Express yourself

Thanks, in part, to Broadsheet readers, New York women are one step closer to being able to pump milk at work.

Published June 26, 2007 1:43PM (EDT)

Remember how last week we told you about an effort in New York State to allow women to express (i.e., pump) breast milk at work? Well, turns out that the bill passed. I have a feeling that some Broadsheet readers wrote in to voice their support, so I figured I'd pass along this note of thanks from our tipster:

"Please accept my sincerest thanks for convincing the New York State Senators to pass the 'Expressing At Work' bill. Last Wednesday, with only 2 days left in which to consider the bill, the Senate voted to pass it! It is now waiting for the Governor's signature, and we feel very optimistic that he will sign.

"I cannot thank you enough. I was amazed by how many of you wrote to the Senators right away, in response to my e-mail, and equally amazed when I was bcc'd on e-mails sent by so many people I have never met before! My friends shared my e-mail with their friends, who posted it to websites, blogs, moms' groups, etc. ... and wow, were we mobilized! You are one motivated group of women (and a few men too, a special thanks to you!).

"I think that all of your e-mails to the Senators during the last couple of weeks, telling them in plain English why moms need to be allowed to express breast milk at work to feed their babies, are the reasons that this bill passed. Once the Governor signs, all working moms of infants in New York State -- doctors, lawyers, teachers, retail workers, and restaurant workers alike -- will have the right to express milk at work so they can continue to breastfeed their babies after going back to work.

"From the stories you shared with me, including trying to express in unsanitary bathroom stalls, trying to express in common areas while other employees walked in and out of the room, and the fear of taking time out from the trading floor to express without any legal protections, I can tell you that this law is badly needed. Thank you so much for making this happen!"

Way to go, Broadsheeters -- it's nice to know that occasionally, through writing this blog, we can help change things for the better.

By Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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