Emerson supports employee needs


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Month which is observed during the month of August.

SIDNEY — Six years ago, the management at Emerson saw a need for their breastfeeding mothers: a need for privacy to express their milk while they were at work.

“At that time, there were several employees using bathrooms and conference rooms to express milk,” said Lisa Merritt, manager, group human resources for Emerson. “We built the room to accommodate an employee need.

“We observed there was a need as the business was growing,” said Merritt. “The moms were taking cubical spaces or making due with empty offices to pump during their breaks. The restrooms have a sitting area and they were finding places they could use.”

Today, she said, the lactation room “gets a lot of use but there’s only one space right now.”

With the recent groundbreaking for expansion and renovation of existing facilities, the needs of these employees was taken a step further: two lactation rooms will be built as part of the project.

“The two lactation rooms will have two curtained off areas,” said Merritt. “One room will be located on the west side of the building and one will be built on the east side. We wanted the new ones to be convenient for the employee who works across the facility.

“As we embarked on the plans for renovation, we saw a need for additional space for things in the rooms,” said Merritt. “The current room has no running water or sink. It doesn’t have a refrigerator.”

Currently, the moms have to store everything in the break areas of the building, which is in different parts of the building from where the current lactation room is located.

“Some of the moms may have offices,” she said. “They may have refrigerators and storage there as well.”

Merritt said when she started at Emerson 10 years ago, she was pregnant with her second son.

“I was fortunate that I’ve always had an office where I could just close the door,” said Merritt.

The two new lactation rooms will be fully operational with a sink with running water and a full size refrigerator for moms to store their breast milk until it’s time to go home after work. There will be two private areas with curtains so the moms can have privacy as they are pumping.

“There’s also going to be storage for the pumps,” said Merritt. “This way, the moms won’t have to take them back to their work area every time.

“The rooms will also be set up as work spaces so they can bring their laptops in with them so they’ll have something to read.”

Merritt said the design of the rooms is based on feedback the company received from its female employees.

The Sidney-Shelby County Health Department’s WIC department has been supportive of Emerson’s installation of lactation rooms.

“She (Shannon Nagel, RN, IBCLC, with WIC department) approached us and said she had been receiving feedback from the people she works with about our mom-friendly environment,” said Merritt. “She reached out to us to ask about our lactation space.

“We take pride in being a place where people feel comfortable coming to work,” said Merritt. “We’re able to help them balance their work and home life needs.”

Merritt said the installation of the two lactation rooms is scheduled for phase 2 of the renovation.

“The rooms will be in areas of the building that already exist but will be refurbished,” said Merritt.

Merritt said the current lactation room gets “a lot of use.”

“It’s located by the nurse’s station just in case a mom has any difficulty the nurses could assist her,” said Merritt.

Levin Porter & Associates in Dayton is in charge of the design for the building, which includes the lactation rooms. Merrit said they have completed lactation rooms in previous projects.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said Merritt. “I can’t wait to see it. It’s nice to be able to offer this to our female employees.

“The new rooms are going to be more comfortable and more convenient,” she said. “Office and manufacturing floor employees will be able to use them.”

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The renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_Lactation-Room-01.jpgThe renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps. Courtesy photo

The renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_Lactation-Room-03.jpgThe renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps. Courtesy photo

The renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_Lactation-Room-02.jpgThe renovation/addition at Emerson will include two lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers. Each will include two curtained off areas, for privacy, a refrigerator, sink with running water and a storage area for breast pumps. Courtesy photo
Renovation to include two lactation rooms

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.