Rochester, New York — June 19, 2014. Democratic County Legislators have proposed a county policy to designate breastfeeding and lactation rooms in buildings owned, leased or operated by Monroe County. This policy would encourage an environment where employees and members of the public can breastfeed or pump in a safe, private location. The City of Rochester and many private employers currently have dedicated breastfeeding rooms for their employees.
Sponsored by Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester), the proposal would require that rooms designated for breastfeeding have certain basic characteristics, such as a door that locks from the inside, an electrical outlet, a suitable chair and a clean and sanitary environment. By law, the county is required to provide space for employees who wish to breastfeed or pump on an as needed basis. This policy would do more to promote and facilitate breastfeeding and support this important matter of public health.
“Encouraging breastfeeding among our workforce is a win-win,” Democratic Leader Andrews said. “Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of many serious illnesses, such as breast, ovarian and thyroid cancers. The list of benefits for infants is almost innumerable. As if those reasons weren’t good enough, encouraging breastfeeding is also good for taxpayers, helping to reduce the risks of illness and along with it reducing health claims, sick days and decreased productivity. It is time for us enact this important policy.”
“Mothers and infants benefit tremendously from breastfeeding,” Dianne Cassidy, Lactation Consultant, IBCLC, said. “As a community, we need to do all we can to promote, encourage and facilitate breastfeeding. Enacting this policy and designating a room for breastfeeding and lactating is clearly the right thing to do for the people working or visiting county buildings.”
The proposal will be considered during the June 25 meeting of the Legislature’s Agenda/Charter at5:30pm in the County Office Building.