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Academic Considerations for Students who Nurse after Childbirth

Academics and Research

PDF Version: AA Academic Considerations for Students who Nurse After Childbirth Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102, et seq. (2019) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver, who subsequently authorizes the Provost, to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to the academic functions of the University.

  2. Purpose: This policy states the academic rights of students who breastfeed after childbirth.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to students.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Chief Academic Officer

  2. Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness

  3. Responsible Office: Academic Affairs Office

  4. Policy Contact: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness, 303-615-1900

III. Policy Statement

Some women will choose to nurse after childbirth, and Metropolitan State University of Denver is committed to creating a supportive environment for nursing mothers that includes lactation facilities on campus.

Students who choose to nurse after childbirth are responsible for considering the following recommendations when selecting classes during the semester(s) in which expressing (pumping) milk will occur.

  • Schedule classes that meet for no more than two hours at a time.
  • Schedule classes that are not back-to-back to ensure ample time between classes for pumping to occur.
  • Allow enough time between your work schedule and classes to ensure ample time for pumping prior to the beginning of class.  
  • Consider online courses if this mode of instruction fits better with your pumping needs.
  • Be aware that there is a higher percentage of summer semester courses (compared with fall and spring semester courses) that are longer in length, and that certain summer semester courses may not be suitable choices.

The University supports a mother’s choice to nurse; however, the requirements associated with each mother’s circumstance may vary significantly. It is the student’s responsibility to make the right course selection using the above guidelines in order to avoid missing class time and interrupting the learning process. 

In general, the University and its faculty expect that students choosing to nurse will plan ahead as is outlined in this document so that the ongoing academic mission of the institution is not interrupted.  A critical component for successful learning is class attendance, and in some classes, active course participation is also an important factor.  For this reason, students who are expecting to nurse after childbirth are responsible for designing their class schedule in a manner that does not interfere with the allotted instruction time for any of their registered courses.

For any anticipated unique exceptions in which class instruction time may be impacted by a need to pump, a student is required (before registering for such a course) to schedule a meeting with the course instructor and the appropriate associate/assistant dean. At this meeting it will be determined if it is advisable for the student to register for the course in question. This will be determined by an assessment of the anticipated time away from class to pump and the implications to the educational requirements of the course. Any such exceptions agreed upon must be put in writing by the faculty member teaching the course and provided to the student and the Dean’s Office within one week following such a meeting. There are no course penalties associated with agreed upon times for lactation between faculty and student. However, in all cases the faculty member will maintain the same course standards required of all students registered for the course and as outlined in the course syllabus.

IV. Policy History

  1. Approved by: Provost

  2. Effective: July 1, 2019

  3. Review: This policy will be reviewed every three years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

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