August 11, 2016, 5:29 PM
BY ERIN DURKIN
The city will open lactation rooms for nursing moms in dozens of public buildings under legislation that Mayor de Blasio signed into law Thursday.
The new law, signed at Brooklyn Borough Hall — where a public lactation room has already opened — will require the spaces at all city job centers, health centers, food stamp offices and children’s services offices.
“For too many New Yorkers breast-feeding is way harder than it has to be, still,” said de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray, who recalled her struggled breast-feeding kids Chiara and Dante, including having to pump in tiny toilet stalls and leaving her pump and bag of milk on the subway.
“The city is making life a little easier for New York City mothers who choose to breastfeed.”
The rooms must contain an electric outlet, a chair, and a flat surface for changing infants, and be located near a source of running water. They’ll open within the next year and will be available during regular business hours. The Health Department will publish a list of room locations on its website.
Women will continue to have the legal right to breastfeed publicly.
Councilman Robert Cornegy (D-Brooklyn), who sponsored the bill, said he hopes to eventually expand the mandate to cover city schools, public colleges, and NYPD precincts — citing a Daily News story about a female cop who complained she wasn’t allowed time to pump breast milk.
“Many of you will probably never hear me say this again — I applaud the efforts of Pat Lynch and the [Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association] who came to her aid and fought for her and are fighting now to make sure that never happens to another nursing mother,” he said.