Judicial center has dedicated lactation room

Posted 7/7/22

Mothers who need to pump breast milk or nurse an infant now have a comfortable, private space ...

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Judicial center has dedicated lactation room

Posted

OKEECHOBEE – Mothers who need to pump breast milk or nurse an infant now have a comfortable, private space in the
Okeechobee County Judicial Center. The new lactation room was officially dedicated on July 6.

Abby Spears, president of the Martin County Women Lawyers Association, said the goal of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers is to promote women in the profession. One of the organization’s projects is to provide lactation spaces in every courthouse in Florida. Okeechobee County was the final courthouse in the 19th Judicial Circuit to achieve that goal.

Spears thanked Okeechobee County Clerk of Court Jerry Bryant. She said all the clerks of court in the 19th Judicial Circuit were very supportive of the project.

The room, on the third floor in the Judicial Center, will be used by lawyers, courthouse staff and members of the public who can check out the key at the desk downstairs. It was previously one of several rooms used by witnesses waiting to testify in court.

Spears said over the years they have heard horror stories of women having to breastfeed or pump in a restroom or their cars. While nursing mothers have the legal right to feed their babies anywhere they have a legal right to be, some prefer a more private space. Nursing mothers who leave their babies at home during the work day need to pump milk to maintain the supply for their babies.

Spears thanked the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the St. Lucie County Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, the Martin County Women Lawyers Association, Okeechobee County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Jerry Bryant, Okeechobee County Director of Capital Improvements Justin Nelson and Okeechobee County Facilities Maintenance Manager Kenny Murphy for their help. She also thanked Okeechobee County Judge William Wallace and Circuit Court Judge Rebecca White for their support.

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