Carnegie Mellon University

Woman kissing newborn baby

February 04, 2021

CMU Recognized as Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer

Carnegie Mellon’s lactation support program has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition with a Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer certificate. The award distinguishes CMU as a leader in Pennsylvania, joining a growing number of businesses, schools and universities providing employee lactation support.

At the virtual award presentation, Family Care Advisory Committee co-chairs Michelle Piekutowski, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, and Mary Jo Dively, vice president and general counsel, discussed the family-friendly philosophy at CMU and the development of the program to support breastfeeding families.

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) manages 11 lactation rooms in buildings across the Pittsburgh campus and promotes the flexible use of space, partnering with Facilities Management and Campus Services as needed to accommodate breastfeeding individuals. Employees, students and visitors (with CMU sponsor) can use OHR’s Lactation Room Request for Access Form to gain swipe-card access to lactation rooms, which can be easily located using the university’s interactive map.

In 2019, OHR implemented the Lactation Support Policy [pdf] to “promote a family-friendly work and student environment and provide a supportive and flexible environment for employees and students as they transition back to work or their studies after the birth of a child.” The policy outlines the provisions for reasonable break time and access to clean, private space for expressing milk. Employees and student workers are encouraged to communicate with supervisors before delivery to ensure their needs are met with reasonable accommodations. 

The university’s lactation support program is one of several programs that help CMU faculty, staff and students balance their priorities of family, work and education in a supportive setting. CMU also provides the Care@Work Program, which offers family care benefits to employees and graduate students. Family Care for COVID-19 provides temporary child care services and concierge assistance to families of employees and graduate students impacted by changes to child care or schooling. And all campus members — and sponsored individuals, such as spouses or siblings — can access CareLink, a platform that allows the CMU community to share services with others on campus in need of help.