Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Privacy for nursing mothers

Lab's Mamava unit first of its kind in New Mexico
March 28, 2017
Mamava breastfeeding privacy unit at the Laboratory

A nursing station was installed near the entrance of the Study Center on March 21, 2017.

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Supporting nursing moms

Mothers returning to work after having a child may struggle to reintegrate into the office environment, but now there’s one less hurdle for lactating Laboratory employees. The Principal Associate Directorates for Operations and Business (PADOPS), Weapons Programs (PADWP), and Occupational Health recently combined efforts to purchase two Mamava privacy units for mothers who are nursing or pumping.

The Mamava unit, installed at the Study Center on March 21, is the first of its kind in New Mexico. This location was chosen for its unclassified status and accessibility to visitors and new hires who may not have badges.

A second pod will be installed on the first floor of the National Security Sciences Building (NSSB) in the next few weeks, and other divisions are considering investing in their own nursing stations.

Supporting employee health and wellness

The prefabricated units have smart lock-combination keypads and interior deadbolts. They’re well lit and roomier than they appear from the outside, and are equipped with electrical outlets, USB ports, benches, table tops, and motion activated lighting and vents. The pod sits on retractable casters for easy relocation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act states that employers of 50 or more nonexempt employees are required to provide both adequate time and space for nursing employees to express milk. Laboratory managers have previously found ways to provide space, but it’s been a challenge that the Mamava unit solves.

“Providing the pods goes above and beyond the regulation in support of employee health and wellness,” says Sara Pasqualoni, Occupational Medicine Medical Director.

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