Division Title
Health and Wellness

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 Nursing Mothers 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, most equipped with breast pumps. 

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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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 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.

 
You must be enrolled in the Nursing Mothers Program in order to take advantage of these services. Simply send an email 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. Visitors to the NIH can also use an onsite lactation room. Please complete and submit the visitor registration form as soon as possible so that we may accomodate you.

 

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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.

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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. Most 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 (2 Stations)
  • Building 4
  • Building 10, Room 2N234B-13N234B
  • Building 10, Room 6C434 (2 Stations)
  • Building 10, Room 6C442 (2 Stations) 
  • 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 GA912, 1D901, 2D901, and 3D901
  • Building 37, Room 2026A
  • 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
  • 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, 1st Floor (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
  • 6700 Rockledge, Room 5040
  • 6710B Rockledge, Room 3320
  • 10401 Fernwood Road, Room 3E06
  • 9800 Medical Center Drive, Building B, Room 3007
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories (2 Stations)
* 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. 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 formPDF.  Visitors to the NIH can also use an onsite lactation room. Please complete and submit the visitor registration 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 softer while on the phone while using the lactation room.
  4. We ask that you please remember to be cordial and respectful of each other when using the lactation room. If you stay over your time limit you cut into another person’s time slot and make things difficult for that person.
  5. It is your responsibility to clean up any spills of breast milk you make and toss any trash you have while using the lactation room. Please take any food trash with you and discard it outside of the 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 (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 lactation room to become available to others. Changes to the calendar will show up immediately so that others can choose the opened time slots.
  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 

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 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?"

​More classes will be scheduled in 2018. 

Check back regularly.

​More classes will be scheduled in 2018. 

Check back regularly.


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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 by 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, 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 email at prorokc@od.nih.gov.

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

 

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