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National Security Agency - Fort Meade, MD



Employer's Perspective:
The National Security Agency's (NSA's) Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Program is just one of many employee benefit programs offered by the NSA through (its) Work/Life Services... Since the 1980's, NSA has supported our female employees' choice to breastfeed after returning to work. Mothers first used an examination room within our Medical Center to express breast milk. In the late 1980's the Agency established the first Nursing Mothers Room (NMR). Now, at NSA headquarters, north of Washington, DC, there are 30 NMRs. NSA strives to be an employer of choice and the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Program is an integral part of the quality of life we provide for our employees' Nursing Mothers have access to our NMRs 24-7, on-site child development center, NMP Introduction training, internal blog, and website, and our extensive lending library with books and media regarding breastfeeding, parenting, and other work/life-related topics. Current and former NMs serve as Points of Contact (POCs) for the individual rooms, ensuring the smooth day-to-day operation of the rooms with overarching support and program management by the Nursing Mothers Program Manager in Work/Life Services.WorldatWork awarded NSA with their 2011 Innovative Excellence Award. Also, NSA's NMP was included in the highlights of the article about us in Baltimore Magazine as one of Baltimore's Best Places to Work in the February 2012 edition.

Employee's Reaction:
Returning to work after having my baby was hard but the Nursing Mothers program at NSA made it so much easier! Being a first time mother, the information session on breast feeding and the program made me feel more confident and comfortable returning because I knew what to expect. In addition, the rooms are managed well... there are people in charge of each room, rules for maintaining a healthy and respectful environment, breastfeeding information and tips, scheduling systems, baby photo boards! Even when taking an off-site class, the NMP... has) the training facility set up a room for my use. All this, not to mention the support group, being able to talk with and learn from other mothers going through the same things. I believe the NMP at NSA allows me and my child to continue to reap the benefits of breast feeding and has enabled me to keep a bond with her even while I'm at work.
-Ellen

NSA's Nursing Mothers Program (NMP) provided a way for me to meet my original goal (of breastfeeding for 6 months) and at 9 months my son is thriving thanks in part to the nutrition that I've been able to provide for him. Without the support of the other mothers using the Nursing Mothers Room, policies and advocacy that support and enable new mothers, and clean and discrete facilities to pump in, I know that I and many of my fellow mothers would find it that much more difficult to return to work. Now I know that I can continue on and give my child the best possible start to his first year of life and continue to do the work that I believe in.
-Kara

Use of the lactation room means I have been able to provide the best nutrition for my baby while I am at work. We were able to get through this first year with minimal sickness and no ear infections
-Kate