Lack of family-friendly amenities and spaces on college campuses sends a message to parenting students that they are unwelcome and excluded. Absence or a deficit in changing tables, lactation rooms, and family-friendly areas can leave student-parents feeling marginalized and demeaned. Nursing mothers have reported being forced to pump in their cars, bathroom stalls, and communal areas, or give up pumping altogether due to the nonexistence or scarcity of lactation spaces on campus.
According to Mary Ann Mason, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley who has written extensively on parenthood in academia, lactation rooms “are clearly under the scope” of Title IX. Yet, a 2019 study of lactation facilities and planning on U.S. higher education campuses found that only 28% of participants reported that lactation space was included in campus construction standards. Additionally, facilities was involved in lactation space planning at 77% of institutions, and in funding for creation and maintenance at just 59% of participating institutions.
A secondary issue is lack of staff, faculty, and student awareness regarding existing family-friendly amenities and spaces. Beyond planning and implementation, postsecondary institutions must ensure the campus community is knowledgable about student-parent supports.
Lactation Rooms - access resources to help design and implement a lactation space plan for your college
Family-Friendly Spaces - learn how to create and assemble family-friendly spaces on your campus
Changing Tables - discover how other institutions have created a robust diaper changing table presence on their campuses
Awareness & Training - ensure faculty, staff, and students area aware of family-friendly spaces and amenities
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