New lactation room in Oneida County helps breastfeeding and working mothersSubmitted: 08/09/2018
New lactation room in Oneida County helps breastfeeding and working mothers
Story By Phylicia Ashley

RHINELANDER - Some new moms face tough decisions about going back to work. The Oneida County Health Department wants to ease some of that anxiety.

"When a baby needs to eat a baby needs to eat," said Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Andrea Johnson.

As a mother of two, Johnson knows the working mom struggle well.

"It's very common for moms to have to go back to work six weeks after birth, sometimes much sooner," said Johnson.

To create a more family, friendly environment, the Oneida County Health Department in Rhinelander created a lactation room three months ago.

"Happy family happy work life," said working mom Kyla Waksmonski.

Waksmonski has six kids including a three-month-old girl. She said having the lactation room just a few steps from her desk has helped her feel peaceful.

"I've been able to be less stressed about being a mom to a newborn," said Waksmonski.

Research shows breastfeeding helps fight diseases, increases a mother's connection to her child and is cost effective. The lactation room allows mothers to stay dedicated to their work and family. 

"If I'm out running errands and baby gets hungry or needs to pump I can just come here," said Waksmonski.

The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law requires employers to provide reasonable space and time for mothers to breastfeed. The health department went a step further and opened its doors to the whole community.

"There is definitely a need for more support," said Johnson.

"You feel a lot of pressures of being a good mom," said Waksmonski.

With a simple room, soft toys and understanding, the stress of the work day no longer includes being a mom.
This week celebrated World Breastfeeding Week. The lactation room at the Oneida County Health Department is open to everyone in the community during the week from 8a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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