Abel Wolman Building Boasts City's Newest Lactation Room

The City of Baltimore Department of General Services is happy to announce that the Abel Wolman Municipal Building has a newly created lactation room. It is the City's latest location in addition to the rooms already available in City Hall, the Charles Benton Building and the Health Department headquarters. A lactation room is a safe space where a breastfeeding woman can use a breast pump in private. This room is set up for one individual and has a chair, table, and sink per the guidelines set forth in AM-204-7 which reflects Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and amended Fair Labor Standards Act, which require employers to provide a private room to lactating mothers, other than a bathroom or locker room.

The purpose of lactation rooms is to reduce barriers to breastfeeding mothers by enabling them to breastfeed their child or "pump" expressed milk for later use once they physically return to work.

According to Wikipedia:

breastfeeding benefits employers as breastfeeding results in decreased health claims, increased productivity, and fewer days missed from work to care for sick children.

One example of the benefits provided to businesses and employees by establishing a corporate lactation program is that of CIGNA, the national employee benefits company. In 1995, CIGNA established the “Working Well Moms” program, which provided lactation education program and lactation rooms. In 2000, CIGNA and the UCLA conducted a study of 343 breastfeeding women who were taking part in CIGNA’s program. The study revealed a savings of $240,000 annually in health care expenses for breastfeeding mothers and their children, and a savings of $60,000 annually through reduced absenteeism among breastfeeding mothers at CIGNA. In addition, the study found that “breastfeeding duration for women enrolled in the Working Well Moms program is 72.5% at six months compared to a 21.1 percent national average of employed new mothers.”

In order for employee to obtain access to the room they will have to have an approved lactation letter from their Department’s Human Resources Office. The approval letter must be shown to Tamara (Mays) White on the 7th floor who will provide the employee with a swipe card/access code to the room and a form to sign stating they understand that they are responsible for the card/code and that they will not give it to anyone else. A copy of this form will be submitted to their agencies Human Resources office.

If there are any questions about the facilities you can direct your questions to DGS Facilities Division at 410-396-3702.

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