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Support for Nursing Mothers

Returning to work after having a baby takes careful planning, especially for mothers who breastfeed. CSU San Marcos supports nursing mothers by providing break time for employees to express milk and by providing the employee with the use of space for lactation purposes.

Break Guidelines

Employers must provide a “reasonable break time” for nursing mothers to express milk for up to one year after their child’s birth. The frequency and duration of the breaks will vary depending on a number of factors.  The time necessary to express milk includes, among other things, the time walking to and from the nursing location, retrieving of and setting up a pump or other supplies, washing and cleaning the pump or other supplies and storing milk.

Department managers are reminded to take necessary steps (e.g., revising staff break schedules) to provide time for nursing mothers to express milk while ensuring normal business operations.

Options for Lactation Space

Private Office

If a nursing mother has a private office, it may be used for lactation purposes. The office must be shielded from view and have a door that can be locked for privacy.

Designated Lactation Room

University Student Union 3200

The Women and Gender Equity Center has a private lactation room for individuals to pump or nurse during the day. A staff member at the front desk can unlock the door to gain access to the room. They can utilize the Commuter Lounge refrigerated lockers on the first floor to store their breast milk. The lactation room is available for students, staff, and faculty.

If the WGEC is closed, USU Building Staff can facilitate access to the lactation space during USU Building Hours. They can either go to the USU Help Desk on the 4th Floor or call them at (760) 750-7450.

Administrative 6312

A private Nursing Mother’s Room is available in Administrative 6312, on a first-come-first serve basis.

Kellogg Library

There is one lactation room located in the Library:

  • KEL 3017 is available for use during all Library operating hours (see Library Hours). Check out a key in KEL 3000 between 8 - 5 M-F, and at the 3rd floor Circulation Desk outside of these hours when the full building is open. During overnight hours or when building operations are otherwise limited to the 2nd floor, check out the key at the 2nd floor Media Library service desk.

Extended Learning Building

  • Located on the 5th Floor - this lactation room is on a first come, first serve basis.

Other Lactation Spaces

If the faculty or staff member does not have a personal office, or if the designated lactation spaces above are located too far from the employees’ workspace to make it practical to use, Human Resources will work with the employee’s supervisor to identify a private lactation space. The space will be free from intrusion from co-workers and the public and will be available to the nursing mother when needed. 

Nursing mothers who plan to express milk while at work are encouraged to contact Human Resources at (760) 750-4416 prior to their return from maternity leave to identify lactation spaces and discuss options for break times.

Additional Resources

Tips and guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to help ease nursing mothers’ transition back to work.