Creating lactation rooms/spaces within the organization (for both staff and student use)

Problem (evidence)

Lack of provision of places to assist those returning from maternity leave and still breastfeeding.


To ensure staff coming back from maternity leave feel welcome and supported to breastfeed their child.


  • Availability of rooms within the university
  • Budget to be allocated since the action inevitability requires redesign of rooms (plumbing, electricity, decorating) and purchase of furniture
  • Building team if building work such as plumbing or electricity or decorating is required
  • Calendar and website development

Brief outcomes

Staff who return from maternity leave and are still breastfeeding are supported to do so within dedicated spaces in the organisation. For example, Warwick has dedicated milk expressing rooms in five different university buildings distributed across the campus.

Key area

Work and personal life integration

Type of action

Availability of supports/resources


University of Warwick
Higher education institution

Action level of implementation

Researchers/professors and technical and administrative staff


The first thing to consider is to secure funding for this action and planning permission if required. A specialised team on plumbing design should then be consulted since existing spaces are seldom designed for this purpose (e.g. requirement of a sink). A calendar and webpage needs to be developed to enable individuals to book the space. The existence of this service should be advertised across the university.


Difficulties in finding space and appropriate infrastructure (particularly plumbing infrastructure nearby to allow for a water basin/sink).

Coping strategies

Commitment from the university and faculties, together with someone taking responsibility to follow up on the initial plan, enable solutions to be found for the difficulties with each of the different Warwick locations.

Tips/strategies – Lessons learnt

Check availability of rooms within the institution                                

Planning permission may be required for some building works

A calendar and webpage should be developed to enable individuals to book the space

More detailed Outcomes/Impact

This action contributes to a change of organisational culture which becomes more open and attentive to the needs of staff who breastfeed and more generally aware of the need to support staff returning from maternity leave to be successful at work while delivering on their caring responsibilities.