Politically correct breast-feeding? They're here to help

If one envisions a calm, soothing environment in which to breast-feed or pump breast milk, the chaos of the Wells Fargo Center this week probably is not it.

But fear not, lactating conventioneers: Philadelphia's Maternity Care Coalition is staffing eight curtained breast-feeding stalls on site, complete with comfortable chairs, side tables, and electrical outlets.

There is even a refrigerator so mothers can store pumped milk until it can be delivered to the baby, and bottled water so they can replenish lost fluids.

"We're going to be there and help wherever we can, with whatever mom needs," said Katja Pigur, the group's director of breast-feeding services.

For those who need assistance, a representative from the nonprofit will be at the stalls each day from 3 p.m. until late at night, whenever the speeches conclude.

Any breast-feeding mother is welcome, whether she is a delegate, a member of the media, or some other convention-goer, Pigur said. The curtained stalls are on the mezzanine of the arena.

It all started because Democratic National Convention officials received inquiries about breast-feeding accommodations from delegates and media outlets, said JoAnne Fischer, the Maternity Care Coalition's executive director. The convention then contacted the group, which agreed to help.

Republicans had similar accommodations in Cleveland.

Also available for mothers at the Philadelphia event:

Palm-size cards with the texts of two city ordinances related to breast-feeding.

One dictates that breast-feeding is permitted in public. The other states that employers must provide employees with a clean, private nursing space that is not a bathroom.

"It's to reassure them that this is a breast-feeding-friendly city," Pigur said.

So if someone would rather breast-feed on the convention floor than in the stalls, she can. Call it an early civics lesson for the baby.

There is precedent in the political realm. In late February, at a rally for Bernie Sanders in Barberton, Ohio, a woman achieved a measure of fame when she nursed her 6-month-old daughter in the second row.

A photo of the mother and daughter soon went viral, with the hashtag #boobsforbernie, and the candidate also tweeted his support.

tavril@phillynews.com

215-854-2430 @TomAvril1