Anecdotes Of Mothers Breastfeeding ‘In Cars, Supply Closets, Bathrooms’ Prompt Vote On OC Lactation Policy

Health Los Angeles News

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to develop a new lactation policy aimed at “making life easier for all mothers who work in or visit County facilities,” according to County Supervisor Andrew Do.

Do proposed the policy, which received unanimous support during the Board’s Tuesday morning meeting.

As part of the directive, county staff are expected to “identify a list of comfortable and private spaces for mothers to breastfeed”, according to a press released from Do, who represents the First District.

The proposal also directs the county executive officer to identify appropriate spaces at County facilities to “accommodate breastfeeding mothers who are visiting a County facility or employed by the County, and to publish those locations online.”

Do said he was prompted, in part, to make the proposal after hearing anecdotes of lactating mothers left with little choice but to express breast milk in uncomfortable, inconvenient, and sometimes unsanitary conditions.

“Over the years I have heard stories of mothers going to their cars, to supply closet[s], bathrooms and such in order to express milk for their babies,” Do said at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I don’t believe that’s acceptable,” he continued in part. “We have made great strides in recent years at (John Wayne Airport) and the new county building, but we could do more. That’s why I introduced this.”

New moms “should not be asking if there’s a lactation room, but they should be asking where” there is a space for breastfeeding, Do said.

In 2001, state lawmakers passed the Lactation Accommodation Law, requiring every employer to provide break time to accommodate employees wishing to express their breast milk in private.

The county executive is expected to return to the Board with a proposed policy and acceptable locations within 90 days.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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