Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ESF opens Nursing Mother's Room, 313 Baker Lab

On July 23, 2013, ESF designated Room 313 Baker Hall as a dedicated room for nursing mothers. After some minor adjustments, the room now has a chair, outlet and occupancy sign, and is only lockable from the interior, meeting NYS Department of Labor requirements for such a room--once they bring in a table. Although this room (after a few modifications) will meet requirements for employers to provide a private place to express milk for infants for their first 3 years, Tim Blehar, Department of Human Resources, assures us that any mom, including visitors and full- and part-time students, is welcome to use it for nursing or pumping.  No one will check the child's birthdate, and no reservations are necessary--just let yourself in, slide the occupancy sign to 'occupied', lock from the interior, and reverse steps when you are done.  Users must provide their own pumps and bring their expressed milk with them in their own cooler or to a food-safe refrigerator.

The administration has pledged to either upgrade the plumbing to a more functional sink and counter and the lock so that it meets ADA requirements, and/or to find an alternate location on campus that has those capacities, and is more centrally located.  They also liked the idea of putting up a bulletin board for moms to share information.  Please contact the Human Resources office at 470-6611 if you notice that this room requires maintenance, or if you have any questions.

On a related note, there is a changing table located in the newly completed family restroom in the basement of the Gateway Building.

UPDATE:  Administration was unable to locate a better space, so have been repairing walls and readying to replace the floor basin with a counter height sink and cabinet. UPDATE 1/6/14:  Renovations seem complete! Counter and sink are functional, there is a second, more easily accessible outlet, a facade now covers the previously exposed pipes.  They have even added a mirror, which both adds brightness and helps Moms check that all their buttons are lined up before heading back out (boy, that would have been handy for me!)