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:
- 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 Website.
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 form
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.
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
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, Room 6C434; Building 10/CRC, Room 3-4681
- Building 31, Room B2B39
- Building 18T
- Building 33, Room BN15
- Building 35, Porter NRC, Rooms GA912, 1D901, 2D901, and 3D901
- 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
- 5625 Fisher's Lane, Room 1N17
- 5601 Fisher's Lane, Room 6A7
- 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 111
- 6700 Rockledge, Room 4241
- 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
- The 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. There is no fee for use of the lactation room. To register for use of a lactation room, please complete the registration form.
- The person whose name appears on the schedule at a designated time has priority to use the room at that time. If you need a current copy of the schedule or you would like to be added to the schedule, please contact a Lactation Consultant.
- The Lactation Consultant will make all permanent changes to the schedule. A new schedule will be sent via e-mail to each participant registered to use the room at least once a week if any schedule changes have occurred. Please be sure a Lactation Consultant has your current e-mail address.
- If you use a lactation room, it is your responsibility to keep yourself informed about the current schedule and to notify the Lactation Consultant if you make a change in your schedule, or discontinue use of the lactation room. Please notify a Lactation Consultant if you will be out of town or not using the room because of a planned or unplanned extended absence.
- If you have an extended leave (more than two weeks), your name may be removed from the schedule to make room for another person needing to use that time slot in the lactation room. If arrangements are made in advance and the leave is not too long, your time slot will be held. Your time slot can not be held if your leave is longer than two weeks and there is heavy demand for use of the room. You will be put back on the schedule when your leave is ended. Please keep a Lactation Consultant informed of your status during extended leaves.
- Our Lactation Consultants reserve the right to remove from the schedule anyone who has not returned two consecutive messages (telephone or e-mail) requesting an update regarding room use.
- If you are listed as a PRN (as necessary) user of the lactation room, or if you are not able to use the room at your scheduled time, you may come at any blank time on the schedule.
- It is the responsibility of everyone using the lactation room to clean up any spills of breast milk they make while using the lactation room. A cleaning solution is provided in each of the lactation rooms. Please notify a Lactation Consultant if you are out of the cleaning solution.
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.
All classes are held from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM in Building 10, Room 7-B1C206.
Please indicate in the comments section of your registration form
the class and date you would like to attend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen M. Prorok, RS, 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 email@example.com