Support for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Parents
In 2017, the University of Alaska Anchorage received an Alaska Workplace Breastfeeding Support Project grant from the State of Alaska's Division of Public Health's Section on Women's, Children's, and Family Health to improve resources for and policies around breastfeeding on campus. Through this grant, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs sponsored the placement of a Mamava Lactation Pod in the Student Union and scholarships to create other lactation spaces on campus.
- Lactation Spaces
- Anti-discrimination (Title IX)
- Accommodations for Disability
- UAA and State Policy
- UA Commitment
You can breastfeed your baby on campus in any location you are “otherwise authorized to be” – this means you are welcome to breastfeed in any public campus location. If you prefer more privacy, you can use the UAA Mamava Lactation Pod located in the Student Union, or any of the spaces available to express milk on campus.
Spaces available for expressing milk on campus
- Student Union: the UAA Mamava Lactation Pod is located in the Student Union at the bottom of the stairs near the bookstore. The code for the pod is available at the Student Union Information Desk.
- Consortium Library: Study rooms at the UAA/APU Consortium Library can be reserved in advance or accessed as a walk-in – ask at the Circulation Desk, email Lorelei Sterling (email@example.com) or call (907) 786-1827.
- Professional Studies Building: Room 161 is available; use code 2560 to access.
- Rasmuson Hall: Room 107 is available; use code 2560 to access.
- Social Sciences Building: Room 215 is available; use code 2560 to access.
- School of Nursing: the School of Nursing has committed to providing Nursing students with a place to express milk in their Graduate Handbook. Contact the School of Nursing directly to inquire about a space.
- Employees may also negotiate the use of other private, non-bathroom spaces screened from view with their supervisor or the UAA Human Resources Department. These spaces will meet the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act rules about break time for nursing mothers. See "Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA" (pdf).
We recognize campus is large and time to pump is scarce – if you are unable to access the spaces suggested on this page, employees should speak with their supervisors and students should speak with their professors about accessing a closer space. Students may also request support by contacting the Dean of Students Office who will help them find an acceptable convenient location. If supervisors or professors are not able to provide a space, we suggest reaching out to the building manager who may have additional spaces available. See this list of building managers (pdf).
Anti-discrimination (Title IX)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 ETA seq. is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy and parental status, in educational programs and activities.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. See "Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA" (pdf).
UAA supports the rights of mothers in our educational and work environment, and therefore provides flexibility to allow nursing mothers to express breast milk.
Accommodations for Disability
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not recognize pregnancy as a disability; however, complications related to pregnancy or child birth are recognized as a disability, and qualified students who experience a pregnancy related disability may be eligible to receive an ADA reasonable accommodation. If you have questions about whether you are a qualified student or eligible to receive an ADA reasonable accommodation, please contact Disability Support Services (DSS). A student who requests an academic accommodation through DSS will be required to provide medical documentation to support that their request is medically necessary.
Title IX Accommodations for Students
Under Title IX, pregnant students may request an accommodation, such as additional time to finish their course work if they give birth during the semester, bathroom breaks during class, a larger desk, etc. These requests should be made through the Title IX Coordinator in the UAA Office of Equity and Compliance. Pregnant students will not be expected to provide medical documentation when they request a Title IX accommodation. The Department of Education produced a pamphlet that explains pregnant students' rights, which include access to the university's educational programs. Download the pamphlet "Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students" (pdf).
Pregnant students must not be deterred from participation
It is not acceptable for pregnant students to be deterred from taking a specific course or program because they are pregnant. Students should be informed about the amount of time and effort that is to be expected or course related hazards that may exist, but it's unacceptable for faculty or staff to prohibit or deter pregnant students from participating in any university related courses, programs, or activities.
Title IX and milk expression during classes
Since employees are expected to be at work for 8 hours a day, it is not reasonable to expect them not to express milk during their scheduled work hours. However, because of the nature of class schedules, with classes generally lasting only an hour or two, students will not likely be granted an accommodation to express milk during class time. There is an exception if a medical condition requires a mother to express milk at a given time every day. This instance may fall under a complication related disability and the student should contact Disability Support Services (DSS) to request an ADA reasonable accommodation.
UAA and State Policy
UAA policy for employees expressing milk
There is an official Lactation Accommodation Policy in the Administrative Services Manual maintained by the Human Resources Department. Contact the UAA Human Resources Department to learn more.
UAA policy for students expressing milk
There is no policy about students expressing milk. We encourage students to request the flexibility they need to pump and make use of the lactation spaces available on campus.
Alaska Law: Breastfeeding in PublicAlaska Statute 29.25.080 Breastfeeding (1998) declares that “a municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. In a municipal ordinance, “lewd conduct,” “lewd touching,” “immoral conduct,” “indecent conduct,” and similar terms do not include the act of a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize an act that is an offense under a municipal ordinance that establishes an offense with elements substantially equivalent to the elements of an offense under AS 11.61.123. This section is applicable to home rule and general law municipalities.”
The University of Alaska is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive campus environment for our students, employees and the public. To ensure equal access for pregnant individuals, the university provides reasonable accommodations and adjustments related to pregnancy and childbirth. Specific accommodations are handled on a case-by-case basis and depend on medical need and individual requirements. Examples of reasonable pregnancy accommodations include but are not limited to the following:
- Excusing absences from class missed due to pregnancy-related medical conditions and appointments
- Allowing students to make-up class work and participation points missed due to pregnancy-related medical conditions and appointments
- Allowing frequent trips to the restroom, as needed
- Flexibility in the administration of exams
- Permitting leave from work for pregnancy-related medical conditions and appointments
- Adjustments to reduce potential exposure to harmful chemicals
- Providing access to accessible parking
- Modifying lifting/standing requirements, restrictions or limits
If you receive a request for accommodation on in your role at the university or want to make a request yourself, please contact:
Accommodations for Students
Senior Disability Accommodations Coordinator
Accommodations for Employees or the General Public
University policy and federal and state law prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and pregnancy in the university’s programs and activities. If you have any questions, concerns or complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, contact Sara Childress at the UAA Office of Equity and Compliance at (907) 786-6086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Childcare at UAA
UAA does not have a childcare center or lab school either on or affiliated with campus. The Municipality of Anchorage's Community and Family Health Division and Thread: Commenting Early Care and Education to Alaska offer resources for families seeking childcare in the Anchorage area.