In addition to family-friendly policies such as the Bright Horizons backup care program, the extended bereavement leave policy, and the newly expanded Pay for Family Care and Bonding policy, Berkeley Lab has seventeen designated lactation rooms for nursing parents. Fourteen of them are on the hill and there is one each at JBEI, the OCFO, and Potter Street buildings.
The lactation rooms were first created in 2011 to provide a more supportive work environment for parents returning to work after the birth of a child. The first LBNL policy was put in place shortly after in 2012 and was followed by a UC policy in 2013.
In 2014, the Lab purchased hospital grade pumps for all of the rooms. This allowed nursing parents to use their own peripheral attachments without having to haul around the heavier pump.
In the intervening years, access to some of the rooms became complicated and the furniture had some serious wear and tear after a decade of use. In 2022, when this came to the attention of Kelley Toulouse, Space Management Planning & Move Coordinator, she decided to do a survey of the rooms including amenities, access and signs.
When it was clear that the lactation room systems and spaces could use some upgrades, a small, cross-division working group was created that included Kelley Toulouse and Chris Keifer from Facilities, Leticia Ericson and Cheri Toney from the FAIR office, Madelyn Bello from HR, Nina Horne from Health Services and Kelly Perce from the IDEA Office.
The group put together a proposal and received funding from Operations for upgrades that included new chairs, new signage, new locks for some of the rooms, and new posters outlining the lactation accommodation policy and room usage.
Installing the upgrades was a Facilities team effort that included Chris Kiefer, Architect, Facilities Engineering who advised on ADA accessibility issues and appropriate signage, Joanna Eun, Campus Planning worked with our signage vendor on new signage, Matthew Holman and Issac Geeslin from the Lockshop provided and installed new ADA compliant door lock hardware, and Facilities carpenters hung the new ADA compliant signage.
Work on the rooms was completed in November 2023 when the new posters were hung in each space.
General Lactation Room Information
Lactation Rooms – Map & Location List
Expectant and Nursing Mother resources
Berkeley Lab Lactation Accommodation Policy
My Family @ Berkeley Lab website
Bright Horizons backup care program
Extended bereavement leave policy
Pay for Family Care and Bonding policy