothing environment is ideal for breast-pumping. A calm body will allow faster flow of oxytocin, which triggers your letdown reflex! This room was chilly in both temperature and color before the makeover, and the chair reclined too much! Now mothers can settle in, warm up with a woven blanket, and support their upper back with a throw pillow. I might add a space heater, come to think of it…
Mother’s Room Design #2
This year, our company purchased a new building and converted one office into a “Wellness Room.” While I have mixed feelings about the ambiguous title of the room, I am thrilled at the opportunity to design another space for my fellow pumping mommas!
I was absolutely thrilled to find that IT HAS A SINK! Since I won’t be having anymore children, past-me is super jealous of the cush space I am going to create for future mommas, for sure.
Here’s a BEFORE picture of the room. I’ll add an AFTER photo when it’s complete! Can you tell I’m excited about the sink?
Here’s the color I chose for our new serene space:
Want to know what I ordered for the room? Check out the first checklist, below. THANK YOU to all the mommas who helped me create this awesome list!
Dream Pumping Room Checklist
After surveying hundreds of mothers in our online community, I have taken their dream pumping room ideas and distilled it down into the following list, roughly in order of importance: (Links are provided as examples, many of which I am using in the design of our new Wellness Room)
- Comfortable chair
- Electrical outlets
- Trash can
- Storage cubbies
- Bins for cubbies
- Laptop desk
- Pillow for upper back support
- Throw blanket
- Bulletin board (for tacking up photos of babies!)
- Privacy sign for door
- Schedule whiteboard for door
The Sky’s the Limit!
What if there really were no limit to your budget? What would you include in your dream pumping space? (Add it in the comments!) Mommas had FUN with this one, let me tell you! Here is what they came up with:
- Massage chair
- Foot massager
- Water cooler
- Full-size fridge
- Snack cart
- Vending machine
- Phone chargers
- Space heater
- Hospital grade pump
- Free milk storage bags
- Drying Rack and bottle brushes
- Little basket of toiletries like they have at weddings
- Boobie wallpaper (I wish!)
- Salt lamp/Happy light
- Bluetooth speaker
- Noise machine
- Keurig/coffee maker
- Throw rug
- Fish tank (This one cracked me up- how cool would that be?)
- Lava lamp (Also cracked me up!)
What if my “Mother’s Room” is a storage closet?
Many mommas are given legally-appropriate space to pump (Meaning a private space that is not a bathroom) but it’s far from attractive or comfortable. Ugh, first of all let me say I feel for you, momma. I know that sucks. Consider having a conversation with your employer or HR about making the space a bit more comfortable or hygienic, in whatever way they can. Are they unable to unwilling? Here are some suggestions:
- Bring a small mat or tea towel as a clean surface for all pumping parts and Clorox wipes/hand sanitizer to wipe down a plastic chair or anything in your immediate space that might need refreshing!
- No specific fridge or sink provided for breastmilk? Store your milk and pump parts in a cooler with an ice brick. Although the CDC does not recommend it, you might need to do the “fridge hack” between pump sessions if you do not have an access to a clean sink. (Pour your freshly pumped milk into a clean bottle or bag, reattach pumped-in bottles to flanges, wipe flanges out, and store in cooler until next session)
- Is the area loud or distracting? Consider using earbuds/headphones to listen to calming music or a podcast to tune out and get into a great headspace for pumping. Watch something on your phone so you’re not staring at a stack of file folders or cleaning supplies.
- Are you able to leave anything in that space for added comfort, like a different chair or throw blanket? If not, consider packing a small fleece blanket in your pump bag.
- In a stinky space? Bring scented hand lotion to use! You’ll be practicing self-care AND making your environment smell lovely!
- Does someone keep opening the door? Ask your HR rep if they can install a slide lock on the INSIDE of the room for your privacy, or find another way to block entry. Remember, you are LEGALLY protected from intrusion by the public (See more about your legal rights below!)
What if we don’t have space to pump at work?
With the help of our Director of Human Resources, I created this letter to be copied and modified for use at your workplace- LINK HERE. You will be prompted to make a copy, and from there you should be able to edit the document as you see fit. If possible, simply ask your employer about a space to pump. If the company has a nice, welcoming culture, I think just going to someone and talking is a good first step…if that does not work and/or it’s not a warm and fuzzy feel, then this letter is perfectly fine and to-the-point. Remember, it is your RIGHT to pump at work- be confident and assertive in expressing those rights. For more on your legal right to pump at work, click HERE.