Lactation for Pregnant and Parenting Students and Employees

Child holding a bottle

Whether you are a student or employee, you are entitled to opportunities during the day to breastfeed and express milk.

Fitting it into your schedule

Employees

Employees are entitled to reasonable break time to express breast milk for your nursing child. Oregon law and OHSU’s Workplace Breastfeeding Policy provide this right to you for 18 months after your child's birth. When feasible, you should use your lunch and break time (rest periods) normally provided. If you need additional time, your manager must work with you to meet your needs. Unless you’re using normally paid break time, time used to express milk and breastfeed may be either paid or unpaid, depending on your contract.

You should have access to an appropriate room to nurse or express milk. An appropriate room is one that is in close proximity to your work area, clean, private, comfortable (not a restroom), and equipped with an electrical outlet. Read more about Lactation Rooms on campus below.

Students

For students, a reasonable academic adjustment includes consideration of lactation needs, specifically, granting reasonable rest periods to breastfeeding students, to allow you time to pump or express breast milk for your child or children 12 months of age or younger. A reasonable rest period is a period of time during which breastfeeding students or employees may pump or express breast milk. The reasonable rest period is no less than 30 minutes during each 4-hour period.

You should have access to an appropriate room to nurse or express milk. An appropriate room is one that is in close proximity to your work area, clean, private, comfortable (not a restroom), and equipped with an electrical outlet. Read more about Lactation Rooms on campus below.

Supplies

The outpatient pharmacy located on the first floor of the Physicians Pavilion stocks a number of breastfeeding and pumping supplies, including tubing, valves, connectors, breast milk storage bags and bottle sets. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. See a list breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies (please note that this list is updated periodically). Please call 503-494-7570 for the most current information.

If you’re enrolled in an OHSU medical plan, you can purchase a Medela Pump In Style breast pump through the OHSU Pharmacy with no out-of-pocket cost. You can pick the pump up at the Physicians Pavilion or have it delivered to you at no extra cost through the Mail Order Pharmacy. Note that you’ll need a prescription. A family member can get the pump on your behalf as long as he/she presents your Moda insurance card. You’re limited to one pump in a 365-day period. Contact your medical plan to verify the coverage for these supplies. 

Lactation rooms

OHSU has designated several locations throughout its campuses for OHSU badge holders (there is a separate list for OHSU visitors ) where you can either breastfeed or pump breast milk. Any private space within or near your department or unit may also be appropriate. We encourage you to work with your manager to identify an appropriate location and to develop a plan that accommodates your schedule and work responsibilities. You might want to reach out to the Workplace Expression of Breast Milk Advisory Committee (WEBMAC) at webmac@ohsu.edu for support and advice. 

Your rights

Nursing mothers have rights. Learn more through these resources:

Please reach out to your manager to develop a lactation plan. If you feel like you are being discriminated against based on your status as a nursing mother, please reach out to your HR Business Partner or AAEO.

Mail Order Pharmacy

Many insurance plans offer a Mail Order Pharmacy option. This provides you with convenience of having your prescriptions (which may include breast pumps) mailed to you, typically at no extra cost. In addition, often many prescription drugs are discounted if ordered as a three-month supply. 

  • If you're on an OHSU medical plan, call 503-346-3370
  • If you are on a non-OHSU medical plan, your health insurance may still provide a similar Mail Order pharmacy option with similar benefits. Call your medical plan to find out what's available to you. Usually you can find the phone number on your insurance card or policy documents.

Physicians Pavilion

Physicians Pavilion brick building with greenery surrounding it.
3270 SW Pavilion Loop
Portland, Oregon 97239