In an effort to better accommodate nursing mothers at UF, the university is expanding its current offering of lactation rooms around campus by adding three new facilities. The new rooms are in the Marston Science Library, the Reitz Union and the UF Law School, and will be open to all UF students, faculty and staff. The new rooms are a partnership between UF Human Resources, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Business Affairs and various colleges and units around campus.
“We would periodically get requests from faculty and staff for a space like this,” said Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs Angel Kwolek-Folland. “Or we would hear anecdotal stories of people talking about having to use a bathroom or having to borrow an office, things like that.”
Kwolek-Folland said they began talks with UF’s Division of Planning, Design and Construction to identify locations where it would possible to create a lactation room with accommodations specific to the needs of nursing mothers.
There were already some departments on campus that had created their own lactation rooms, said Director of Minor Projects and Architecture Services Harold Barrand, but the hope for the future is to strategically place lactation rooms around campus and to unify standards for the rooms throughout the university.
“The new rooms are geared specifically for this use – primary concerns in planning were privacy and convenience,” Barrand said. The new rooms follow current guidelines for lactation facilities and are furnished with comfortable chairs and feature soft lighting, sound proofing and locking doors.
The rooms will be included on UF’s interactive map in the near future, with instructions on how to reserve or access each facility.
“The folks in Planning, Design and Construction were incredibly supportive in this effort,” said Kwolek-Folland. “They helped us identify spaces that would be big enough and were in appropriate areas, and put up some money to do the renovations that need to be done.”
The new lactation room locations are in the Marston Science Library, room 307 and in the Reitz Union, room R294E and are estimated to open in May. The law school lactation room will be open in the fall and is located at HOL204.
Existing or newly renovated lactation rooms on campus are located in Library West, Dickinson Hall, the Veterinarian School, and IFAS Animal Sciences.
Visit the new WorkLife at UF website for the latest information regarding current and upcoming lactation rooms on campus and more.