South Washington County Schools, District #833, is the largest school district in Washington County. With over 2,500 employees that span over 26 building locations, South Washington County Schools wanted to ensure nursing mothers returning to work had access to the space and resources needed to continue breastfeeding.
With support from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), Living Healthy Washington County provided funding to South Washington County Schools to assess the needs of nursing mothers and update nursing mother spaces within the district. In 2019, South Washington County Schools made improvements to nursing mother spaces in eight of the district’s 26 building locations. In some cases, rooms were converted into multi-user nursing spaces to accommodate the many moms needing the room at the same time. These rooms include multiple chairs, tables, storage lockers, and curtain dividers to create a friendly and private space for staff. The improvements have been well received by staff.
One employee said, “I have a private, comfortable, bright space to pump. I am better able to balance life and work. I can provide enough milk for my baby while I’m away due to the calming and private environment. It also creates community among the moms using the room. I feel supported and have all I need to successfully continue breastfeeding my baby while working full time.”
This year, South Washington County Schools is continuing to enhance breastfeeding-friendly environments in a few more building locations. These improvements will help continue to create a supportive culture for breastfeeding employees by providing safe and clean spaces for nursing mothers.