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New Lactation Center Opens

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new lactation center was held recently at 6100 Executive Blvd. The space was donated by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

"The NICHD is delighted to have a lactation room for our off-campus new mothers at last," said NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander, who was on hand to cut the ribbon. "We are grateful for the cooperation and assistance of Jane Balkam of the NIH Lactation Program who provided guidance during the design of this facility so that it responds to women's requests, and for the lactation equipment to meet the need."

The NIH Lactation Program is a free service offered by the Work and Family Life Center to all NIH employees. It is designed to help ease the transition back to work for women who are breastfeeding their babies. Services available include:

  • prenatal breastfeeding education classes

  • telephone support while on leave after the birth of a child

  • consultation concerning return-to-work issues

  • onsite lactation rooms

With the addition of the new space, there are now 12 NIH lactation centers. Sites include Bldgs. 10, 31, 37, 38, 45, 49, Rockledge II, the Neuroscience Research Center at 6001 Executive Blvd., EPS/EPN, 301 Stonestreet, and on the Frederick campus. Each NIH lactation room is clean, secure and private, equipped with table, chair and a fully automatic electric breast pump. Employees can either bring their own pump, or buy an adapter kit to use the NIH-provided pump. Use of the room is reserved in advance through one of the NIH onsite lactation consultants who facilitate scheduling.

Five-month-old Jabel Sabel helps NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander open the new lactation center.

Women who choose not to use the lactation rooms are still eligible to sign up for classes, phone support and consultation services. The ideal time to register for the program is in the third trimester of pregnancy.

To enroll in the lactation program, register for prenatal education classes, or for more information, visit or contact one of the consultants, Jane Balkam or Colleen Prorok, by phone 435-7850 or email ( and (

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