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Mompreneur and Co-founder of Moms Pump Here.

Are Airports Lying to Nursing Moms - Are They Really Breastfeeding Friendly?

Are Airports Lying to Nursing Moms - Are They Really Breastfeeding Friendly?

Traveling moms don’t have it easy. There’s a lot of coordination that goes into plane traveling with young children or a newborn. You have to think about how you’re going to maneuver the airports (listed in our airport nursing rooms locator) and get your children from point A to point B seamlessly. In a perfect world it would be seamless but moms often have to deal with luggage, strollers, car seats for the plane, entertaining children or keeping a newborn calm during a flight, stares and comments from less than understanding passengers and then the whole fiasco de-boarding. But what if you are a nursing mom? Traveling with kids or not if a mom is nursing she will also need to coordinate time to breastfeed or breast pump.

According to a study done by Intrepid Travel in 2012, 63% of travelers are women between the ages of 25 and 39. And according to Forbes 85% of consumer purchases and 80% of travel decisions are made by women. 

Are airports ready to accommodate moms? Recently legislation created by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (Illinois) proposed for all airports to have nursing room accommodations for moms by 2016. After further research and survey done by Moms Pump Here LLC we found that many airports are still missing the grade on nursing room accommodations. Many still believe that a bathroom or family bathrooms are nursing rooms. Ideally, if an adult will not eat in a bathroom nor prepare a meal on a toilet why would we subject our babies to this? With fecal matter dispersed into the air by flushing toilets and germs a bathroom is not where a mom should be expressing milk.

Every nursing room, mother’s lounge, suite or parents room must have the following minimum requirements to be considered proper accommodations for nursing mothers:

• Privacy

• A comfy chair

• Table/changing table

• Outlet

• Trash disposal

 

Additional amenities can include:

• A nearby bathroom

• Sink

• Play area

• TV

• Decor

Recently we’ve encountered and contacted airports that have mislabeled bathrooms as nursing rooms or baby care centers. For example, Salt Lake City Airport in Utah had three family restrooms labeled as infant care rooms with toilets right near seating and Reagan International Airport labeled a toilet stall in a bathroom a nursing room. Another culprit was Baltimore Washington International Airport. It does not have a dedicated nursing station as their website stated. They turned out to be bathrooms labeled nursing stations.

Currently in the Moms Pump Here Nursing Room Locator App and website there are over 200 major airports listed (over 1,500 locations total in the USA, Canada and Australia). Nursing mothers participate actively by submitting locations to our database and providing reviews of locations they have checked into. Each location is vetted for the safety of nursing moms by the Moms Pump Here team.

Nursing mothers are encouraged to do research ahead of traveling into an airport and share their experiences with the Moms Pump Here community. Below is a list of US based airports we surveyed as meeting Moms Pump Here’s minimal requirements for nursing room spaces:

1. San Francisco International Airport 

2. Newark Liberty International Airport

3. JFK Airport

4. La Guardia Airport

5. Minneapolis St. Paul Airport

6. Dallas Love Field Airport

7. Dayton International Airport

8. Nashville International Airport

9. Buffalo Niagara International Airport

10. Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport

11. Philadelphia International Airport

12. Coastal Carolina Regional Airport

13. Greater Rochester International Airport 

14. Pittsburgh International Airport

15. Albert J. Ellis Airport

16. Billings Logan International Airport

17. Jacksonville International Airport 

18. General Mitchell International Airport

19. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

20. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

21. Colorado Springs Airport (Maybe Family Rest Room or Not)

22. Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport - Adams Field Airport (Maybe, It says there's also Toiletry)

23. Oklahoma City Airport - Will Rogers World Airport

24. Orlando International Airport  (Only Recent in October 2015)

25. McGhee Tyson Airport 

26. Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport  (Guam)

27. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

28. Indianapolis International Airport

29. Logan International Airport

30. Pensacola Gulf Coast Airport 

31. Dane County Regional Airport

32. Akron-Canton Regional Airport

33. Chicago O'Hare International Airport

34. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 

35. Mineta San Jose International Airport

36. Seattle Tacoma International Airport 

37. Chicago Midway International Airport 

38. San Diego Airport

39. George Bush Intercontinental Airport 

40. Burlington Vermont Airport

41. Long Island MacArthur Airport

42. Albany International Airport

*Out of 357 Major and Regional US airports total, ONLY the 40 listed above actually have a space that qualifies as dedicated nursing mothers room/lounge.

 
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Photo of nursing mothers room at St. Paul - Minneapolis Airport

DEFINITION OF NURSING ROOM - (Lactation Room & Breastfeeding Room)

A Nursing Room is a dedicated private room other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and interruption from the public, which is used by nursing mothers to express breast milk by breastfeeding or breastpumping.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF A NURSING ROOM

  • Comfortable seating
  • Table
  • Outlet to connect electric breastpump
  • Sink for cleaning nursing equipment
  • Lockable door
From Pregnancy and maternity, to infants, toddlers, parenting and motherhood, MomsPumpHere does its best to help new moms make the transition from nursing at home to breastfeeding or breastpumping for their babies in public. Pregnancy was challenging enough mother's health, finding a nice comfortable spot to nurse your baby shouldn't be.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (OBAMACARE):
Workplace Lactation Accommodation Laws

SEC. 4207. REASONABLE BREAK TIME FOR NURSING MOTHERS.
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    1. (r)An employer shall provide—

      (A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and

      (B) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
    1. An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.
  1. An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
  2. DEFINITION OF LACTATION ROOM - (Nursing Room & Breastfeeding Room)

    A Lactation Room is a dedicated private room other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and interruption from the public, which is used by nursing mothers to express breast milk by breastfeeding or breast pumping.

    Lactation Room Guide -