WASHINGTON — Legislation expected to pass the House on Tuesday would give lactating moms access to private spaces in federal buildings for pumping breast milk.
The bipartisan bill, called the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, would require buildings that are either federally owned or leased to provide designated private and hygienic spaces — other than a bathroom — for nursing mothers.
“Considering millions of people visit federal sites across the country, and particularly here in the nation’s capital, visiting nursing mothers should also have access to dedicated lactation spaces they need to safely pump breast milk for their newborns,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., in a recent statement.
Federal law already requires large employers to provide such a space for employees to pump breast milk for newborns. Norton's bill offers already-existing lactation spaces for federal employees to members of the public and visitors on an as-needed basis.
She said the bill doesn’t require new funds or new exclusive spaces to be permanently set aside for lactation.
The legislation passed the House last Congress, but the Senate didn’t take it up. This year’s bill has no Senate sponsor.