CAMPUS LACTATION SPACES

By Janelle Hanson, managing editor, University of Utah Communications

Check the campus map features under accessibility to see if your building has a lactation space. If it doesn’t, and you would like to start the process, the Center for Child Care and Family Resources may be able to help.

Contact the Center for Child Care and Family Resources at 801-585-5897 to get started.

For women breastfeeding on campus, finding lactation spaces just got a little easier. The campus map now includes a feature pinpointing all the known lactation rooms. Currently, 21 spaces are listed on the map.

“We absolutely support mothers and their preference to nurse wherever it is most convenient for them,” said Shauna Lower, director of the U’s  Center for Child Care & Family Resource. “If they want an option that provides a little more privacy, a comfortable chair, is quiet and has easy access to a sink, we want them to be able to quickly and easily find those locations.”

Lower says the initiative to document the available locations across campus and a push to get more spaces for women has been a priority for her department and an advisory board created in 2013. Lori McDonald, dean of students and Barb Snyder, vice president for Student Affairs were also instrumental in moving this initiative forward.

“Being a place that supports women and families is a primary focus at the University of Utah,” Snyder said. “We’re always looking to find more ways to serve women, and we hope this resource will make things a little easier for our nursing mothers. When mothers are supported and able to succeed, their children and families also benefit.”

It doesn’t take a remodel or renovation to meet the requirements for a lactation space. Having a sink in the space is ideal, but if that’s not possible, having a chair, table, an outlet, a mirror and possibly a rug and some artwork on the wall will go a long way, Lower said.

“Ideally, we would like to have a room in every building, but that may not be feasible so we’re trying to fill the gaps across the university to provide spaces in general areas that can serve more than one building.”

Another big step in the right direction was getting this initiative included in the campus master plan. Now, when a new building is built or renovated for $10 million or more, it’s required to put in a lactation space.