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Md. bill would require lactation room in state buildings

Maryland state lawmakers will consider a bill that would require lactation rooms in most state agency buildings. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

WASHINGTON — The first year of a baby’s life is usually full of wonder, joy and lack of sleep, but for some breastfeeding mothers, making sure the baby has enough to drink can be a hassle.

State Sen. C. Anthony Muse, D-Prince George’s, is sponsoring a bill that would provide privacy and security for women who visit or work in state agencies.

“The bill would require state agencies with at least 25 employees, to maintain a private lactation room that can be used by employees or members of the public to nurse a child and express breast milk,” said Muse.

Muse said the lactation room would have to be outside a bathroom, and include a refrigerator, when practicable.

Until now, government workers and visitors have had to find workarounds for breastfeeding and expressing breast milk.

Muse said Maryland Senate Bill 783 “would provide security (for women), knowing they’re not behind a curtain in an open office, where everyone is coming in and out.”

The bill would be in keeping with the federal Affordable Care Act, which allows employers to provide reasonable break time for employees to express breast milk for a period of one year after a child’s birth.

Muse also recently introduced a bill that would require all state buildings to have at least one diaper-changing facility.

 


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