Over the past decade, an increasing number of colleges/workplaces are designating lactation rooms in order to better serve pregnant and parenting women. Colleges are now seeing the necessity of having lactation rooms for both students and staff who are returning to work after a pregnancy.
According to national law, most businesses (over 50 employees) are required to provide a lactation room that can not be a bathroom. They are all required to provide unpaid breaks to employees for a year after giving birth. Most states also have laws in place regarding breastfeeding, look up your state laws and make sure your school is in compliance with these laws. A good summary of what this law means for employers is described here.
Looking for More Information?
- Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to File a Complaint
- State Breastfeeding Laws
What Would This Room Require?
At the minimum, lactation rooms should provide:
- Lockable door
- Work surface and chair
- Small utility-type sink
- Storage for cleaning supplies & paper towels
- Breast-pumps and related services
- Electrical outlets
Telephone service and network connections for the room are also recommended to increase worker safety and productivity. Accessibility guidelines should be met for all the features of the room.
A peaceful, secure and quiet location is often beneficial for women who use the lactation room. While this is a harder project to accomplish, the benefits of having a lactation room on campus will open wide the floodgates for more pregnancy resources on your campus.
Make This a Reality
Lactation rooms are a project that all campuses can and should support. In particular, these rooms are especially needed on campuses with a large student body and staff. Campuses must provide parenting women with the necessary resources so that they may successfully perform as students or employees.This is a sticking point for your pro-life group with college administration and creating a lactation room can significantly improve resources for pregnant and parenting students.
Sample Petitions/Proposals and Signature Sheets
Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator and/or the Pregnant on Campus Director for an editable petition to use for your campus proposals.