Over the past few years, a number of employees who work in our health system's outpatient surgery center have become new moms. When they returned to work, many looked for areas to pump breast milk. Unfortunately, with limited space, they'd been forced to use the offices of other staff members, the staff locker room and even bathroom stalls. This has been a huge inconvenience for pumping moms and our staff, so I created a lactation space in a PACU bay where we had been storing extra equipment. I outfitted the bay with a locking accordion door, a lounge chair, a table for storing pumping supplies, motivational posters, scenic artwork and a small bulletin board where moms can tack up pictures of their babies. The space can easily be converted into a patient bay if it's needed, but that's happened only once. I've received a great deal of positive feedback from staff members. One mom told me she had to pump in the break room at her old job and is very grateful for the privacy and comfort she's afforded here.
Janelle Casanave, RN
San Jose, Calif.