Free-stranding rooms will allow for private breastfeeding, pumping
Nursing mothers in Burlington County will soon have new, private accommodations for breastfeeding or pumping at county buildings thanks to an initiative led by Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs. The modern facility enhancements come as the Freeholder 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,” said Freeholder Director Gibbs. “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 important need for women, Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs 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. 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 Freeholder 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,” added Freeholder Director Gibbs. “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.”
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, Freeholder Director Gibbs instituted mandatory sexual harassment training and retraining earlier this year for all county employees.