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House Leadership: New ‘Nursing Lounge’ Makes Roundhouse More Accessible For Moms, Parents

on January 15, 2019 - 5:08am
Nursing Lounge’ for new moms and parents inside the State Capitol. Courtesy/NMHD

New Mexico House Democrats News:

SANTA FE New Mexico House of Representatives Leadership announced Monday the creation of a “Nursing Lounge” for new moms and parents inside the State Capitol.
Joining other state legislatures across the country, House Leadership is working to create a more inclusive and safer environment for new parents to privately breastfeed or pump breastmilk for their children at the State Capitol.
Door to the new Nursing Lounge’ for new moms and parents inside the State Capitol. Courtesy/NMHD
“In order to make sure that New Mexicans can fully participate in the legislative process, we must ensure that the Roundhouse is accessible to all – including new moms and parents,” Rep-Elect Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Las Cruces) said. “Working parents spend time at the Capitol as constituents, staff, advocates, and even legislators, and it’s vital that they and their children feel welcome and connected with their state government.”
“I am proud to support the members of our staff and the public who have encouraged the Legislature to ensure that our State Capitol is friendly to new moms,” said Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “This is another step the House has taken to ensure that the Roundhouse is truly ‘the people’s house’.”
"I remember being a new mom and working as an advocate here at the Roundhouse. I loved my work, but the lack of a nursing room made it very difficult to maintain breastfeeding for my sons," said Reena Szczepanski, Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the House. "I had to rely on the kindness of legislators and the use of their offices to pump in a safe and comfortable environment, or sit in my parked car down the street. I am thrilled that we will be opening a nursing room on the first day of the 2019 Legislative Session and that new mothers and parents can have this space in the Roundhouse."  
“We applaud the Legislature for creating an environment where mothers, families, and communities have the support they need to breastfeed,” said Monica Esparza, Deputy Director of the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force. “Having this private, safe space will help working parents who need to pump or who may need a comfortable quiet space to feed their little ones, and has positive impacts well beyond the Roundhouse," she said.   
The “Nursing Lounge” is located in Room 207A on the ground level of the Roundhouse near the west entrance. The Nursing Lounge has been furnished with two private stations for the lactation needs of new moms and parents, and even includes some decorations donated by House staff. The Nursing Lounge will be available for use by visitors, legislative staff, and legislators, and access can be requested through the nearest security desk.