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Nursing Mothers Room

Breastfeeding and Expectant Mothers

Are you expecting a baby and considering breastfeeding? Or are you a new mother who wants to continue breastfeeding after returning to work? USDA has a service to help you combine the demands of working and breastfeeding so that your breastfeeding experience is as pleasant and convenient as possible: the USDA Nursing Mothers Rooms.

Availability of such a room varies among Mission Areas. To identify the location nearest you and the POC, review the USDA Wide Lactation Room Locator

Nursing Mothers Support Handbook


Nursing Mothers Photo Galleries

What is a Nursing Mothers Room?

A Nursing Mothers Room is a private facility where nursing mothers can pump their breast milk, store it safely while at work, and the take their milk home to their babies.


Why Provide a Nursing Mothers Room?

Breastfeeding provides important benefits to mothers, babies, and employers. Breast milk is the most complete infant food and also protects the infant against infections and allergies.

Breastfeeding is the most economical and convenient way for a mother to feed her baby. Women who breastfeed share a special bond with their babies. Providing working mothers with this type of facility gives them the opportunity to extend this bonding period. An intangible benefit of a Nursing Mothers Room is availability of information on breastfeeding and the informal support system between prospective and continuing breastfeeding mothers. The employer also benefits from supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. New mothers come back to work sooner and are out less frequently to care for sick infants—their babies are healthier. New mothers are happier on the job when they can combine work with breastfeeding.


What Accommodations are Typically Provided in a Nursing Mothers Room?

The typical Nursing Mothers Room has a private area with comfortable chairs, a breast pump for expressing milk, and hooks for hanging clothing and/or breast pump accessory kits. A typical room may also be equipped with a sink area for cleanup; a refrigerator for storage of breast milk, a mirror, a reference and video center, and a bulletin board for sharing information and advice. The room is locked to ensure the mother's security and privacy.  Security varies from location to location.


The Breast Pump

Mothers may bring their own pump to use in the room. A Nursing Mothers Room also may be equipped with a Medela electric hospital grade pump. Accessibility of a pump at a location varies from location to location.  When a pump is available in a facility, each mother needs an accessory kit.  The accessory kit includes all parts that touch the mother or the mother's milk. It can take 15-30 minutes to use the pump. This ensures that there is no cross-contamination of the milk. You can get the accessory kit from the hospital when you deliver. In that case, the cost of the kit is generally covered by your health insurance policy. Otherwise, call Medela at 1-800-835-5968 for information on the distributor nearest you. A Medela single- or double-pumping kit is suggested, as well as obtaining a spare accessory kit, or at least extra filters and washers.


User Responsibilities

The successful operation of the room depends on the voluntary efforts of the users. Each mother is responsible for cleaning her own accessory kit and for overall maintenance of the room. A list of specific user responsibilities will be provided to each woman when she signs up.



Need More Information?

Contact your Mission Area/Agency/Staff Office Work/Life Program Coordinators.


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