A few weeks ago we read a study by the Breastfeeding Medicine Journal that confirmed what we already feared to be true, only 37% of airports in the United States are actually breastfeeding friendly. Of the 37% only 8% offer the mandated space requirements which include having a chair, table, electrical outlet, and not utilizing any part of the space as a restroom. The sad reality of the situation is that many facilities claim to provide mamas with the amenities guaranteed to them by the law but more often than not (92% of the time) they fall short in what is actually provided.
Earlier this summer our co-founder Sascha Mayer was interviewed by Marie Biancuzzo of Born to be Breastfed.. the topic? Breastfeeding friendly airports, or the lack there of. In the interview traveling mama, Nina Blachman shares her trials of traveling and pumping. Nina, not unlike the rest of the traveling mamas in our country, had a difficult time finding a private place adequate for her to pump in. Most airports directed her to a crowded bathroom or dark hall way- neither of which is a proper place for mamas to prepare food for their babes.
Ruth Lawrence, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine says, ”the good news is that 62% [of airports] think they are ‘breastfeeding friendly.’ The bad news is that their actions do not support the claim. There is a lot of work to be done to make travel possible for breastfeeding dyads.”
If you plan on flying and pumping soon be sure to fly with the 8%, that is, airports such as San Francisco International, Indianapolis International and Baltimore/Washington International. But why is it that if only 8% of airports nation wide are indeed breastfeeding friendly, the other 92% get away with claiming to be something they’re not? The answer, this issue has yet to surface in a way that will cause major change. Mama’s need to know and assert their rights and airport directors need to learn that mediocre family restrooms no longer suffice.
We hope that in the next year we will see significant improvements in airports and public spaces for nursing mamas (we’re working on it).In the meantime, if you or someone you know is a traveling and nursing mama, utilize our breastfeeding friendly locator app, and email your airport to request they establish the proper accommodations.
Breastfeeding Medicine Article: http://bit.ly/1yVyzYe
Mamava Lactation Station Locator App: http://bit.ly/1oBbKmC