California higher education institutions vary on the information disclosed regarding their lactation policy for employees and students.
Differences may include who the policy is for, what the policy includes, and whether the policy states federal/state mandates. The purpose of developing a coding tool for lactation policies is to determine the quality (e.g., comprehensiveness and strength) of these schools’ policies. A 69-item coding tool was developed to evaluate 14 areas (e.g., time). Each area was scored based on comprehensiveness and availability of certain resources. We will include an equitable number of different higher education institutions (public (community college, bachelor’s Degree granting; PhD/Professional Degree granting), independent and private). Two trained raters will independently examine each school’s lactation policies. Two model policies will be used in pilot testing this tool and an expert panel will review this tool.
It is our plan that this coding system may provide a reliable method for comparing school lactation policies for students/employees. Also to provide recommendations to institution stakeholders so that they can better accommodate and protect lactating students/employees (and guests; spouses of students)