Page updated 26 April 2023
UCD Breastfeeding Policy
Employees are entitled to take paid breastfeeding/lactating breaks for two years (104 weeks) after the period of confinement, which is an increase from the current 6-month entitlement. This supports employees who are breastfeeding while returning to the workplace.
This page contains a brief summary of the UCD Breastfeeding policy, however, in all cases the Policy itself remains the definitive source of information. Read the full policy now in the Governance Library.
UCD Statement in support of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is known to provide considerable health benefits for both parent and baby. The Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months, after which mothers are recommended to continue breastfeeding, in combination with suitably nutritious and safe complementary foods, until their children are 2 years of age or older. Breastfeeding provides a healthy, practical, and sustainable source of nutrition that protects the child's right to the highest health and benefits for the mother's health and well-being, so it should be protected, promoted and supported.
Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Nationally, current figures indicate that 63.8 per cent of woman initiate breastfeeding at their baby's first feed, compared with rates of 90 per cent in Australia, 81 per cent in the UK and 79 per cent in the US. On discharge from hospital, in Ireland just 37.3 per cent of mothers are breastfeeding. The WHO global target for 2030 is for at least 70% of babies to be exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life. Ireland has much to do to achieve those rates.
Recognising the importance of breastfeeding for both mothers and their infants, UCD is committed to providing a supportive, family friendly environment and that includes a culture that supports and raises awareness of breastfeeding. UCD is entirely breastfeeding friendly and there are no restrictions on bottle or breastfeeding at the University. Individuals are entitled to breastfeed in public places and do not have to ask anyone for permission to do so.
Facilities are provided by UCD for the purposes of breastfeeding/lactation and these facilities are aligned to good practice to ensure the comfort of those using them. These facilities are in place should someone wish to avail of them but there is no requirement by those breastfeeding to use them.
Breastfeeding Facilities in UCD
Below is a summary of the breastfeeding facilities available in UCD, please refer to 'Room Type' when using the Estates Services Map to locate these rooms:
|O'Brien Centre for Science
||Room E 0.12 (beside Moore Auditorium)
||Access on request - granted by Welcome Centre
||Science Welcome Centre, ext. 2845
||Ground floor (beside ladies' toilet)
||Open access (through 'Staff Only' double doors)
|Health Sciences Centre
|Smurfit School of Business (Blackrock)
||Room E118, Gound floor
|| Second floor
||Access control rights required
||Room 108 First Floor
||Access on request - The Village Welcome Desk
||UCD Estates 01 716 7000
National Breastfeeding Supports
- HSE Breastfeeding Advice and Services: Link
- HSE Breastfeeding Factsheet Link
- Cuidiu - Irish Childbirth Trust: Link
- La Leche League in Ireland: Link
- Friends of Breastfeeding: Link
- The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland: Link
- START: Link
- Further supports on national breastfeeding websites via the HSE: Link