New lactation spaces give Team LHSC a place to breast/chest pump while at work

The lactation space at Victoria Hospital

May 13, 2024

As part of our ongoing commitment to create safer, more inclusive, and accessible spaces within our hospitals, we are proud to announce that we have continued to expand on available lactation spaces for use by all members of Team LHSC. Lactation spaces are private, safe, and secure locations where individuals can breast/chest pump and store their pumped milk while at work.  

When Team LHSC identified a need for additional private, secure, and safe places to pump at work, it became clear that there was an opportunity for LHSC to better meet their needs and provide education on the rights of individuals breast/chest pumping at work. The Health Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility team within the Office of Inclusion and Social Accountability, the Facilities Management Planning Department, and the Human Resources and Workforce Wellness team jumped into action. They immediately began working on a plan that would see the creation of additional dedicated pumping spaces at Victoria and University Hospitals. 

“Breast/chest-pumping while at work is a protection under the Ontario Human Rights Code,” says Jill Sangha, Director of Health Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. “What we heard from Team LHSC during our focus groups was that they needed more comfortable, safe, and accessible spaces where they could pump and wanted to feel confident that they were able to do so when needed. A key element of this project includes increasing organizational awareness that individuals may require accommodation to breast/chest pump and how leaders can support staff with these requests.”

The Team Lactation Space at University Hospital

Pictured: The Team LHSC lactation space at University Hospital

“We are excited to introduce these new locations for members of Team LHSC to feel comfortable pumping at work,” says Matt Keast, Director of the Facilities Management Planning Department. “This initiative is another step forward in creating safer, more inclusive and accessible spaces within LHSC, but we know there is more to do. We look forward to further expanding these spaces in the future.”

Within each dedicated lactation space, members of Team LHSC can access a QR code that leads to an online survey collecting feedback. The project will take a multi-phased approach to expand the program to include lactation spaces for patients, caregivers and visitors in the future. Much of the feedback collected through the survey will help inform decisions on future developments and progress towards creating more accessible, safe and secure lactation spaces.