MSU supports lactating parents and encourages supervisors to provide a supportive environment and private location for parents who choose to lactate to feed their babies or express/pump their breast/chest milk during the workday.

The MSU WorkLife Office partners with the Expectant Parent Organization to offer a New Parent Series of webinars during the Fall and Spring semesters for our MSU Faculty and Staff. These include (2) 4-part webinar series focused on Lactation Support and New Infant Care. More information on the Expectant Parent Organization here.

There are lactation rooms located across campus. Two buildings offer weekend and after-hours Lactation Rooms: the MSU Union Building and the MSU Main Library. If you are on campus during the weekend or after-hours and may need a Lactation Room, please feel free to utilize these two locations. Prior to use, please be sure to check with the location regarding their hours. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the MSU WorkLife Office via email ( or telephone (517-353-1635) between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Lactation Educational Series

Free to MSU faculty, staff, and student parents. Check our Calendar to see the upcoming Lactation Education Series for the Fall or Spring semesters.

Lactation Education Series hosted by Natosha Sage-El Bylsma of the Expectant Parent Organization

Lactation Series

Although lactation is natural, it is a learned skill. This four-part program is designed to give pregnant parents and their partners information on preparing to breast/chest feed and strategies for continuing to breast/chest feed upon returning to work.

  • Week 1: Introduction to Lactation: Benefits, How Lactation Works
  • Week 2: Baby is Here! Getting Started: The Mechanics of Lactation Positioning, Latching On, Feeding Patterns, Challenges
  • Week 3: Maintaining Lactation: Lifestyle, Expressing and Storing Milk, Returning to Work
  • Week 4: Lactation Transitions: Introducing Solid Foods and Weaning

Newborn Care Series:

Learn everything you need to know about taking care of your newborn, starting with the moment your baby is born. We will discuss what to expect with a newborn: how to care for your newborn, soothing a crying baby, changing diapers, bathing your newborn, understanding infant sleep patterns, recognizing illness, car seat safety and adjusting to parenthood.

  • Week 1: Newborn Traits, Newborn Behaviors
  • Week 2: Crying, Comforting, and Diapering
  • Week 3: Bathing and Newborn Health
  • Week 4: Infant Safety and CPR

Lactation Links

Hale Publishing provides several resources about lactation. One of the most popular publications is “Medications & Mothers’ Milk.”

This fact sheet provides general information on the break time requirement for lactating parents in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), which took effect when the PPACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148). This law amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is the member association for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®) and other healthcare professionals who care for breastfeeding families. ILCA membership is open to all who support and promote breastfeeding. Members may join at any time and do not need to be an IBCLC in order to be a member. Members are also able to find a lactation consultant here.

The mission of MIBFN is to optimize state and community support of lactation by leading collaborative actions for advocacy, education, and coalition building. The organization offers several resources and an “Anytime, Anywhere Project” to support breastfeeding. They also publish a handout called “How Lactation Support Benefits Employers.”

The Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition helps foster lactation in and around Lansing, Michigan. The coalition is one of a number of organizations under the statewide Michigan Breastfeeding Network.

The information you need to know now, when it comes to lactating to feed your baby. Get tips on prepping, pumping, managing feedings while traveling with your little one, and much more.

The mission of La Leche League is to help parents worldwide to lactate through parent-to-parent support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of lactation as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and caregiver.

A comprehensive program that is designed to educate employers about the value of supporting lactating employees in the workplace. They also offer The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Employees’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Working, a downloadable toolkit for lactating parents going back to work after parental leave.

MSU Lactation Guidelines

In recognition of the well-documented health advantages of lactation for infants and parents, and in compliance with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, MSU provides a supportive environment to enable lactating parents to express their milk during work hours. The following work/education support guidelines are to be communicated across campus to all current employees and should also be included in employee orientations.

University Responsibilities

Applies to all MSU employees

For up to one year after the child’s birth, any MSU employee who is  breastfeeding will be provided reasonable times and locations to express milk. Employees will be provided with a place to express breast milk, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Non-Exempt Employees: Non-exempt employees may take reasonable break time each time such employee has need to express milk. Breaks of more than 20 minutes in length will be unpaid, and recorded on timesheets where appropriate. The only exception is when an employee receives permission to work during the break; in that case, they must be paid.

Exempt Employees: Exempt employees may take reasonable break time each time such employee has need to express milk. Because the salaries of exempt employees are not deducted because of the variations in the quality or quantity of work, when exempt employees take pump breaks, their salaries may not be reduced to reflect this break time. 

The location provided must be functional as a space for expressing breast milk. If the space is not dedicated to the nursing employee’s use, it must be available when needed by the employee in order to meet the statutory requirement. A space temporarily created or converted into a space for expressing breast milk or made available when needed by the nursing employee is sufficient, provided that the space is shielded from view and free from any intrusion from co-workers and the public. The minimum room recommendations are as follows: 4’x 5’ private space (Business Case for Breastfeeding, 2017), locked door, comfortable chair, electrical outlet, access to a sink, adequate lighting, and ventilation.

MSU has designated lactation rooms across campus for this purpose; the Institutional Space Planning and Management Office in partnership with the WorkLife Office maintain the Lactation Room Location Map.

 MSU does not provide equipment. Employees/lactating parents are responsible for their own equipment. Consult your health insurance policy for pump coverage.

Once informed, supervisors must support and make information available to pregnant and lactating employees about the university’s worksite lactation support program, and for discussing practices that will help facilitate each employee’s infant feeding goals. It is expected that all employees will assist in providing a positive atmosphere of support for lactating employees.

MSU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified employees who have known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship. 

To request an accommodation or inquire about a possible accommodation, contact MSU’s designated Accommodations Specialist at


Employee Responsibilities

Employees who wish to express milk during the work period should keep supervisors informed of their needs to leave at other than break times so that appropriate accommodations can be made to satisfy the needs of both the employee and the university. Ideally the conversation should occur, and arrangements should be made prior to the employee’s parental leave.

While custodial staff are responsible for cleaning and maintaining space according to set guidelines, lactating employees are also expected to help keep milk expression areas clean after use. This responsibility extends to both the designated milk expression area, as well as the other areas where expressing milk will occur.

Employees should label all milk expressed with their name and date collected. Expressed milk can be stored in departmental refrigerators if available. Each employee is responsible for proper storage of their milk using the departmental refrigerator and/or personal storage coolers.

Employees may need to request keys or room access from the designated building contact person when locked. When more than one lactating employee needs to use the designated lactation room, employees can use a sign-up sheet/calendar provided by the room contact person to schedule and arrange for milk expression times.

New Federal Laws Protecting Pregnant and Breastfeeding Employees

Benefits of Lactation and Workplace Return on Investment

Reduced absenteeism, reduced health care costs, increased retention, higher productivity and loyalty, and positive impacts on climate as a family-friendly workplace are among the business benefits of lactation support. Babies are healthier and parents miss work less often.

  • Lactation lowers health care costs because babies fed with human milk visit the physician less often (US Department of Health and Human Services study found for every 1,000 babies not fed with human milk there were 2,033 extra physician visits, 212 extra hospitalization days and 609 prescriptions for three illnesses: ear, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections).
  • Lactating parents heal more quickly and suffer less postpartum depression.
  • The Michigan Breastfeeding Network indicated a retention rate of 92% of the parental workforce in companies with lactation support programs compared to a national average of 59% (2015).


MSU is an award-winning supporter of lactating parents, and the WorkLife Office provides a university-wide lactation support program, which includes but is not limited to:

         Free Lactation Educational Series every Fall and Spring semester, hosted by the Expectant Parent Organization.

         Lactation support, guidance, and referrals through one-on-one consultations

         Post Parental Leave Employee Resource Group

         Family Employee Resource Group

Prenatal and postpartum lactation classes and informational materials are available for mothers, fathers, expectant parents, and partners. These Lactation Education Series classes are sponsored by the WorkLife Office and are held during the fall and spring semesters as opportunities for parents to receive free information and peer support.