Lactation Room FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the lactation rooms located on campus and how do I request access to the rooms?

If possible, please provide us with at least 24 hours' notice if you or a guest need access to a lactation room.

When are the Lactation Rooms open? Whom can I contact if I have trouble getting into the room?

All lactation rooms and access services are available during business hours. If you have any difficulty in accessing a room after you have registered, please email during business hours.

Once you registered to access a specific room, access to that room is permitted 24/7 by the registered user, pending availability. In the event of any access issues after business hours, please call the non-emergency number for Northwestern University Police at (847) 491-3254 or extension 1-3254 and someone can meet you to open the door.

Is there an expiration date assigned to my WildCARD lactation room access?

Yes. Your card is valid for lactation room access for six months after activation. If you require more than six months' access to a lactation room, please notify the Office of Work/Life & Family Resources.

What if I forget my WildCARD? May I request a temporary card?

Yes. Please contact the Office of Work/Life & Family Resources to request a temporary card.

I divide my time between both campuses. May I request access to more than one lactation room?

Yes. Please refer to the lactation room locations page. When requesting access, provide the names of the rooms to which you require access.

If my school or department has a guest that needs access to a lactation room, how do we request access on their behalf?

Please contact the Office of Work/Life & Family Resources as soon as you are made aware of the request. Your (faculty/staff/student) WildCARD will be activated for access and the Office of Work/Life & Family Resources will reserve time via Outlook for the requested room.

Is there a refrigerator available in all of the lactation rooms?
No. Not all rooms have a refrigerator. However, refrigerators are available in Rebecca Crown and The Women’s Center.

How do I store expressed milk if the room I am using does not have a refrigerator?
According to the CDC, you may store your milk in a cooler bag with an ice pack for up to 24 hours.

My unit/department would like to create a lactation space. How do we begin the process?

Contact Facilities Management or the Office of Work/Life to review your plan.
Each lactation room is generally equipped with the following:
• Secure access to room via WildCARD registration
• Ventilation, air-conditioning and heat
• Window blinds
• Power outlets
• Accessibility. Able to accommodate mothers with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs
• Sink in the room or nearby (with soap and towel dispenser)
• Chair, non-caster and upholstered, with arms and back support
• Within a reasonable walk for women in designated zone
• “Lactation Room” signage and sign-up instructions
• Adjoining or nearby bathroom
• Proper sanitation arrangements (disinfecting hand soap and surface cleaner, trashcan)

Which kind of breast pump is recommended? Does the University provide breast pumps?

For employees enrolled in University Health Insurance, review the “Special Beginnings” program offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Employees will have access to informational articles, pregnancy calendars, helpful videos, and other useful maternity information. Coverage may also include the rental or purchase of a dual electric breast pump or a manual breast pump at no cost to you. This means you do not have to pay a copayment, co-insurance, or a deductible. If you are eligible, you’ll also be fully covered for breastfeeding support. Covered services are only available from Blue Cross/Blue Shield contracted providers with a prescription. Please contact Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois at 1-800-327-8497 for more information.

If you have additional questions, please email