“Workplace lactation accommodation laws are in place in 24 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. These requirements benefit the breast-pumping mother in an office, but what about the breast-pumping mother who travels? Of women with a child under a year, 55.8% are in the workforce. A significant barrier for working mothers to maintain breastfeeding is traveling, and they will need support from the workplace and the community.” Excerpted from abstract: Airports in the United States: Are They Really Breastfeeding Friendly? Breastfeeding Medicine
In May 2015, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL8) introduced the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act in the House. The bill would require all large and medium hub airports to provide a private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for mothers to express breast milk. To track progress of this bill and see what you can do to help get it passed, go to http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/fam-act
Why not feed/pump in a public restroom?
A study by the Infectious Diseases Society of America found that malls, hospitals, office, department stores, restaurants, airports, and resort restroom cultures documented extensive bacterial contamination on all high touch surfaces. This included faucets, soap and paper dispensers, and door handles. Many had concentrations too high to count.
A microbiologist at the University of Arizona found that a public toilet paper dispenser had more than 150 times the amount of bacteria as the public toilet seat. The paper towel dispenser had over 50 times the bacteria of a toilet seat. Toilets can disperse microbes from 2 feet to 20 feet, depending on the force of the flush. The microbe population in a toilet remains until it is scrubbed off. At home, you can reduce the spread of germs by closing the toilet lid before you flush.
Airports in Texas with breastfeeding rooms:
Austin Bergstrom International
Dallas Love Field
El Paso International Airport
(Lactation room at El Paso International Airport)
Houston International Airport
San Antonio International
To find listings for breastfeeding friendly airports in the U.S., go to https://momaboard.com/traveltip/airport-nursing-rooms-united-states/
To find listings for breastfeeding friendly airports abroad, go to https://momaboard.com/traveltip/airport-nursing-rooms-worldwide/
Is the airport in your area breastfeeding friendly? If not, encourage them to set aside a private space with a basin, changing station, chair, and electrical outlet for breastfeeding/pumping moms. Let’s make Texas breastfeeding friendly, y’all.