Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is now equipped with vending machines that contain breast-pump accessories, storage bottles, breast pads and nipple cream.
Installed last month, the machines are believed to be the first of their kind.
Meg Stoltzfus, Lifespan Services Managers for the Office of Work, Life and Engagement at Hopkins, is responsible for the machines. Stoltzfus says they should help busy, working moms who may have forgotten something at home.
"I worked and pumped as well, so I've made it sort of a mission to help other moms," she said.
She was walking through an airport in 2013 when she noticed the wide variety of things sold in vending machines, such as headphones and other electronic equipment.
She said moms employed at the hospital often work odd or long hours.
"I tried to brainstorm the kinds of things people forget," she said.
As an employee benefit, the items are also sold at a discount.
Johns Hopkins Hospital, university and other affiliates already have 14 dedicated nursing-mothers’ rooms which each have four hospital grade breast pumps. They also have microwaves to sterilize equipment and refrigerators to store milk.
"It ties into our mission of retaining wonderful employees," said Stoltzfus, who hopes that the machines will catch on at other institutions.
Image credit: ParentingPatch, Meg Stoltzfus