Create Your Own Lactation Space

As of March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires that employers provide employees “reasonable break time” to pump up to 1 year after the child’s birth. The employer must provide a place other than a bathroom “that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.” However, these requirements are minimal and insufficient; this space should also be clean, private, accessible, and comfortable. Lactation needs vary from person to person. An individual may be pumping 3-5 times per day for 15-45 minutes each session depending on supply, so this room should be a space in which you would be willing to spend 1-3 hours per day.

What Does a Lactation Space Need?

Required Amenities

(in order to be listed on our map and to meet Minnesota Department of Health's Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace guidelines)

Each lactation space must:

  • Be located it in a space that is NOT within a restroom; lactation rooms that are within a restroom or share space with toilets do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Be in an accessible location, within 5 minutes or less of breastfeeding employees' workstations
  • Be a private space, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public. A locking door is ideal. If a locking door cannot be provided, the employer must be able to explain how they ensure privacy. (State & federal law)
  • Include access to an electrical outlet (State law)
  • Include a comfortable chair
  • Include a small table or surface to support pumping equipment
  • Have or be located near clean refrigerator space for milk storage
  • Have or be located near a place to wash hands and clean pump equipment

Preferred Amenities

  • Identify the room with a lacation space sign
  • Provide soft light, pictures, and decorations that encourage relaxation (because pumping can be stressful and stress can effect milk supply)
  • Consider using a non-carpeted floor that can be easily cleaned
  • Provide a "privacy please", Lactation Room Occupied, or breastfeeding in session sign
  • Post a room usage schedule and/or access information (if needed) or set up a Google Calendar to share
  • Offer a microwave, so breast pump equipment can be sterilized
  • Provide a multi-user hospital grade breast pump (if possible)
  • Consider strategically placing signage to help others locate this space

 

Featured Space: Moos 17-150

One of the newest lactation spaces on the East Bank in Moos Tower. The Human Resources office partnered with Student Services and approached senior leadership on obtaining a new lactation space in Moos Tower. With approval by the Dean and support by the Space Committee, plans were underway. An increase of space was needed as other nearby rooms were often at capacity at certain times of the day, and a space in Moos Tower that is close to the clinic area for students and staff was ideal. A space on the 17th floor being used as a storage room was identified as a possible location. That room was cleaned out and items relocated that were to be saved and all other items were recycled or sent to trash as needed.  

The Academic Health Center along with the School of Dentistry agreed to share the construction costs of transitioning the room from a storage space. The room now has four pumping spaces available with dividers between them for privacy. A sink was installed in the room to wash the equipment and employees donated a microwave to sterilize equipment, a small refrigerator in which to store expressed milk, and some decor items for the space. Cabinets will be added in the next month to provide storage for pumping equipment as well. This space is available to all employees, students and visitors to the University and is listed on the University's list of lactation spaces. To obtain access to the room, please contact Kelly Campbell in the Human Resources office at habig005@umn.edu or 612-626-4171.