Nursing mothers in Burlington County will soon have new, private accommodations for breastfeeding or pumping at county buildings.
Burlington County officials say nursing mothers in Burlington County will soon have new, private accommodations for breastfeeding or pumping at county buildings.
Officials say the initiative was led by Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs. According to the county, the modern facility enhancements come as the board continues to identify and address issues that affect women in the workplace.
“As the only freeholder board in the state with a woman director and deputy director, I believe we have a unique opportunity to truly enhance the quality of life for women in Burlington County,” Gibbs said. “Going back to work as a new mother is hard enough; they shouldn’t also have to worry about where and how they are going to continue nursing. This private accommodation will alleviate one of their concerns and support the health and wellness of our employees, residents and their families. No woman should have to choose between her dedication to her career or child.”
In order to address this need for women, Gibbs announced she has directed the placement of free-standing mother’s rooms in the County Administration Building, County Department of Human Services Building and the Burlington County Library. Officials say the movable pods are more than seven feet high and wide and provide a power outlet, fold down table and two benches, which will allow women to pump or breastfeed in a clean and comfortable space, free from intrusion.
The board previously worked with the Burlington County Institute of Technology, Special Services School District and Rowan College at Burlington County to dedicate a private room for new mothers on each of their campuses.
“Women shouldn’t face impediments in the workplace because they have chosen to breastfeed their child; rather, they should have access to reasonable breaks throughout the day and defined space so that they can properly care for themselves and their babies,” Gibbs said. “I am proud of the steps we are taking at the county to further promote a positive environment for women and hope that we may serve as an example for others in our region to follow.”
Officials say the addition of private mother’s rooms in county buildings joins the board’s recently enacted equal pay resolution to promote gender equality in the workplace. Additionally, Gibbs instituted mandatory sexual harassment training and retraining earlier this year for all county employees.
The board plans on authorizing the solicitation of bids for the new mother’s rooms during its public meeting on March 28.