No designated place to pump milk disappoints nursing mother
Adrian Hicks says Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center lacks facilities
A San Antonio mother says there are a number of businesses that have not caught on to how important breast feeding and pumping milk are for babies, including the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Adrian Hicks said that nursing and pumping milk for her 1-year-old daughter is a necessity.
Hicks said her daughter, Mayya, was born 3-and-a-half months prematurely, and she needs breast milk for at least the first year and three months of her life for its nutritional value.
While at a day long conference at the Convention Center, Hicks said she was disappointed to find out that there was not a designated, permanent place for moms to pump.
"While I was there, I was looking for a place to pump and I wasn't able to find anything," Hicks said. "I asked a lot of the staff there. They said there were no accommodations and my best bet was to pump in a bathroom."
As the law stands, employers that have more than 50 employees are required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, for nursing mothers to pump breast milk.
However, Katherine Velasquez with La Leche League in San Antonio said there's no law requiring businesses to have a place to nurse or pump, but that having a designated place would be nice.
"Nobody wants to nurse their child or pump in a bathroom," Velasquez said. "It's just not a place you would do that. You wouldn't want to eat in one of those, so, you certainly don't want to pump or nurse your child in a bathroom."
Hicks said she did pump milk in the bathroom while she was at the Convention Center, but then threw out her expressed milk because she felt the bathroom was not in good condition.
"Because of that, I dumped my breast milk," Hicks said. "I don't feel safe giving milk to my baby that was pumped in a restroom where hundreds of women have been."
Convention Center officials said while there is no designated room for pumping or nursing, they do make accommodations. And unfortunately in this case, it appears that Hicks may have talked to someone who was not informed about the policy and that staff should have made accommodations.
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