Breast- and bottle-feeding mothers now have two new private, secure spaces to feed their children in Albany County.
St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) sponsored, and made possible, lactation rooms at Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center and at ShopRite, both located in Albany.
The comfortably furnished rooms at both locations offer a more private space to breast- or bottle-feed, or express breastmilk. Outfitted with a rug, comfortable chairs, soft lighting, colorful artwork, and a white noise machine to drown out ambient sounds, these lactation rooms will serve many parents and their children well.
“Breastfeeding mothers deserve safe, secure and comfortable places to pump and nurse their children,” said Dr. Elizabeth F. Whalen, Albany County Commissioner of Health. “Supporting breastfeeding mothers is part of our commitment to improving the health of Albany County residents. We know there are many health benefits associated with breastfeeding for mothers and their children.”
“Long-term studies of breastfeeding show it contributes to a lifetime of good health for babies, particularly when it comes to obesity prevention,” said Erin Sinisgalli, director of St. Peter’s Health Partners Community Health Programs. “Breastfeeding helps to promote healthier weights not just in childhood, but all the way through adulthood. It also provides many positive health benefits for moms, including a lowered risk for breast and ovarian cancer.”
Babies who are breastfed are known to have lower rates of infectious disease and be at a lower risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, babies who are breastfed have been shown to have a decreased risk for certain chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, and obesity. Several studies have indicated that breastfed children may have significantly lower risk of childhood obesity, compared to those who were not breastfed.
Because of these benefits, many organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, World Health Organization, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend exclusive breastfeeding during a baby’s first six months of life, and continuing breastfeeding until a baby turns one year old.
“Albany County is pleased to offer designated lactation rooms where parents can breast or bottle-feed their children,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. “The many people that visit ShopRite and Whitney Young on a daily basis will surely make excellent use of these new resources in our community. Albany County is committed to meeting the needs of parents where they work, shop, and seek services.”
The lactation room at Whitney Young is located on the first floor, around the corner from the main entrance at 920 Lark Drive. The parents’ room at ShopRite is located by the Pharmacy in the front of the store at 709 Central Avenue.
In addition to being sponsored by SPHP, the new, state-of-the-art spaces were made possible through a New York State Department of Health grant, “Pediatric Obesity Prevention: Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities.” The grant is administered by SPHP Community Health Programs.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, click here.