Rep. Maloney Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week at the New York Breastfeeding Caravan
NEW YORK – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined mothers from across New York City for the New York Breastfeeding Caravan to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and raise awareness for mothers’ rights to breastfeed.
“As the first woman to give birth while serving on the New York City Council, I know firsthand the difficulties new mothers face in the workplace,” said Rep. Maloney. “Those difficulties should not include breastfeeding. I’m thrilled that New York City is once again showing why we are a national leader for nursing mothers with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing new legislation this week making sure that women across our city can access lactation rooms in job centers, SNAP centers, health centers, and children’s centers. I have heard from far too many mothers calling my office to share their experiences of being harassed or threatened for nursing at work or in public places. We must affirm this right for all mothers in the workplace and in public.”
Rep. Maloney has introduced the Supporting Working Moms Act (H.R. 4113), which would expand protections for break time and accommodations to pump breast milk to all working mothers.
Congresswoman Maloney began working on this issue in 1997, and shortly thereafter, she introduced a comprehensive bill promoting breastfeeding and protecting women who choose to breastfeed. One of the provisions of that bill, which allowed states to spend more money on breastfeeding promotion and support through the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, was enacted into law in 1998. In 1999, her Right to Breastfeed on Federal Property Act was passed as part of the FY2000 appropriations measures, ensuring a woman's right to breastfeed her child on any portion of Federal property where the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be.
Working mothers’ opportunities to breastfeed were further expanded on March 23, 2010, when President Obama signed parts of Congresswoman Maloney’s Breastfeeding Promotion bill into law as part of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions ensure that employers provide nursing mothers in traditional hourly labor jobs with adequate space and time to pump breast milk during the workday.