7 tips for creating a breastfeeding space in your company

Créer un espace d'allaitement dans son entreprise

Today, 48% of the working population is female. Among them, many women will manage a maternity leave and especially have to reconcile it with a return to work. A real obstacle course awaits those who choose to breastfeed and try to continue breastfeeding at work. 

Their first concern on the subject: “Where will I be able to express my milk at work? Today, many of them are forced to pump in inappropriate places, such as the bathroom.

So what are women’s expectations for this breastfeeding space? Here we give you some tips to make this initiative a success. 

  • An ergonomic chair 

It is important to be comfortable, and not to lie down too much! There is a common misconception that a chair that is tilted backwards is suitable for pumping. While this is true for breastfeeding, there is a real difference for pumping. The milk must be able to flow into the nipples. So it’s best to choose a soft chair that is comfortable, but not too far back.

  • A place of privacy 

The ability to have visual or non-visual privacy to feel comfortable should be a priority for your space. If the user wants to continue a discussion with a colleague, being able to see that person is important. But if she wants to have some privacy, it’s important to have  that option as well.

  • Proximity to a watering place

Ideally, choose a room with a water feature. If not, choose a space that is close to a restroom or a cafeteria. It is important for the user to be able to clean her equipment before and after use. 

  • A sense of security and comfort 

Oxytocin is the hormone that plays a very important role in milk ejection. This hormone is directly linked to mood. Moreover, it is naturally secreted as soon as the baby is close. On the other hand, if you feel stressed, it is likely that the milk will not flow into the teat… It is therefore important to create an environment in which you feel good, cocooned. Choose warm materials and soft decorations. 

  • Proximity to the workplace 

On average, a woman will express her milk 2 to 3 times during her work day. Although this breastfeeding time is a legal right, some women will be reluctant to take this time for themselves. So if they have to walk more than 5 minutes to reach a nursing station or a dedicated room, it can be discouraging. Knowing that the onset of lactation can be very sudden, it is important to create spaces of proximity.

  • Multi-activity 

Being able to work, look at your cell phone, or read during the milk run will make life much easier for your employees. For many of them, it is important to be able to distract themselves, entertain themselves, or even continue working during this break. In this case, having a tablet or a table to put a computer is relevant. 

  • Milk conservation

Breast milk can be kept for 48 hours in the refrigerator (compared to 4 hours at room temperature).  It is essential to equip the room with a mini fridge.

If you don’t have a room dedicated to breastfeeding, don’t panic, you can integrate a breastfeeding space in an existing room: nap room? break room? gym? Lobby?

To do this, it is essential to create a corner in this room, visually isolating the breastfeeding area. Panels, movable partitions, or similar alternatives  will be preferred. 

Are you a committed employee? A caring manager? Take the plunge and equip your office with a breastfeeding area!  

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