A law signed in New York on Thursday will require several public locations in the city to have breastfeeding rooms, including child service’s offices and health centers.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the new law mandating that specified city buildings provide a space for breastfeeding mothers, separate from a restroom. The stipulation applies to “city job centers, health centers, food stamp offices and children’s services offices,” according to the New York Daily News:
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.
These locations will also have to have posters alerting people that nursing rooms are available.
In a statement about the new law, de Blasio said, “This bill is about fairness, access, and health. No new mother should be unable to breastfeed because she can’t find a private space. This bill takes our city one step towards being a place where all women feel comfortable breastfeeding whenever they need to, wherever they need to.” His wife Chirlane McCray added, “For too many New Yorkers breast-feeding is way harder than it has to be, still. The city is making life a little easier for New York City mothers who choose to breastfeed.”
The hope is that the law will eventually extend to schools, precincts and public colleges.