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University of California, Davis

Davis, CA

The University of California, Davis is a large campus with multiple buildings and thousands of staff. A formal lactation accommodation policy addresses break times, locations, flexible work arrangements, supervisors' responsibilities, and design and construction standards for milk expression rooms. Designated rooms are provided across campus to keep the walk from any site within 5 minutes. A total of 37 designated sites on the main campus and 9 spaces at the medical center are available, providing easy access from any area of campus. A campus map highlights locations of lactation spaces. A lactation consultant is on staff to teach classes, lead support groups, and consult with nursing mothers, including students, who have concerns. Online registration to the lactation support program connects participants to the lactation consultant, a list of sites, and the robust portfolio of campus resources and services.

Feature Slides

  • Video: The University of California, Davis provides a campus-wide lactation support program with services for employees, faculty, and students.

  • The University of California, Davis has a comprehensive campus-wide support program for nursing mothers, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

  • Lactation sites are selected to be within a 5-minute walk. This space at the Student Community Center includes artwork provided by students from the on-campus Child Development Center.

  • The university repurposed a space in the electrical room of one building. They installed cubicle walls to cover the conduit and a door to help maintenance staff access needed equipment.

  • The milk expression room in Gladys Valley Hall includes a lounge chair, table, sink, and microwave. All rooms across the campus have a multi-user electric breast pump for employees to share. Each employee uses her own breast pump attachment kit.

  • One milk expression room is located in the lounge area of a restroom, not in the actual restroom. A screen provides privacy.

  • A large room in the Earth Science Building includes several chairs to accommodate more than one mother at the same time, if needed.

  • The university staffs a lactation consultant to lead classes and support groups, and to provide individual assistance.

  • Signage is included with the building directory to make it easy for women to locate lactation rooms.

  • Students are supported with access to lactation rooms, support groups, and individual assistance.

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  • Number of employees: 25,000+
  • Women: 25–74%

Space Solutions

Space 1

  • Type of space: permanent space
  • Previous use: converted an electrical closet by covering the conduits with cubicle partitions with a door for easy access by electricians if needed
  • Size: 8 feet × 8 feet
  • Cost: $3,000–$5,000.
  • Privacy: policy on respecting privacy of nursing women, privacy lock
  • Capacity: can accommodate more than one woman in the space at the same time.
  • Privacy is ensured for individual users with: partitions/room dividers
  • Amenities: chair, table/desk, flat surface for the breast pump, bulletin board, antimicrobial wipes, sink with running water, educational materials, electrical outlet, breast pump, clock

Employee can also:

  • Go home or to the child care provider to breastfeed the baby and return to work later
  • Bring the baby to work
  • Keep the baby at her work station with her
  • Have a caregiver bring the baby for feedings
  • Breastfeed the baby at the worksite child care center

Time Solutions


  • Varies

How the company provides time to express milk

  • Employee takes nursing breaks as needed
  • Employee must schedule nursing breaks
  • Employee takes milk expression breaks as part of her regular employee break and meal period
  • Employee works split shifts

Staff coverage

  • Coverage is not needed
  • Use floaters
  • Other staff help out as needed
  • Breaks are taken by all staff in the business/division together
  • With many types of work units this is addressed by individual departments

How additional time needed is handled

  • A policy is in place that addresses additional time

Handling Milk

Where employee stores milk

  • General employee refrigerator
  • Employee uses her own personal cooler or insulated lunch bag

Breast pump options

  • Employee uses her own breast pump
  • Employer provides a multi-user electric breast pump that women share

Breast pump attachment kits

  • Employee purchases her own
  • Employee can purchase kit at the campus bookstore at slightly above cost



"Our experience with the breastfeeding support program is in keeping with the research: increased satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty to the institution; reduced absenteeism and turnover; and having a competitive edge in recruitment and retention. These are all tied to work life effectiveness, one of the elements that comprise an organization's strategy to attract, motivate, and retain its work force. The breastfeeding support program is a significant contributor to a culture of satisfied, engaged community members who perform well and produce desired results."


"The amount of stress that comes with being a new parent is amazing. The one thing you shouldn't have to worry about is your child. What this university has done for me and my family is recognize that both my career and motherhood are important. One of the reasons I stay here is because of the support I've been given to have that work life balance."

Content last updated August 29, 2014.

Resources last updated April 15, 2014.


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