Changes for nursing moms at Hillsborough Co. courthouse

Lacation rooms make way in courthouse
Posted at 4:10 AM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 06:43:28-04

There are big changes at the Hillsborough county Courthouse - two lactation rooms where moms can breastfeed their child or pump breast milk in a private, clean space. The rooms are open to the public.

Nicole Gehringer and Lyndsey Siara are new moms and the two staff attorneys who convinced the courthouse to convert the offices.

"One less thing for mothers to worry about," said Gehringer.

"We've heard plenty of stories in the challenges women have faced in finding a facility to use. That was at the back of our minds, we never want someone to come here and feel that uncertainty or face that challenge," said Siara.

Chief Judge Ron Ficarrotta, with the 13th judicial circuit, loved the idea.

"So many mothers are working these days," he said. "This is that situation and we try to support our working mothers."

Using the rooms are easy - pick the key up at the receptionist desk in exchange for your I.D., unlock the door, place the sign on the door knob and lock it. When you're finished, bring the key back.

Lyndsey and Nicole hope this sets an example for other businesses in the Tampa Bay area.

"Any effort for an employer or business to make to help mothers who are working full-time and are just spending long time anywhere if they are nursing is absolutely appropriate and is becoming a more common thing.

Officials say they plan on putting signage throughout the entire courthouse so that everybody knows where the rooms are. One is on the 6th floor of the Edgecomb building - you can grab the key from the information desk. The second room includes a built in bathroom - it's located on the 4th floor of the Annex building, down the hallway to the right of security. You can pick up the key from the information desk on the second floor.