SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Thanks to a generous donation, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has opened a room set aside solely for nursing mothers to feed their babies and pump milk.
The lactation suite offers a comfortable, private space with a refrigerator, sink and changing table. It even has a television and children’s books to occupy older children while mom is busy with the baby.
The room was made possible by a donation from Mariet Hamrah of Brooklyn, NY, in honor of her late husband, Jerry. It is dedicated to their mothers, Jeanette and Nettie.
“Traveling with a nursing baby can be complicated and frustrating. I would hate to think of those complications forcing anyone to miss a visit to Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, so I decided to help the ALPLM create this convenient, cozy spot,” Hamrah said. “I hope families will use it in health and happiness for years to come!”
Mariet Hamrah, alongside ALPLM Director Christina Shutt, wields giant scissors before cutting the ribbon to open the nursing suite.
State law requires businesses to make “reasonable efforts” to provide basic accommodations for nursing mothers at work. It does not require a dedicated room for lactation or that the space be open to the public. The ALPLM is going above and beyond the legal requirements.
“We believe in supporting nursing mothers, whether they are visitors or part of the ALPLM staff,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “This nursing suite will make life easier for our guests, promote healthy practices for babies and help our employees who are juggling work and caring for children.”
The mission of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is to inspire civic engagement through the diverse lens of Illinois history and sharing with the world the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. We pursue this mission through a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship built on the bedrock of the ALPLM’s unparalleled collection of historical materials – some 13 million items from all eras of Illinois history.
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