Nursing Mothers Can Comfortably Breast-Feed in Lactation Pods in New York City

Nursing Mothers Can Comfortably Breast-Feed in Lactation Pods in New York City

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Though it is legal for nursing moms to breast-feed in public in New York state, many women may still feel uncomfortable doing so, which is why these “lactation pods” planted around New York City are a game changer for nursing mothers.

Just in time for World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, the New York City Department of Health has opened five breast-feeding pods—one in each borough, according to a press release. Locations include the Health + Hospitals’ Queens Hospital Center and Harlem Hospital Center; the Bronx Zoo; Staten Island Children’s Museum; and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

These pods are part of an effort to promote and support breast-feeding in communities with low rates of nursing and to help mothers feel comfortable breast-feeding in public or private.

Each public pod is a self-contained mobile unit that is 4-by-8 feet and equipped with comfortable benches, a table, an electrical outlet for plugging in breast pumps, and, most importantly, a lock on the door to ensure privacy. 

Even though there are only five lactation pods across the boroughs, there are more than 25 public lactation rooms around New York City. The Department of Health released a list of lactation room locations where social services are available and authorities say more are on the way.

“Breastfeeding is the most complete and natural form of nutrition for babies, and it also provides health benefits for new mothers,” Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said in a statement. “We are fortunate to live in a city that protects a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime.” 

The New York Civil Liberties Union states that nursing mothers have the right to breast-feed in public places, including day care centers, doctors’ offices, restaurants, parks, movie theaters, and more. No one in New York is allowed to tell a woman to go to a bathroom, basement, or private room if she is breastfeeding in public.


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Main image: One of five lactation pods set up around New York City
Courtesy New York City Department of Health


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