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Nursing Mothers Program

At NIH, we care about the health and well being of our employees. We know that returning to work after having a new baby can be difficult, especially for women who choose to breastfeed. We want to provide the worksite assistance you need for you and your baby to remain happy and healthy. 

The NIH Nursing Mothers Program (formerly known as the Lactation Program) provides services that address many of the concerns that future and current nursing mothers have. The program provides the emotional support and worksite assistance nursing mothers need to make the return to work less stressful.

Select one of the links below for more information:

Program Offerings

  • Prenatal breastfeeding education classes taught at various locations on campus;
  • Telephone support while on maternity leave, providing advice and problem-solving during the first critical weeks;
  • Return-to-work consultation; and
  • Onsite lactation rooms in various buildings, all equipped with breast pumps. 

This program is a permanent part of the Office of Research Services, Division of Occupational Health and Safety’s services. For information regarding NIH Child Care Programs, please visit the Division of Amenities and Transportation Services WebsiteExit arrow.

Program Services

The Nursing Mothers Program provides:
 
Prenatal breastfeeding education classes entitled "Breastfeeding and Return to Work" and "How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?" are taught at various locations on campus. The ideal time to attend class is in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
Read more about our classes and schedule.
 
Telephone support with our lactation consultants while on maternity leave, providing advice and problem-solving during the critical first weeks that you're home with your new baby.
 
Return to Work Consultation concerning how to maintain lactation and other issues related to making the transition back to work. Approximately two weeks prior to returning to work you will receive a private consultation with the Lactation Consultants concerning how to collect and store your milk and other issues related to the transition back to work.
 
Onsite lactation rooms in various buildings, all equipped with breast pumps.
Read more about our lactation rooms and locations.
 
You must be enrolled in the Nursing Mothers Program in order to take advantage of these services. Simply send an e-mail with a registration formPDF to our lactation consultant, Jane Balkam. There is no charge for any of these services, although you will have to purchase your own kit to connect to the lactation room breast pumps.
 

Registration   

The Nursing Mothers Program services are available free of charge. However, you need to fill out the registration form and email the form to the Nursing Mothers Program in order to take advantage of the consultations, classes, and lactation rooms. If you have any questions about the program, you can contact our lactation consultants.
 

Lactation Room Locations

Image of lactation room
A lactation room may be used by NIH employees, contractors and visitors. However, you must register with the Nursing Mothers Program to use the room on an ongoing basis. You should contact the Lactation Consultants to schedule a time to use a lactation room during the workday to minimize the disruption of your daily work routine. Please read the Lactation Room Guidelines before accessing a lactation room. It is necessary to register for the Nursing Mothers Program to use a lactation room. All of the lactation rooms are equipped with Medela Symphony breast pumps. Use of the breast pumps is free, however you will need to purchase your own personal kit.

On Campus Lactation Rooms*

Lactation rooms are available at the following locations:
  • Building 1, Room B2E-39
  • Building 4
  • Building 10, Room 6C442; Building 10, Rooms 2N234B, 3N234B, 5N234B, and 6C434
  • Building 10/CRC, Room 3-4681
  • Building 18T
  • Building 31, Room B2B39
  • Building 33, Room BN15
  • Building 35, Porter NRC, Rooms 1D901, 2D901, 3D901, 4026A, 5026A
  • Building 37, Room 2026A
  • Building 38, Room 2W20
  • Building 45, Room 6AN.16
  • Building 49, Room 1A63
  • Building 50, Room B215

Off-Site Lactation Rooms*

Lactation rooms are available at the following locations:
  • Advanced Technology Center (Rockville), Room 228B
  • Bayview Research Center, Room 1A002
  • Bayview Research Center, Room 3C013A
  • East Jefferson Street, Room BB34
  • Frederick Campus – Building 426, Room 123
  • Frederick Campus – Building 535, Room 1105
  • Frederick Campus – VPP Building, Room 331A
  • Frederick Campus – 8200 Research Plaza, Room 1A127
  • Democracy II, 1st Floor
  • Rockledge II, Room 1013
  • 5601 Fisher's Lane, Rooms 2A7 and 6A7
  • 5625 Fisher's Lane, Room 1N17
  • 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 111
  • 6100 Executive Boulevard, 8th Floor
  • 10401 Fernwood Road, Room 3E06
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories
* You must register with the Nursing Mothers Program prior to using a lactation room.
 

Lactation Room Guidelines

  1. The nursing mothers lactation rooms may be used by NIH employees, contractors, and visitors who have registered for the program, or contacted the NIH Nursing Mothers Program office in advance.  Complete the registration form PDFto enroll in the Nursing Mothers Program. Contact phone number is (301) 435-7850.
  2. Once you have registered and are returning to work, you will be added to the Nursing Mothers Program Group Calendar to select the day and time slot for Lactation room use according to your preference and the available time slots. (Please note that you need an NIH email account to schedule yourself).
  3. Once a time slot has been reserved, you will receive an email confirmation with date, time  and location as a reminder of your reservation. You may add your reserved time slots to your own personal calendar by clicking on the calendar option.
  4. It is the responsibility of each person using the Nursing Mother's Program lactation rooms  to keep the schedule current by cancelling those reserved time slots that they will not be using so that the time slots become available to others. Changes to the calendar will show up immediately so that others can choose the opened time slots.
  5. The Lactation Consultants or the Lactation Program Assistant reserve the right to remove from the schedule anyone who has left the program or not returned two consecutive messages (telephone or e-mail) requesting an update regarding room use. 
  6. It is the responsibility of each person using the nursing mother's room to clean up any spills of breast milk they make and toss any trash they have while using the nursing mother's room. Please take any food trash with you and discard outside of the lactation room. Cleaning solution is provided in each of the nursing mother's rooms. Please notify the Lactation Consultants or the Lactation Program Assistant if you are out of cleaning solution. 
  7. We ask that you please remember to be cordial and respectful of each other when using the nursing mother's rooms. If you stay over your time limit you cut into another person's time slot and make things difficult for that person. 
  8. We ask that you please use ear buds if listening to music or videos on your cell phones, and try to make your phone voices softer while on the phone while using the nursing mother's rooms.
 

Prenatal Breastfeeding Education Classes 

Prenatal breastfeeding education classes are open to all women working at NIH who have registered for the Nursing Mothers Program. There is no cost for participation. The classes are designed to complement the classes offered by your hospital or childbirth educator. The series consists of two classes: "Breastfeeding and Return to Work" and "How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?" The classes will be offered at the locations, dates and times listed below.

 

Breastfeeding and Return to Work

 
In this class, we will discuss resources available at NIH and in the community to help you be successful with breastfeeding, how to choose the right breast pump to meet your needs and some general information about how to continue to breastfeed once you return to work. Come and have your questions answered by our board certified lactation consultants.
 

How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?

 
In this class, we will discuss how the body makes breast milk and the basic techniques you need to know to get off to a successful start with breastfeeding. We will also discuss why you should avoid artificial nipples in the early weeks and how to prevent and/or manage some of the common problems women face in the early weeks of breastfeeding.
 

Class Schedule

 
Please indicate in the comments section of your registration form This link opens a word document the class and date you would like to attend.  Upon receipt of your registration form, the Nursing Mothers Program will email you the location of the class.
 
 
 
"Breastfeeding and Return to Work" "How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?"

​January 6, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

January 13, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM​

​March 28, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

April 4, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

May 4, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM​

May 11, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM​

​July 11, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

July 18, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM​

​August 31, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

September 7, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM​

​November 7, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

November 14, 2016

12:00 PM -​ 1:00 PM

 
 
 

Lactation Consultants

Jane J. Balkam, PhD, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC, a local Board Certified Lactation Consultant who specializes in worksite lactation programs, administers the lactation services. Dr. Balkam is a pediatric nurse practitioner and certified Lactation Consultant who has been managing worksite lactation programs in the Washington, DC area for over 14 years. In 2006, she received her PhD with a focus on Maternal-Child Health/Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. She can be reached at (301) 435-7850, or by e-mail at balkamj@od.nih.gov.

Colleen M. Prorok, RN, MSN, IBCLC, is a local Board Certified Lactation Consultant who has over 20 years experience as a registered nurse, and has been a certified Lactation Consultant for more than a decade. Mrs. Prorok is in the office on Wednesdays only and works with our employees at the Frederick locations. She can also be reached by telephone at (301) 435-7850 or via e-mail at prorokc@od.nih.gov.