I was contacted recently by a member of the leadership of our children's ministry at church. She mentioned that she wanted to work on the nursing room - a room set aside for nursing moms during services and women's Bible study. She wondered if I had any ideas for making it more inviting and welcoming to the moms.
I was immediately excited about this! I know that God brought these ideas to mind and some of them were born out of my time spent in the nursing room!
There were a couple of big "problems":
When you enter the room, you are greeted by the sight of the back side of two stackable crib sets - not inviting at all. There was no way to rearrange the room because they did provide privacy.
I bought four 16x20 stretched canvases and painted them each a different color. Then, I cut a circle shape out of a sponge and did polka dots on each canvas in a contrasting color. I hung these on the back of the cribs:
When you enter the room it is DARK! The big overhead light is too much for nursing moms to relax, and there is a lamp, but you have to walk around the cribs to get to it. So, picture this - crying baby in a heavy carrier, diaper bag, navigating around multiple rocking chairs to get to the light. Now, retrace your steps to turn the big light off. Now, go sit down and take care of screaming baby! This always used to bug me - so we came up with the idea of putting two night lights in there to help moms see on their way to the lamp - not completely ideal, but certainly better!
Another problem - some of the rocking chairs have cushioned arms, but some do not - very uncomfortable for nursing! So, I got these two cute green bins and 1/2 yard each of five colors of gingham ($1.00/yard at Wal-Mart) and made pillows. The pillows were treated with Scotch Guard before placing in the room!
I also thought of how tired moms are who are often in there. Tired and maybe discouraged to be called out of the service AGAIN for a crying baby. I wanted to create a sense of refreshing and encouragement in the room as well. So, on a bare wall, I painted a chalk board. Around it, I stenciled the words, "Encourage One Another" and provided a small pencil cup with chalk in it. A note welcoming the moms encourages them to use this space to share a Scripture that has been meaningful to them recently or to share something God has been teaching them.
I got a small basket for less than $3 - painted it and lined it with some of the gingham. In here are stashed a Tide-To-Go pen, a Spray and Wash stain stick and some Lysol wipes to help with some of the spills that may occur in there. And, to help encourage keeping the room neat and clean for the next group of moms.
To finish things off - I hung a framed poem that was just propped behind the sink, mounted the flower arrangement on the wall and made a space for brochures about the church.
All done - and just in time to get to use it myself in a couple of months! :)