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Policy 4.91
Lactation Support Program

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Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Employee Relations
Effective Date: April 02, 2007
Last Revision: July 05, 2011

Policy Sections:


The availability of lactation support services on Emory’s campus serves two important goals of the institution.

First, it is vital to provide new mothers with private, safe and accessible locations across campus where they are able to express milk for nursing infants. Given the many studies outlining the benefits of breast feeding for mothers, infants, and supportive organizations, Emory will maintain physical locations in various accessible zones throughout campus so that all female employees have the ability to utilize lactation rooms.

Second, the presence of lactation support services and lactation rooms on campus serves the laudatory goal of educating the broader community about the needs of nursing mothers and their infants, as well as the benefits of breast feeding in general.

Policy Details

The Official Code of Georgia provides for the needs of nursing mothers and their infants, as outlined below. It is Emory University’s policy to comply fully with these provisions of State law.

    Section 31-1-9

    The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.

    Section 34-1-6(a)

    As used in this Code section, the term 'employer' means any person or entity that employs one or more employees and shall include the state and its political subdivisions.

    Section 34-1-6(a)

    An employer may provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child. The employer may make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location (in close proximity to the work area), other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in privacy. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide break time under this Code section if to do so would unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.

    The Center for Women at Emory maintains a list of lactation room locations at: http://www.womenscenter.emory.edu (Updated 2011)


    Future Lactation Rooms


    Starting in 2005, Emory will begin to implement a plan to add additional lactation rooms across campus in a “zone approach.” The “zone approach” will be used to identify appropriate locations for new lactation facilities, and will ensure that nursing mothers are able to find a lactation room within reasonable proximity to all areas on campus, so that they need to travel only a reasonable (walkable) distance to access a private room.


    In evaluating Emory’s current facilities to determine where lactation rooms could be added and what standards will be used to incorporate those rooms into existing buildings, several factors are important: 


  • Cost of renovations for existing buildings (although not a controlling factor).
  • That nursing mothers have a total walking commute of no more than 10-15 minutes to reach a suitable lactation facility.
  • Rooms should be located at the main campus, as well as the Oxford, Clairmont and Briarcliff campuses.
  • Privacy for the mother while pumping or feeding.
  • Access to a hand-washing sink. Most rooms are best located off or near a women’s restroom.
  • Suitable furnishings and electrical outlets for pump and possible refrigerator.

With respect to new construction and major renovations to existing buildings, the Facilities Management Division of Campus Services will require that all new building programs and any design plans for new capital buildings or major renovations must include consideration of a lactation room in each project. Although new construction projects and major renovations may not ultimately include a lactation room, advance consideration of the appropriateness for such rooms is required in the planning process.

User Responsibilities

Lactation room users must clean up the room and ensure that all pumps provided by Emory are cleaned thoroughly and properly after each use. This will prevent contamination and the transmission of germs and illness. Nursing mothers may need to provide their own supplemental equipment in order to connect to the pumps provided by Emory.

Time Away from Work

Supervisors should keep in mind that expressing breast milk may be a physical necessity for some mothers. Thus, supervisors should make every reasonable accommodation to support the needs of nursing mothers. Such accommodation should include permitting mothers who need to express breast milk to visit lactation rooms during normal break times or meal times, and providing reasonable unpaid time (or use of sick time). While a supervisor may require the lactation break time, if possible, to run concurrently with break times already provided, supervisors should be flexible in allowing nursing mothers to select appropriate times to utilize a lactation room on campus.

Emory Contacts

Within the Facilities Management Division, the central contact to handle questions related to the status or location of lactation rooms on campus is Jen Fabrick, who may be reached at (404) 727-1593.

Within the Human Resources Division the central contact to handle questions related to the work policies for lactation needs is Jeanne Thigpen who may be reached at 727-7644.







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