A new dedicated breastfeeding room has opened for staff at Logan Hospital. Picture: Tara Croser
A new dedicated breastfeeding room has opened for staff at Logan Hospital. Picture: Tara Croser

What this hospital is doing for mums

There is a room in Logan Hospital's emergency department that is filled with herbal teas, chocolate, recliner chairs and plants.

It is the hospital's new dedicated staff breastfeeding room, a space designed to make it easier for new mums returning to work.

 

The room is in Logan Hospital’s emergency department ward but staff from across the hospital are welcome to use it. Picture: Patria Jannides
The room is in Logan Hospital’s emergency department ward but staff from across the hospital are welcome to use it. Picture: Patria Jannides

 

Nurse unit manager Tracy Churchill noticed a need for the room when she returned from maternity leave and had nurses asking if they could use their breast pumps in her office.

Ms Churchill said she had even heard of a women using toilets as a place to express.

"I had no ideas how many people needed the room until we started it," she said.

The room opened in June in a repurposed old storage cupboard and now has footstools, a selection of herbal teas, tissues and wipes.

 

Mums and bubs enjoy Logan Hospital's new staff breastfeeding room.
Mums and bubs enjoy Logan Hospital's new staff breastfeeding room.

 

"The room also has a power point for pumps and we will a small fridge to store milk so it doesn't go to waste while our lactating ladies are working hard," she said.

Ms Churchill said with females making up 89 per cent of nurses in Queensland and 70 per cent of all staff working for Queensland health, it was a no-brainer.

"When woman come back, they don't want to be a burden on their team and this shows we understand that at different stages of their life they need different things," she said.

"We're a big part of the workforce and we need to recognise there are things we can do to keep them in our team and not let them drift off."

 

Emergency nurses Natalie Rowan, Narae Lee and Kath Crome have all used the room.
Emergency nurses Natalie Rowan, Narae Lee and Kath Crome have all used the room.

 

The room is not the only way the hospital is trying to retain staff and make life easier for working mums.

Women are given a maternity leave pack during pregnancy and are offered 10 fully paid 'Keeping in Touch' days.

This allows them to come back to work at any stage of their maternity leave to do training or job shadowing which Ms Churchill said helps boost their confidence.

"I think it makes them feel a lot more welcome coming back," she said.

Thirteen women regularly use the breastfeeding room and Ms Churchill said she anticipated it would get a great work out in the years to come.



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