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Procedure: Breastfeeding


To provide principles and a framework to support breastfeeding mothers in their return to work and study.


  1. The University recognises the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby and supports staff members and students who wish to breastfeed their baby while they participate in work or study on campus and in campus related activities. It acknowledges that women have the right to breastfeed in public places and that it is unlawful to treat a woman less favourably on the basis that she is breastfeeding a child, in accordance with the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth) and the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT).
  2. The University provides reasonable accommodation to staff members and students who have breastfeeding responsibilities while they are on campus.
  3. Two parenting rooms have been established on Acton Campus for use by students and staff to attend to specific needs of nursing parents and their children.
  4. This room is located on Level 4, Chifley Library. It has lounge chairs and coffee table, microwave oven, a nappy changing table, wash up sink and a privacy screen. This room is available during the Library's open hours.
  5. This room contains the same facilities as the Chifley Library parenting room and is attached to the Acton Early Childhood Centre at 22 Balmain Crescent - see. #72 on the campus map grid reference CD32. This room is accessible during normal business hours.
  6. The rooms may be accessed using your ANU access swipe card. To obtain access please email: with your full student or staff member details (name and U number) requesting access to the above room of your choice (or both).
  7. Any comments or suggestions about the parenting rooms, contact Facilities and Services.
  8. Other work areas and study places are encouraged to provide access to a designated facility, where practicable, to enable women to breastfeed and/or express and store breast milk. This may include facilities with power points, chair, nappy change and hand-washing facilities, refrigerator and breast pump storage area.

Flexible working arrangements

  1. Since breastfeeding is a temporary arrangement staff who are breastfeeding may seek to enter into flexible working arrangements on their return to work. Such arrangements may include:
  • Graduated return to work
  • Part time hours provided for a period of time
  • Varying hours of work
  • Working from home
  • Job-sharing for a period of time
  • Reorganisation of lunch and tea breaks to accommodate breastfeeding needs

Flexible study arrangements

  1. Students who are breastfeeding may seek to enter into flexible arrangements to enable them to meet the requirements of their study program, including alternate options for attending lectures and tutorials and sitting examinations.


  1. Facilities and Services will manage the access to the parenting room and the parenting room facilities.
  2. Supervisors and academic staff need to consider any potential chemical exposure to breastfeeding mothers and minimize this likelihood. Advice can be sought from Occupational Health and Safety officers.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Breastfeeding
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000378
Version 5
Purpose To provide principles and a framework to support breastfeeding mothers in their return to work and study.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Equity & Diversity - Work & Life Balance
Effective Date 22 Jul 2014
Review Date 22 Jul 2017
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Discrimination Act 1991
Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012