Northumbria NHS to provide breastfeeding rooms for staff returning to work

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is offering staff who are returning from maternity leave a private sanctuary to express their breast milk.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 3:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 3:35 pm
Claire Stringer, infant feeding co-ordinator for the trust, and Rebecca Evans, a member of staff due to return to work, with baby Annie.

The trust announced that it will be providing breastfeeding ‘expressing’ rooms for staff across all of its sites.

It will be the first NHS trust in the region to offer this security to staff, and hopes it will provide reassurance to its pregnant workforce.

The trust ensures that all members of staff who are currently breastfeeding are given the time to express their milk, without having to use their personal break time.

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Northumbria Healthcare's new breastfeeding room for staff.

The trust hopes this will be a demonstration of its commitment to not only normalising breastfeeding, but also to make it achievable in the workplace too.

The rooms have been individually designed as a safe haven, with thought given to even the smallest details creating a relaxing environment.

Featuring reclining chairs and comfortable sofas, the rooms have a sideboard to store equipment and a kitchenette so they can stay hydrated.

There is even a fridge so that the pouches of breast milk can be kept chilled until the end of the day.

In addition, the trust’s Bright charity has also funded cool bags for all staff members going on maternity leave. The idea is that when they return to work, the bag can aid storage of the expressed milk in a cool and safe environment.

Jenna Wall, Head of Midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a huge step forward for the trust in terms of the support provided to breastfeeding employees returning from maternity leave.

"We are committed to supporting women across Northumberland and North Tyneside along their breastfeeding journey, it is only right that we extend this support to our own members of staff too.”

Nicole Contogiorgi, public health operations services manager at the trust, added: “The wellbeing of our staff continues to be a priority for us, especially in the current climate. Providing facilities to enable staff to give the next generation the best start in life is very important to us and we are delighted to be able to offer this space.”