Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Better Place to Breastfeed More Firms Offering Spaces That Cater to Nursing Mothers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Better Place to Breastfeed More Firms Offering Spaces That Cater to Nursing Mothers

Article excerpt

When Allegheny County first started giving out awards for breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, it wasn't much of a competition.

"Twenty years ago when we started, we maybe got two nominations because they didn't exist," said Diane Eberle, breastfeeding coordinator for the Allegheny County Women, Infants and Children program, which administers the awards.

These days, the evaluators are busier. Winners among the 20th anniversary of the awards this year include not just a clean space to support breastfeeding mothers, but amenities such as cozy spots for older children, attractive decorations and even a guest book.

"As the years go by we see people being more creative with it," Ms. Eberle said.

The county announced its breastfeeding-friendly place awards last week, with Pittsburgh International Airport and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History honored in the breastfeeding-friendly public-place category and the Beauty Shoppe co-working space and the Family Division of the 5th Judicial District of Pennsylvania honored in the breastfeeding-friendly workplace category.

While bells and whistles are appreciated, the spaces don't actually require anything fancy. Guidelines recommend that the rooms in the workplace have an electric outlet, a lock, a comfortable chair and a flat surface to place a breast pump on, Ms. Eberle said. A source of water nearby that is not a bathroom is also recommended, she said, and a refrigerator in the room is a bonus.

At the Beauty Shoppe, a co-working space in East Liberty, general manager Marissa Fogel described the shop's spaces as private "phone booths" that are also used by other employees who are seeking quiet, making a phone call or even meditating.

"It was such a wonderful surprise to be nominated," she said. "In a way, it's something we take for granted, that we consider the needs of our members in this way. …

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