BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Central Brooklyn Councilman Robert Cornegy on Tuesday opened the borough's first community breastfeeding station in his Bed-Stuy district office, offering a safe, quiet place for mothers to nurse their children in peace.
The community lactation station, which was unveiled as part of the "First Food Festival" at Restoration Plaza, features comfy chairs, and a refrigerator for moms on the go who need to pump and store breast milk for their babies.
The idea came from Cornegy's time as a father, watching his wife struggle to find a private area to breastfeed, free of judgment, the councilman said.
"People actually discouraged her from breastfeeding," Cornegy said. "If people are feeling the stigma of breastfeeding, we should provide an atmosphere for them to do that."
Cornegy was joined by his wife, Michelle, along with Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson's wife Lu-Shawn Thompson and Cynthia Aker, the wife of a Cornerstone Baptist Church minister, to unveil the new breastfeeding room.
Michelle Cornegy said she still recalled the stigma she faced when breastfeeding.
"I couldn't find quiet spaces with the children without the looks and things like that," she said.
The space was funded in part by a $3,000 grant from the IM Foundation, as a way to promote healthy living and wellness in central Brooklyn, foundation head Diane Porter said.
"It seemed to me a very small investment for a lot of good," Porter said. "Taking breastfeeding out of the shadows and putting it right here in Bedford-Stuyvesant."