A new lactation room recently opened in the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building for new mothers to pump breast milk. Maya T. Prabhu/maya.prabhu@ajc.com

Lactation rooms offer new moms place to pump near Georgia Capitol

Breastfeeding mothers who are in state buildings in downtown Atlanta now have a second location where they can privately pump their breast milk — and more rooms are expected to come.

The Department of Administrative Services recently announced the opening of a lactation room in the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building, which houses several state agencies and a large cafeteria. There has been a similar room at the state office building located at 2 Peachtree St. for the past six years.

While the new room — which has two curtained areas for breastfeeding mothers — requires a state employee badge for entrance, visitors can speak with security staff on site to access the room.

Christine Greene, the deputy commissioner of operations with the Department of Administrative Services, said a staff member in September requested the creation of a lactation room in the building.

“With so many women working in these offices, it really just made sense to have something like this available,” Greene said.

Greene said there are four state employees who have used the room regularly since it opened two months ago. One member of the public used it earlier this month.

The location at 2 Peachtree St. has three partitioned areas and averages about 355 visits per month.

The new room comes after state Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat, introduced legislation in 2018 and this year that would require the Georgia Building Authority to provide space in the Capitol and the Coverdell Legislative Office Building for state employees and the public to pump breast milk.

The legislation, Senate Bill 4, was approved unanimously by a committee but stalled. When Senate leadership and Kemp’s office learned about Jordan’s legislation, Gov. Brian Kemp decided the state would locate and open the rooms, regardless of the bill’s outcome, said Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan of Carrollton.

Kemp’s office is now working to find space in the Capitol for another lactation room.

After compiling statistics from the room at 2 Peachtree St. and asking the Georgia Building Authority in January to help locate a space, it took about four months to upgrade a storage closet to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. The room opened in May.

“The room is designed based on best practices and offers a safe, private location for anyone who needs to use it,” said Candice Broce, a Kemp spokeswoman.

State employees seeking to use the room are asked to register online at doas.ga.gov/doas/lactation-room-agreement.

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