Division Title
Health and Wellness

Nursing Mothers Program

At the NIH, we care about the health and wellbeing of our employees. We know that returning to work after having a baby can be difficult, especially for women who choose to breastfeed. We want to provide the worksite assistance needed for you and your baby to remain happy and healthy. The Nursing Mothers Program provides services for future and current nursing mothers that have concerns about breastfeeding. 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 Services

The Nursing Mothers Program provides:

  • Prenatal breastfeeding education classes entitled "Breastfeeding and Return to Work" and "How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?" which are taught on the NIH campus. The ideal time to attend the class is during the third trimester of your pregnancy. Read more about our classes and schedule.

  • Telephone support with our lactation consultants while on maternity leave who provide advice and problem-solving during the critical first weeks that you're home with your 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 a Lactation Consultant to discuss how to collect and store your milk and other issues related to the transition back to work.

You must be enrolled in the Nursing Mothers Program in order to take advantage of these services. Send an email with a NIH Nursing Mothers Program Registration Form to our Lactation Consultant, Jane Balkam. There is no charge for any of these services, although you will have to purchase a kit to connect to a lactation room breast pump. Visitors can also use an onsite lactation room. Please complete and submit the Visitors Nursing Mothers Room Request Form as soon as possible so that we may accomodate you.

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

 

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Registration

The Nursing Mothers Program services are available free of charge. 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 a Lactation Consultant.

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Lactation Room Locations

Image of lactation roomA lactation room may be used by NIH employees, contractors and visitors. You must register with the Nursing Mothers Program to use the room on an ongoing basis. 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 using a room. It is necessary to register for the Nursing Mothers Program to use a lactation room. Most of the lactation rooms are equipped with Medela Symphony breast pumps. Use of the breast pumps is free, however you need to purchase a kit.
 

On Campus Lactation Rooms*

Lactation rooms are available at the following locations:
  • Building 1, Room B2E-39 (2 Stations)
  • Building 4, Room 439
  • Building 10, Room 2N234B-13N234B
  • Building 10/CRC, Room 3-4681 (2 Stations)
  • Building 31, Room B2B39 (2 Stations)
  • Building 30, Room 206
  • Building 33, Room BN15
  • Building 35, Porter NRC, Rooms 1D901, 2D901, and 3D901
  • Building 37, Room 2026A, Room 3026A, Room 4026A, Room 5026A
  • Building 38, Room 2W20
  • Building 45, Room 6AN.16 (2 Stations)
  • Building 49, Room 1A63 (2 Stations)
  • Building 50, Room B215 (2 Stations)

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
  • 2115 East Jefferson Street, Room BB34
  • Frederick Campus – Building 426, Room 123
  • Frederick Campus – Building 535, Room 105
  • Frederick Campus – VCMP Building, Room 331A
  • Frederick Campus – 8200 Research Plaza, Room 1A127 (2 Stations)
  • Democracy II, Room 105M (2 Stations)
  • Rockledge II, Room 1013
  • 5625 Fisher's Lane, Room 1N17 (2 Stations)
  • 5601 Fisher's Lane, Rooms 2A7 and 6A7
  • 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 111
  • Rock I, 6705 Rockledge Boulevard, Room 5040
  • 6701B Rockledge Drive, Room 3320
  • 10401 Fernwood Road, Room 3E06
  • 9800 Medical Center Drive, Building B, Room 3007
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Building 3, Room 315 
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Building 9, Room 9207
* You must register with the Nursing Mothers Program prior to using a lactation room.
 

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Lactation Room Guidelines

  1. The lactation room may be used by NIH employees, contractors and visitors. You must register with the Nursing Mothers Program to use the room regularly. There is no fee for using a lactation room. To use a lactation room, please complete the NIH Nursing Mothers Program Registration Form.  Visitors can also use a lactation room. Please complete and submit the Visitors Nursing Mothers Room Request Form  as soon as possible so that we may accomodate you.
  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. We ask that you please use ear buds if listening to music or videos on your cell phone, and try to make your phone voice soft while on the phone and using a lactation room.
  4. We ask that you please remember to be cordial and respectful of each other when using a lactation room. If you stay over your time limit you cut into another person’s time slot.
  5. It is your responsibility to clean up any spills of breast milk you make and toss any trash you have while using a lactation room. Please take any food trash with you and discard it outside of a lactation room. Cleaning solution is provided in each of the lactation rooms. Please notify the Lactation Consultants or the Lactation Program Assistant if a room is out of cleaning solution.
  6. The Lactation Consultants or the Lactation Program Assistant reserve the right to remove from the schedule anyone who has left the program or has not returned two consecutive messages ( via telephone or email) requesting an update regarding lactation room use.  
  7. If you are not using a reserved time slot(s) on a specific day, it is your responsibility to keep the lactation room schedule current by cancelling your reserved time slot, thereby allowing the room to become available to others. Changes to the calendar will show up immediately so that others can choose the opened time slot(s).
  8. Once a time slot(s) has been reserved, you will receive an email confirmation with the date, time, and location as a reminder of your reservation. You may add your reserved time slot(s) to your own personal calendar by clicking on the calendar option.

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Prenatal Breastfeeding Education Classes 

Free prenatal breastfeeding education classes are open to all women working at NIH who have registered for the Nursing Mothers Program. 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 are offered at the locations, dates and times listed below.

 

Breastfeeding and Return to Work

In this class we 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; 

  • General information about how to continue to breastfeed once you return to work; and

  • Answer your questions by a board certified lactation consultant.

How to Get Started with Breastfeeding?

In this class we discuss: 
  • How the body makes breast milk; 

  • Basic techniques to successfully breastfeed; 

  • 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.

2018 Class Schedule

Please indicate in the comments section of your  registration form 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?"
May 7, 2018: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PMMay 14, 2018: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
July 9, 2018: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PMJuly 23, 2018: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

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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 email at balkamj@od.nih.gov.

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

Lisa J. Simon, is the Nursing Mothers Program Assistant. She provides support to the Nursing Mothers Program. She can be reached at (301) 435-7850 or email at simonlj@mail.nih.gov.
 

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