ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- Anniston Army Depot recently added four additional lactation rooms in the Abrams Building.
The rooms, available only to nursing mothers, provide ANAD employees as well as tenant employees with a secure and private location to express milk while on depot. An additional lactation room is also available in the DEAR Occupational Health clinic.
“We want every female employee to feel like they are a part of the team,” said Sergeant Major Happiness Brown. “We want them to know we care about them here at work and in their personal live as well.” Brown added that helping employees meet their personal needs also helps with productivity. “If employees are not having to worry about their personal needs, they are able to truly focus on their work and productivity increases,” she said.
The new lactation suite includes four private rooms equipped with lounge recliners and televisions. Nursing mothers also have access to a refrigerator, sinks, and a seating area.
Usage of the rooms will be organized by a group of coordinators who have been tasked with implementing the established protocol. Brown and the coordinators will work with supervisors to identify nursing mothers on depot in order to determine who would be interested in utilizing the rooms. Once they determine interest, the coordinators will work with supervisors and mothers to establish a schedule. “The rooms are available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day,” Brown said during a recent town hall meeting. “But if you need to utilize the rooms earlier, you can make arrangements with our coordinators.”
Entrance into the suite will require a code or key. Additionally, a sign-in process will be established for time keeping purposes. Mothers will sign-in directly with a coordinator in order to maintain their privacy.
Located inside of the space that once housed the Java Café, the lactation suite also includes new lighting, flooring, paint and décor. Renovation of the area was completed by employees in the Directorate of Public Works. “We basically took an old cafeteria and transformed it into a beautiful space for the lactation rooms,” said Jarrod Smith, facility specialist, who led the renovation efforts.
Smith said nearly all shops in the di
rectorate were involved in the renovation including the carpentry, electrical, plumbing, paint, sheet metal and refrigeration shops.
Initially, outside contractors were considered for the project. However, their timeline would have delayed the start of the project six to eight weeks. Additionally, the estimated cost, according to Smith, was over $200 thousand. According to the Smith, DPW was able to complete the project in five weeks at an estimated cost of $65 thousand.
Smith is extremely proud of the work done by depot employees. “This project really highlights what DPW can do and all credit really goes to these shops.”
Brown agrees. “I truly give kudos to our shops,” she said. “They made this vision happen.”
According to Brown more lactation rooms are slated to open soon in the industrial area; giving nursing mothers more options.
For more information or questions, contact the lactation coordinators:
Kecia Ragland - (256)741-5493
Shynta Hudson - (256)235-7031
Wendy Suttles-Walker - (256)240-3447
Susan Bonds-Craft - (256)741-5676
Brittney Johnstone - (256) 245-4131