Mothers seeking a private place to breastfeed or pump can now duck into a new lactation room at Grand Central Terminal.
MTA’s Metro-North Railroad has partnered with Mommy Poppins, an online resource for families, to bring the private room to the busy transportation hub. The cloistered space is located at Track 36 near Starbucks.
Though public breastfeeding is perfectly legal and protected by both federal and state law, many women often face unwarranted pushback or leering from bystanders, or are unable to find a comfortable and convenient location to nurse while out and about in the city.
The MTA said Monday that the lactation room is available for use seven days a week whenever Grand Central Terminal is open to the public. Women can request access to the room at the Station Master’s office, located on the west side of the main concourse, behind the stairs to the Vanderbilt Avenue entrance and near Track 37. Officials said the enclosed lactation room is ADA accessible and is complete with climate control, an easy chair, a table, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump, and a door that can be locked for privacy. The room has a phone with a direct ring to the Station Master’s Office for emergencies, and as an added security measure, security cameras monitor its outside entrance.
“The new lactation room will help customers better navigate our transportation network, and I’m proud that Metro-North is supporting women on their journey as new moms,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad.