Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision enacted in 2010 to amend the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), employers must provide: "...a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk." This means that workplace mother’s rooms are a necessary amenity to have available as your moms return to work!
The good news is novel coronavirus has not been detected in breast milk, amniotic fluid, or other maternal samples, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Plus, breast milk offers protection for a baby's immune system, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
These are just a couple of the reasons it’s so important for workplaces to have safe and clean Mother’s Rooms for new mothers to return to. Employers that provide Mother's Rooms help create inclusive employee experiences, while also complying with federal, state and local laws.
Here are some of our tips and tricks for making these spaces inviting and safe for breastfeeding moms when you reopen your workplace:
SOCIAL DISTANCING: Make sure mothers can social distance while in the mother’s room. If there are only single-occupancy Mother's Rooms onsite, ensure there are enough based on an updated census. Pumping stations must be 6 feet apart from each other. TIP: Consider using walls or Plexiglass separators!
BEFORE PUMPING: Clean the breast pump with Cavicide, while wearing gloves. Then, wash or sanitize your hands. Moms using the pump should then assemble a clean pump attachment kit and inspect for mold that may have grown while their kit was stored.
AFTER PUMPING: Moms should store milk safely. Clean both the pump and pumping area. Disassemble the kit and wash it in warm soapy water. Clean the wash basin and bottle brush, if used. Finally, allow the kit to air dry and store in a safe place.
These tips are not an exhaustive list of what to do to sanitize and create safe Mother’s Rooms. Rather, these are just a handful of the most important aspects of reopening spaces for nursing women. We want to emphasize that there are no shortcuts in protecting the health and safety of breastfeeding mothers as they return to your workplace.
To learn more about keeping working mothers safe during COVID-19 register for our Reopening Mother’s Room Webinar on Friday, September 11th. To have a one-on-one discussion about reopening your mother’s rooms contact us at Services@hh-bc.com.