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DCDEE Opens Nursing, Wellness Room for Mothers

Monday, September 9, 2019

Sept. 9, 2019 – DHHS’ Division of Child Development and Early Education has opened a Nursing and Wellness Room at its main office in Raleigh.

“We wanted to ensure that our customers and staff had access to a room where they could feel comfortable and supported when breastfeeding their child or expressing milk,” said Division of Child Development and Early Education Director Anna Carter. “We’ve been implementing this type of room across the state for employees and families enrolled in division programs to great success.” 

Located at 333 Six Forks Road in Raleigh, the room is a multipurpose space that fosters mental wellness and relieves stress. It features comfortable seating, dimmed lighting and equipment for breastfeeding or lactation. Staff can also use the room to meditate, do yoga, or listen to soothing music. 

The room has a bathroom and shower, and is equipped with amenities that include stress-relieving toys and games, scented soap scrubs, a plush rug, yoga mat, ice pack and cooling face mask, and information about mental health resources provided by DHHS. All items were donated by division staff. 

“I started working on this project back in March,” said Theresa Roedersheimer, Infant Toddler Policy Consultant for the division. “I noticed this empty space … and saw a blank canvas with endless possibilities.”

Roedersheimer met with some partner agencies, including the Division of Public Health’s Nutrition Services Branch and the North Carolina Partnership for Children and the Child Care Services Association to discuss what might be included in the room. After working with Georgetown’s Center of Excellence for Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Roedersheimer decided to include mental wellness options.

“It was the perfect opportunity,” Roedersheimer said. “Giving mothers a chance to improve their wellness while they were lactating, which can be stressful.”

The division plans to nominate the Nursing and Wellness Room for North Carolina Breastfeeding-Friendly Business and Workplace awards.

Author: 
Ryan Hill