An Exploration of Lactation Facilities and Planning in U.S. Higher Education Campuses.

Author ORCiD Identifier

Spatz: 0000-0001-7316-6616

Publication Title

Breastfeeding Medicine

Document Type


PubMed ID



BACKGROUND: Women in academia face challenges in continuing breastfeeding. Higher education campuses are investing in lactation support, but little is known about their approaches. This study explores the planning and design of lactation spaces on college and university campuses from the perspectives of campus planners and facility professionals, administrators, and other decision-makers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted an online survey with a convenience sample of members of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). Representatives from each U.S. member campus were invited to participate in an online survey.

RESULTS: One hundred five individuals responded, representing their institutions; 94% reported at least one dedicated lactation space (range 0-50). Sixty-eight percent reported having a policy for creating/identifying lactation spaces; 28% reported that the lactation space was included in campus construction standards. Over 80% of spaces were structurally enclosed, lockable, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, and had open electrical outlets and in-room light control. Campus/facility planning was involved in lactation space planning at 77% of institutions and in funding for creation and maintenance at 59%.

CONCLUSIONS: Many campuses are building lactation infrastructure, but there is considerable variability in approaches and accommodations for lactation at higher education institutions. While local conditions, constraints, and demands will inform program development, decision-makers can leverage campus resources, recommendations, and design best practices to improve lactation experiences of women.


Breast Feeding, Facility Design and Construction, Female, Health Personnel, Humans, Lactation, Organizational Policy, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States, Universities, Women, Working, Work-Life Balance, Workplace



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