Rochester, New York — Legislation authored by Minority Leader Carrie Andrews to establish a county policy designating rooms for breastfeeding and lactating mothers was approved at the Monroe County Legislature Tuesday night with unanimous bi-partisan support. The law will pertain to buildings owned, leased, or operated by the County.
“This is an exciting step for Monroe County employees returning to work after giving birth,” Legislator Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “We worked closely with advocates and experts during this process to ensure that we had a piece of legislation that would support new mothers. As we went down this road we were made aware of the enormous health rewards of breastfeeding for mothers and their newborns and for that, I applaud my colleagues for their bipartisan cooperation that has led us to this important step. I believe that this new policy is a win for new mothers, advocates and this legislative body as we demonstrated tonight that we can put politics aside and put people first.”
“I am thrilled that Monroe County has voted to support breastfeeding in County buildings. It has been well researched and documented that breastfeeding offers countless benefits for both mothers and babies. Breastfeeding has been known to reduce cancer risk in both mothers and babies, reduce respiratory illness and support optimal overall health and brain development,” said local lactation consultant Diane Cassidy, IBCLC, stated. “In addition, breastfeeding is financially advantageous and promotes bonding. In a society where new mothers return to work so quickly after delivery, it is important for organizations such as Monroe County to support the transition back to work by offering a private space where a mother can pump her milk. This is an important time for Monroe County to show that it can lead by example.”
Also signing on to support the legislation were Legislators Cynthia Kaleh (D-Rochester), Dorothy Styk (D-Perinton), Debbie Drawe (R-Penfield), Mary Valerio (R-Chili), Karla Boyce (R-Mendon), Kathleen Taylor (R-Greece), and Majority Leader Stephen Tucciarello (R-Gates). A final draft of the legislation is available here.