Brooklyn mothers will have a place to breastfeed their babies comfortably at Brooklyn Borough Hall, thanks to Borough President Eric Adams and his Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative, a move that he hopes will jumpstart an overall expansion of public breastfeeding zones throughout the borough and the city.
According to the BP’s office, the new initiative will focus on the roughly 200,000 children under the age of five living in the borough, a statistic higher than the New York State average.
“Breastfeeding is the best feeding for our youngest Brooklynites,” said Adams. “Science shows the essential health value of breastfeeding, but society has not quite gotten past the stigma of nursing a child in public. The public lactation room we are establishing in Brooklyn Borough Hall will serve as a maternal sanctuary, supporting mother and child alike. It is my goal to see spaces such as these available for families in every corner of our city and our state.”
The Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative will also call for funding mental health screenings for new mothers, addressing any complications that arise as a result of postpartum depression, and support of the Paid Family Leave Act – a bill that Adams has rallied for in the past and which is currently pending in State Legislature.
“Family friendly policies mean fewer people will be forced to choose between a job and a loved one in need,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron, a co-sponsor of the Paid Family Leave Act. “That’s a big deal for kids, caregivers and our economy.”
“I am so pleased to support Family Friendly Brooklyn,” added Councilmember Mathieu Eugene. “This new initiative will provide some much-needed assistance to many of our hard-working families in this great borough. There are many challenges that new mothers and fathers are faced with at work and outside their place of employment, and Family Friendly Brooklyn will go a long way towards alleviating the considerable pressures they are experiencing.”
Adams is working closely with advocacy organizations like A Better Balance; Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.; New York City Breastfeeding Leadership Council; New York Working Families; New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign; New York Paid Leave Coalition; New York State Breastfeeding Coalition; and YWCA of Brooklyn, among others.