County Will Designate Rooms for Nursing Mothers
November 14, 2014
County Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner, 608.333.3676
Private Rooms and Accommodations to be Made Available in All County-owned Buildings
The Dane County Board of Supervisors last Thursday unanimously approved a resolution declaring that one room, other than a restroom, will be clearly designated in every County-owned building as a place for nursing or expressing milk privately. The resolution further dictates that each such room will be equipped with an air exchange, lighting, an electrical outlet, a chair, a lockable door, and window treatments if necessary.
“As a breastfeeding mother of a fourteen month old, I know how hard it is to find a private place to express milk when I am away from the home or office,” said Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner, the lead sponsor of the resolution. “These simple improvements to our public buildings will be a great relief to moms on the go. I am pleased the resolution earned such broad support from my colleagues on the county board.”
Twenty seven supervisors joined Wegleitner in sponsoring the resolution.
“Our culture doesn’t always make it easy on moms and babies,” said Laura Berger, president of the Board of Directors of the Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin. “Breastfeeding moms who are away from their babies need to find a place to express their milk in order to maintain their breast milk supply. We need to support these mothers by giving them options. We need to make nourishing their newborns easier, not harder. I thank the County Board for making this decision and I thank County staff in advance for making it happen.”
The rooms will be chosen, outfitted and clearly designated in 2015, funded by a $17,385 budget amendment sponsored by Wegleitner. About 20 County facilities will be affected. The entire designated dollar amount would be required only if all 20 rooms required complete outfitting, Wegleitner said.
“Most rooms will already have lighting, and a chair, and a curtain on the window, and everything else we’re calling for,” she said. “The actual expenditure will certainly be much less than $17,000. In any case, it’s worth every penny.”
Research indicates breastfeeding infants for 6 months or more has significant lifelong health benefits, and that a supportive community can dramatically increase a mother’s chance of breastfeeding successfully.
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