Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, through grant support from the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the School of Medicine’s Dean’s support, launched the Lactation Room Program in 2014. The program promotes healthy families with a campus-wide initiative to protect and support student, faculty, staff, trainee and visitor mothers who breastfeed.

In order to maintain security and privacy, nearly all WUSM-managed lactation rooms require registration to access them.

Why do we have a lactation room program?

  • To provide awareness to the medical campus on the importance of breastfeeding while working collaboratively to reduce barriers to breastfeeding for employees, trainees and students.
  • To reduce obstacles for new mothers and to increase infant wellness.
  • To increase awareness of both the program and the value of new mothers in the workplace with management at Barnes-Jewish and Washington University School of Medicine.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and beneficial activities for mother and baby. It is a choice many mothers are making today, as it results in significant health, economic and environmental benefits for the mother and child.

Breast milk is an infant’s normal food and contains numerous nutrients that are necessary to help babies grow into strong and healthy toddlers. According to the National Institutes of Health, the nutrients in breast milk can also help protect your infant against some common childhood illnesses and infection.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least twelve months of age (American Academy of Pediatrics, Policy Statement: “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk”, 2012).

Designated Lactation Areas

We currently have 71 lactation spaces across the medical campus. Each of the locations provides a private space where nursing mothers are welcome to pump. Rooms are equipped with appropriate signage, a comfortable chair, a small table and an electrical outlet. Some rooms have refrigerators, sinks, pumps and microwaves.

Supplies for Ameda pumps are available for purchase in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Pharmacy for $30. The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm. The pharmacy phone number is (314) 657-9005.

Contact Us

For any questions about the WUSM Lactation Room Program, please contact:

Michelle Lewis, 314-362-0214
Melanie Strowmatt, 314-362-2534

If you need immediate access to a lactation room, please call Protective Services at 314-362-4357.

In the news…

In 2015, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine were recognized as a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite through its proactive efforts to support employees who choose to breastfeed their children. Barnes-Jewish joins a growing number of Missouri businesses as a Breastfeeding Friendly employer, which provides private lactation rooms, time for breast pumping and other benefits to maintain breastfeeding after a mother returns to work. Read more on Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s website.   (must use your BJC network ID and password)

BJH and BJC Assist Nursing Mothers Returning to Work
Lactation Rooms Program at WUSM, BJH & SLCH – The Record
Lactation Room Program Expands on Medical Campus – The Record


“[Regarding] the Medical School’s initiative to provide more support for breastfeeding…I want to thank you and commend your efforts. I believe lactation rooms would certainly make it easier for women to continue breastfeeding for a longer period of time, which has well-documented health benefits…Though these rooms are clearly just for the female population…men will also benefit from a family-friendly and supportive work environment. It certainly fits with the mission of patient care, research and education…and will reflect positively on the institution…”

Julie Prior, Research Lab Supervisor, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology 11/22/13

“As an employee, a mother and a member of Student Health Services staff, this is a wonderful service…In my capacity as a psychologist serving students here, I interact with many whom are making decisions to start their families and managing their careers when they do come back to work. It can be a very stressful time. This service is important for the success of women students and women in leadership on campus.I am glad it is a priority.”

Nancy Friesen, PhD, staff psychologist, Washington University School of Medicine Student Health Service 11/22/13