MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Martin County Courthouse has a new resource to help women improve their work-life balance post-childbirth.
Courthouse staff, county leaders, and attorneys celebrated a ribbon-cutting for a new nursing room Thursday.
The room will be open to women at the courthouse needing a private, comfortable place for breastfeeding.
“It could be a witness, a juror, or someone in a family case where they’re involved in proceedings, or they’re coming to support someone else who may be involved in court proceedings", explained Donna Eng, President of the Martin County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
According to Eng, the Nursing Room took eight months to complete. It is the result of a collaboration between the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL), the Martin County Chapter of FAWL, the Court, court staff, the Clerk of Court and the Clerk’s office staff.
Some of the women at the ribbon-cutting look forward to being able to use the nursing room.
“They announced this before I was even planning on expecting,” explained Associate Attorney, Katherine Mish. Now, she is due in a couple of months.
“I know a lot of women who have had to go into their cars or bathrooms or drape a blanket over themselves to pump during the day because you want to go back to work right away. You’ve worked really hard for this career. You want to continue to work for it, but you also want to give your baby everything they need,” Mish said.
Eng says this helps women overcome the challenges she had when she was having her children.
“Years ago, when I had my children, and I had to return back to work, it was very difficult to stop the breastfeeding process. There were no areas you could go to during the day, so I had to stop breastfeeding in order to go back to trial work,” Eng said.
She hopes this helps eliminate the compromise between a challenging career and growing a family.
“More and more women are able to try cases and return to the workforce and keep up their options of breastfeeding,” Eng said.
This is the first Nursing Room in the 19th Circuit. Federal Courthouses have nursing rooms.
The Palm Beach County Courthouse also has a nursing room.