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Last chance to take survey on UCOP lactation services

If you are a UCOP employee or the spouse or partner of an employee who is planning a pregnancy, expecting a child, currently nursing or has nursed a child, you may be interested in the UCOP Lactation Room Use Survey.

The confidential survey, designed by the President’s Advisory Council on the Status of Women (PACSW), closes at 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 16. Click here to take the survey now.

UC supports new mothers who want to continue breastfeeding after returning to work or school and provides a range of services at its facilities. The facilities and program at UC Davis, for example — with its 35 lactation rooms and access to breast pumps, consulting and support groups — have been recognized as exceptional.

UCOP’s Franklin, Kaiser and 1111 Broadway buildings have lactation rooms, but there is concern that the rooms need improvements in order to encourage greater use and support for lactating mothers.

“At UCOP offices, we don’t have the range of services the campuses have for lactating mothers,” said Research Policy Manager Lourdes DeMattos, co-chair of PACSW’s Subcommittee on Lactation. “We have concerns about the size and privacy of the room at Franklin, for example, but need more feedback from the people who actually use it before we start making specific improvements.”

Anyone can take the survey, including both men and women who may have ideas from previous experiences with other employers, said Jocelyn Banaria, analyst for planning in Academic Programs, Planning and Coordination, who co-chairs the subcommittee with DeMattos.

Both women know the challenges of breastfeeding while working and believe that anyone planning a pregnancy can benefit from getting early guidance about breastfeeding. At UCOP, they said, more awareness is critical among both mothers and their managers about the need to provide flexible time arrangements and proper counseling to support breastfeeding.

Survey results will be reported to PACSW Chair Stella Ngai, who also is governance and compliance counsel in the Office of General Counsel, and ultimately delivered to Human Resources and Building Services to inform any improvements in the UCOP lactation rooms.

Also of interest is the class, Breastfeeding Your Baby, which covers breastfeeding basics, problem solving and returning to work/school issues, coming up Tuesday, Nov. 6, 1:30 to 5 p.m. at UC Berkeley’s Tang Center, 2222 Bancroft Way. The class is presented by UC Berkeley’s Breastfeeding Support Program and is open to UCOP staff and their spouses and domestic partners.

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