SCUP and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing release study results on lactation policy and facilities in U.S. higher education

There is a wide variability between how campuses accommodate the needs of breastfeeding mothers.

December 17, 2018 |
University Building

The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing announced survey results from 114 US colleges and universities that help document the levels, quality, and availability of lactation spaces and supports across campus for breastfeeding faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors.

The survey was a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and SCUP. “To our knowledge, this is the first research that documents which stakeholders are involved in the planning of lactation spaces, and the amount of variation in the features these spaces have,” said Dare Henry-Moss, one of the research leads. “We hope it will help colleges and universities evaluate the accommodations they provide to breastfeeding mothers, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors.”

Study observations include:

— 90% of respondents reported that their institution had dedicated lactation spaces, but the study suggests that awareness of their locations should be improved.

— 68% of respondents reported a process or guideline for creating lactation spaces on campus with wide variation in approaches.

— collaborations are common; there are commonly between two and six different campus entities involved in the planning for lactation spaces.

The study also provides detail on the most frequent amenities designed into lactation spaces, including furniture, fixtures, and portable supports.“Through the excellent work of our research cohorts, this study will help higher education move toward a best planning practice for lactation spaces,” said Michael D. Moss, SCUP President.The research team was Dare Henry-Moss, MPH; Joyce Lee, FAIA, LEED Fellow; Diane L. Spatz, Ph.D., RN-BC, FAAN, and Principal Investigator; and SCUP.

For survey results: www.scup.org/wellness

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