As Mr. Dapper and I have grown together, we have found ourselves discussing more if/when we want to have offspring. As this discussion continues to grow, I have contemplated how I, as a designer, could impact my designs, and our home.
Although the home comfort is a relatively easy adjustment, I have recently read up on what the state of Illinois considers a “Mother’s Room” and it has made me rather upset. For those unaware of what a Mother’s Room could be (which is completely reasonable since most offices/ employers don’t offer this amenity) is a room that can be used for new mothers to feel safe an comfortable taking the time that they need to pump while being amazing and going back to the office. For a well designed room, you will not only find a lock on the door, no windows (for privacy), and a comfortable chair for the mom, but, there is typically also a small fridge for milk storage and a hand sink.
Many times, these rooms double as “Wellness Rooms” or “Respite Rooms” where employees can rest and recover (this could mean a power nap, hving a quiet place for overcoming a migraine or even getting over
Now, the thing about this definition by the State of Illinois, is when they assume this space will be used:
“The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee.”
I’m not sure about your
“An employer is not required to provide break time under this Section if to do so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.”
Anyone else have there jaw drop?
Think about this: the State of Illinois can determine how frequently a new mother can use the room, yet no where does it indicate the size of the room. No size minimums (or maximums), no indication of a washing sink or fridge, and it doesn’t even define if the room could be used for something else. This means, if an employer was really shady, a new mom could pump in a storage closet where all of the cleaning chemicals are stored (but, hey, at least it’s not the handicap stall of the bathroom . . . Right?)
Clearly this is just my opinion on the topic, and something I would love to see changed. I believe every Mother’s / Wellness / Respite Room should be at least 80-100 square foot (8′ x 10′ to 10′ x 10′) and include:
- 1 full reclinable furniture (minimum 6′ in length)
- 1 small fridge dedicated to new mothers and people with medicine that needs to be refrigerated
- 1 small handwashing sink (9″ W x 9″ L minimum, 10″ minimum from the faucet to the sink basin with half the distance being the sink depth)
- Counter space
- Trash can
- Dimmable lights
- Lockable door
Windowlessroom (for privacy)
- Dedicated for occupant use (no chemicals, other than a fragrance-free hand soap stored in this room)
I’m curious to hear what you think. What does your state consider a “Wellness” room? And what would you like to see a Wellness room be?