Niki King, a communications and marketing specialist in the Office of Communications and Marketing, is planning to breastfeed her second child, due in January, for a year. As a new employee, she was pleased to learn that UofL has established breastfeeding and lactation guidelines to help ensure UofL provides a friendly, supportive environment for women who are breastfeeding.
“I feel like my employer cares about the health and well-being of my family,” Niki said.
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for six months, then add solid foods while breastfeeding until at least the baby’s first birthday.
In accordance with federal and state laws, UofL’s guidelines allow for any nursing mother to request private space that is not a bathroom and reasonable time away from work to express breast milk. UofL has also established 11 public lactation facilities on both the Belknap and Health Science Center campuses.
The guidelines are posted on the Human Resources website here.
“The university wholeheartedly supports breastfeeding mothers,” said Jeanell Hughes, interim director of human resources. “Research shows that lactation support programs are highly desired by breastfeeding employees. Additionally, it saves money in healthcare, improves productivity and increases employee morale. We want to ensure our breastfeeding mothers return to return to a supportive work environment.”
The UofL Lactation Work Group, made up of representatives from the UofL Women’s Center, the Commission on the Status of Women and Get Health Now, UofL’s health and wellness program for employees, has been working behind the scenes to get the word out about the university guidelines.
Members of the workgroup will be at both campus farmers markets (Gray Street and Belknap) on August 27 with information on breastfeeding and on UofL’s guidelines and public lactation sites.
Anyone with questions about UofL’s lactation guidelines or suggestions for lactation sites can email the workgroup at firstname.lastname@example.org.