Pumping breast milk on campus at Columbia

Originally Published: July 31, 2009 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 20, 2011
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Dear Alice,

I am a graduate student at Columbia, are there any private areas on campus that I can pump my breast milk?

Thanks,
Mommy of 3 month old

Dear Mommy of 3 month old,

Yes, yes, yes! Columbia University recognizes the needs of its lactating students and staff, and maintains lactation rooms in various buildings on the Morningside campus, in the Studebaker building, and at the Medical Center. The rooms, which are part of Columbia's Breastfeeding Support Program, offer a private, clean space to express breast milk. Each room is equipped with a table and chair, locks from the inside, and contains a  Medela Symphony electric, hospital grade pump (you'll need to bring your own attachments, which are available at cost through the Office of Work/Life or through other retailers). Some rooms have refrigerators and sinks. To get started using any of the Columbia Lactation Rooms, just follow these steps:

  1. Request access to the campus lactation rooms through the Office of Work/Life by calling 212-854-8019. It is best to do this at least ten days in advance of your use of the room.
  2. Obtain breast pump attachments for the Symphony pump, which are available for purchase through the Office of Work/Life or by visiting the Medela website or other retailers. Breastfeeding mothers may also bring their own pump to and from the lactation room on a daily basis, but will be responsible for securing it against theft or use by others.
  3. Plan for storage/cooling for your breast milk as needed. Refrigeration/storage is provided at some, not all, of the lactation rooms on campus.

A more comprehensive list of lactation room locations, amenities, and hours is available on the Breastfeeding Support website. This webpage also contains great links to helpful resources and information about breastfeeding in general. Happy pumping!

Alice