SSC Atlantic Provides Portable Lactation Pods for Nursing Mothers

Charleston, S.C. Facilities officials at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic recently purchased two mobile lactation pods, similar to those found in airports, as a pilot project to supplement Mothers' Rooms. The Pods are fully wired with electric outlets and USB plugs and contain an interior door lock indicating whether the unit is occupied, a seat, a tabletop and motion-activated lighting. They're airy - with an open grid ceiling for ventilation -- while still retaining privacy. The prefabricated free-standing units will be assembled and placed as the need arises in smaller SSC Atlantic buildings that are a distance from buildings with Mothers' Rooms. (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Bullinger/Released)

By Diane Owens, SSC Atlantic Public Affairs

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic Facilities Division recently purchased two mobile lactation pods, similar to those found in airports, as a pilot project to supplement Mothers' Rooms. The Pods are fully wired with electric outlets and USB plugs and contain an interior door lock indicating whether the unit is occupied, a seat, a tabletop and motion-activated lighting. They're airy - with an open grid ceiling for ventilation -- while still private.

The prefabricated free-standing units will be assembled and placed as the need arises in smaller Charleston buildings a distance from buildings with Mothers' Rooms.

Several years ago, SSC Atlantic leaders converted spaces in major buildings at most East Coast sites into Mothers' Rooms -- and they're dedicated to providing clean and comfortable areas for the center's nursing moms.

Medical experts have promoted the value of breastfeeding babies for decades and numerous research studies continue to show positive health outcomes for children who consume mother's milk.

However, nursing mothers often face obstacles to breastfeeding children and expressing milk in public sites and sometimes have to resort to using less than optimal facilities such as restrooms, cars and store dressing rooms. Many women use electric pumps that require power, and that can be an issue, too.

In the workplace, nursing mothers need two basic things: a clean, quiet, private spot with available power sources -- and support from supervisors to take one or more short breaks a day to pump milk. To ensure that, the Fair Labor Standards Act section 7(r) [link to https://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/Sec7rFLSA_btnm.htm] mandates that employers provide break time and a private place (not a bathroom) free from intrusion for one year after a child's birth.

SSC Atlantic's commitment to provide lactation accommodations for mothers supports employees and their families, boosts morale, enhances recruitment efforts and contributes to retention of female employees.

SSC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR), cyber and information technology (IT) capabilities.
For more information visit http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Atlantic.
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