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Lactation room program expands on Medical Campus

Badges needed to access lactation rooms beginning May 2

by Diane Duke WilliamsApril 22, 2016


As part of continuing efforts to support nursing faculty, staff and students, the number of lactation rooms at the School of Medicine has grown from 21 to 37 in the past two years and is expected to reach 49 rooms by 2018. Privacy and security features also are being enhanced.

“We know that it’s important to our employees and students to continue to improve our lactation room program,” said Melissa Hopkins, assistant vice chancellor and assistant dean of facilities management. “We hope our ongoing efforts will enable moms to transition back to work and school and continue breast-feeding their children.”

This month, badge readers will be installed in all medical school-managed lactation rooms that are used by more than one person (this does not include restrooms). Beginning May 2, only employees who have registered for the lactation program will be able to access the rooms. To register, mothers should fill out the registration form.

In addition to added privacy and security, registration will allow the program administrators to track which rooms are used most often and to determine the need and best locations for additional lactation rooms.

The following rooms will be affected by this change:

  • 4444 Forest Park, Room 2903
  • 4515 McKinley Research Building, Room 4201
  • Barnard Hospital, Room 3338
  • Biotech Building, Room G-43
  • Clinical Sciences Research Building – North Tower Addition, Room 103
  • Taylor Avenue Building, Room 1041
  • Wohl Clinic, Room 2211B

Hopkins launched the lactation room program in 2014 to reduce barriers to breast-feeding and provide welcoming and accessible spaces for faculty, students and staff to pump milk or feed their babies. She and a 25-member steering committee, made up of staff from the medical school and Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, have continued to seek ways to improve the experience of mothers who use the rooms.

The Danforth Campus also supports breast-feeding. Click on this link for a list of Danforth’s lactation rooms.

Diane retired from Washington University in 2024. While at WashU Medicine, Diane pitched the news of the medical school—about research, patient care and education—and serves as a liaison between reporters and faculty. She also covered obstetrics/ gynecology, emergency medicine and the Institute for Public Health. Before joining Medical Public Affairs, she reported for the Austin Business Journal and wrote patient education materials at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.