Inside a Lactation Room at the U.S. Capitol

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Published on 19 May 2021, 17:00
The suite—one of several created at the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 2007 under the impetus of Nancy Pelosi, the first female House speaker—is a space of privilege. In a country that does not guarantee mandatory paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child and where there is an intense pressure to breastfeed, lactation rooms have multiplied in the last decade.

In the Capitol lounge, women from across the aisle mingle, a rare opportunity in an era of intense divisiveness when cooperation is key to push for legislation benefitting families. Coincidentally, the week Botz was filming, Congress adopted the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, which now offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave to approximately 2.1 million federal workers.

In her photo series and accompanying documentary, both titled “Milk Factory,” Corinne Botz goes inside over thirty American lactation facilities and makeshift spaces for lactating mothers. Her photographs include cheerily decorated lounges, repurposed office spaces, prefabricated lactation pods, boiler rooms, restaurant basements, cafeterias, bathrooms, trains, and pop-up tents.

Join Botz and a panel of experts for a live conversation about the making of the film and the challenges that lactating, working mothers face in America.

Read more about America's lactation rooms :

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