Lactation Room Could Soon Be Required in Federal Buildings [VIDEO]
Breastfeeding mothers could soon have a space other than a bathroom for pumping breast milk. A new legislation may require federal buildings to provide facilities needed by these mothers.
The bill was proposed by Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s representative. Norton recounted the moment she requested for a lactation room for her daughter-in-law at a wedding she attended a year ago. She was pleased that her demand was met.
The bipartisan bill called Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act seeks for designating a private and hygienic space that nursing mothers can access. It aims to make available to members of the public and visitors the lactation facilities already in place on an as-needed basis, the U.S.A. Today reported. The House unanimously approved the new bill on Tuesday evening. It is estimated that installation may cost less than $500,000 annually. Norton is looking for a Senate sponsor.
An increase in the number of private spaces for breastfeeding all over the country could be seen as a result. Large employers have earlier been required by law to provide a space dedicated for this purpose.
Norton believed that among the millions of people visiting federal buildings, breastfeeding mothers should be able to use these facilities when needed, according to the News 4 I-Team. Norton lamented that the Smithsonian lacked a lactation space two years ago. The institution provided more public health rooms as a response to the complaint.
Breast milk is known to be the healthiest source of nutrition for newborns during the first six months of life. It contains antibodies that protect babies from illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia. The benefits of breastfeeding children go beyond childhood.
Mothers also reap the rewards for their health. Studies have shown that mothers who breastfeed may have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.