Workplace lactation rooms, also known as breastfeeding rooms or sometimes mothers' rooms, are comfortable and functional spaces designed for nursing parents to pump breastmilk or feed their child in a safe, clean, and private environment. Providing a proper lactation room can help ensure compliance with labor laws requiring employers to provide lactation accommodations and can also be a valuable benefit for companies that want to promote a positive work environment and support employee needs. 


NBF has an award-winning lactation room for our employees in our Milwaukee office, and we are committed to providing the tools you need to get your room ready, too.

Why Your Workplace Lactation Room Design Matters

Health and Wellness

Many considerations go into parenting decisions, including how they will feed their child. While breastmilk and formula both have wonderful benefits for parents and children, they can also both have difficulties with supply availability. Supporting a team member’s choice to breastfeed their child has links to physical wellness for both themselves and their child. 


It can also help to reduce physical complications that can arise from lack of consistent and dependable access to tend to the needs of one’s body while lactating. Additionally, removing some of the logistical planning from the mental load of a parent trying to feed their child while at work supports that employee in all areas of their job by creating more problem-solving bandwidth.

Inspires Achievement

Lactation rooms help reduce the amount of time needed away from work. This can result in increased productivity and reduce absenteeism due to breastfeeding-related issues. Additionally, providing people with the tools and support they need to do their jobs increases employee engagement and inspires people to show up and do their best.

Promotes Employee Retention

Providing a thoughtful lactation room in the workplace shows the company supports its employees' needs and encourages a positive work-life balance. This can improve employee satisfaction and contribute to higher retention rates.


Positive Public Image


Companies that provide well-designed lactation rooms are often viewed as family-friendly and supportive of working mothers. This positive image not only helps retain current talent but can only assist in talent attraction and acquisition.

Good Boundaries Protect All Employees

Some companies assign multipurpose functionality to rooms and depend on a rotating schedule to address employee lactation needs, but this can increase workplace anxiety. People are just as capable of going to the wrong conference room as they are of forgetting to lock a door. By having a protected lockable space for breast milk pumping, a privacy curtain in front of the door, and a sign that says when a room is occupied, employers are investing in protecting appropriate work-life boundaries that allow all employees to feel comfortable and confident.

How to Design a Workplace Lactation Room

Designing a workplace lactation room requires careful planning to ensure that it meets the needs of nursing employees. By following these steps, you can design a comfortable and functional lactation room that supports nursing employees and promotes a positive work environment.

1. Choose a Private Space

Look for a quiet and private room, preferably away from high-traffic areas, that can be used as a dedicated lactation room. It should have a locking door that can be unlocked from the outside in case of emergency, electrical outlets, and appropriate ventilation.

2. Include Necessary Amenities

Equip the space with a comfortable chair, a table, and electrical outlets that are accessible while seated at the table for breast pump use and optional laptop work or other needs. Other helpful room additions include a sink for washing pumps, a small refrigerator for storing expressed milk, a regularly serviced waste bin for disposing of used supplies, and storage or lockers for employees to keep their things separate and safe.


3. Provide Privacy

It's important to ensure that nursing mothers have the privacy they need. Add curtains or blinds to cover windows and doors, and provide privacy screens or floor-to-ceiling privacy curtains to create separation between pumping areas and common areas used for waiting, cleaning, and storage. Place an adjustable sign on the door that says if it is occupied.


Lactation Room Design Tips

These tips can make a world of difference and help you create a lactation room or mothers’ room that supports working parents. 

1. Consider Lighting

The room should have good reliable lighting. Dimmable lighting is ideal so people can adjust the lighting as needed to relax and stimulate milk flow. It is also important that eco-friendly lights that automatically turn off when movement is not detected in rooms do not leave nursing employees in the dark due to being still while pumping.

2. Make It Comfortable

Consider adding a comfortable rug, calming abstract artwork, or plants to make the space welcoming and relaxing. A soft lighting fixture, like a lamp or wall sconce, and a white noise machine or Bluetooth speaker can also help create a warm and soothing environment. Muted color palettes in the room may be appreciated, but there is no need to create a full nursery-like environment with baby decor.

3. Ensure Hygiene

The room should be easy to clean and disinfect regularly, with wipeable surfaces and appropriate supplies provided. It's also a good idea to provide disposable wipes so employees can clean surfaces before and after use. Consider keeping labels and markers and organizing trays near/in the fridge for parents to keep track of their milk.

4. Consider Hydration and Nutrition

Human bodies require 500–700 more calories daily to produce milk. If possible, have water, tea, and snacks in the room since leaving to visit a breakroom while pumping or breastfeeding isn’t an option.

5. Post Accessible Information

Post information or a QR code linking to relevant and helpful information for new parents, such as the company policy to cover costs associated with breastmilk transportation when the parent travels for work.

6. Take Room Photos

Lactation rooms should be left out of office tours to ensure privacy. Therefore, make sure quality photos of the room are available for employees and job candidates before the day comes that they need the room.


7. Seek Feedback

Once the lactation room is set up, ask employees who use it for feedback on how it can be improved to better meet their needs.

We Offer Design Services

Need help putting together your lactation room, conference room, or whole office? Work with trusted commercial office professionals who can guide the way. Connect with design services.


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