Breastfeeding policy a family-friendly initiative
Consultations were held recently at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial’s St. John’s campus and the Marine Institute to seek input from students, staff and faculty on a proposed breastfeeding policy. Memorial University is developing a university-wide policy to support and accommodate breastfeeding during class and work time to further promote a family-friendly, inclusive, progressive environment.
Memorial seeks to provide alternative approaches to meet the needs of all students, staff and faculty, several of whom have requested permission to breastfeed during class or work time.
“Breastfeeding has been successfully permitted in the Faculty of Medicine and it has been done in a quiet, non-disruptive, discreet, respectful way,” said Dr. Doreen Neville, associate vice-president (academic). “This policy is necessary to provide a supportive, flexible environment for all employees and students returning to work or study at Memorial.”
Research shows positive health outcomes for mothers and babies who breastfeed and providing opportunities to study and work while breastfeeding promotes health and well-being.
“In applying Memorial’s Respectful Workplace Policy and Student Code of Conduct, supporting and accommodating breastfeeding in the work place and the classroom ensures respectful acceptance of diversity and evolving cultural values,” Dr. Neville said. “To ensure the comfort of all members of Memorial’s community, it is important to be appropriate and considerate while breastfeeding. Memorial supports women and babies in this choice.”
The complete proposed policy can be viewed at www.mun.ca/main/Breastfeeding_Proposed_Policy.doc and input has been welcomed as the policy becomes finalized and submitted for b oard approval early in the New Year. Specific supports provided by Memorial include clean, comfortable and private space to breastfeed, flexibility as well as negotiated time for lactation breaks.