Sadly, little has been done so far for women who do not work near offices but drive around all day, women who work for utility companies (for example, Con Edison, Verizon), delivery services (like UPS), cable companies, and similar occupations. Some companies have set up lactation rooms in their garages, but these may be located far from where the workers find themselves when they need to pump. Transit workers can request lactation facilities near the end or beginning of their routes, but that leads to the same problem. Many of these workers have no access to rest rooms, either.
Worksites for Wellness has been working on this issue, and believes the solution is community lactation rooms: ones located in businesses, community organizations and perhaps well-baby clinics catering to maternal-child programs, and that are open to anyone who needs a clean, private and sanitary place to pump breast milk that is close to where they find themselves during their work day. WfW foresees – we hope in the not too distant future – a network of such facilities serving nursing women throughout the 5 boroughs. We know of only two in the whole of New York City, one in Northern Manhattan and one in Central Brooklyn.
Any lactating woman can use the lactation lounge at Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, located at 127 West 127th St., 3rd floor, Mondays-Fridays 9:00-5:00pm by calling and registering with a minimum of fuss: (212) 665-2600. For the lactation lounge in the district office of City Council Member Rob Cornegy, Jr. at 1360 Fulton Street 5th Floor, Brooklyn, call 718-919-0740. Both rooms are available Mondays – Fridays 9:00pm-5:00pm. (See also Resources for Mothers on this website.) Both rooms are furnished with multi-user hospital grade pumps. If you have your own attachment kit bring it with you. If you don’t those locations are usually able to provide one to you for free or at cost.
WfW wants to help field workers solve this problem by helping employers, workers, and their unions creating a series of locations containing rest rooms and lactation rooms, to be shared by field workers. This would naturally create an economy of scale by having employers join in the costs of providing these facilities – and gaining all the benefits that businesses enjoy from supporting their breastfeeding employees – in locations throughout New York City. PLEASE CONTACT WFW to ask us to help you start this process with your companies and unions. We are here to help!
If you know of a good location in your community (such as a church, mosque, synagogue, or community health center, for example) where such a lounge could be established, we can help you and the community organization that would host it to find, equip and publicize it in the community. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. WfW does not charge non-profit organizations for its services, although contributions are always welcome and are tax-deductible.
Worksites for Wellness, Inc. can even supply multi-user hospital grade pumps for the location at or near cost for non-profit and governmental sites. This is a huge resource for the community; we encourage you to contact us so that we can help you establish it. REMEMBER: YOUR CHOICE IS NOT BETWEEN WORKING AND WEANING, YOU HAVE OTHER SOLUTIONS AND WE ARE COMMITTED TO HELPING YOU FIND THEM.