‘Friendly Airports for Mothers Act’ set to enforce lactation station legislation.
Breastfeeding moms across the US may soon be finding it a lot easier to travel by air if legislation requiring airports to provide lactation stations is adopted, according to Huffington Post.
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US rep and mom to a six-month-old child Tammy Duckworth has proposed the “Friendly Airports for Mothers” Act which would see all commercial airports required to provide facilities for moms to either breastfeed their babies or express milk. Her proposal is in response to the current situation in which breastfeeding or expressing moms more often than not have no facilities to use at all, often leading to them being asked to use the toilet for this purpose.
She has commented that no one would ask other travellers to eat in a toilet stall, so it is unreasonable to compel babies to feed in this way. In addition, she says, not having the facilities to express can cause great discomfort to a woman and lack of regular expressing can even lead the the cessation of the milk supply.
One company in the US, Mamava.com, has already created “lactation stations” for this purpose, small, easily installed pods which have lockable doors, seating and a fold-down table.
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The idea of spending many hours in airports can discourage moms to young children from travelling. The idea of having to breastfeed in public (if that’s not banned!) may intimidate some mothers. Pumping breast milk is not possible in a public space, either.
Ideas such as Tammy’s are helping to dispel the myth that moms should be limited to feeding their babies or expressing milk in the bathroom.
While breastfeeding advocates are finding more acceptance via social media campaigns, there is still opposition from some quarters that find public breastfeeding inappropriate or even “disgusting”.
It takes superhuman strength already for moms to travel with young children or to express breast milk while travelling if they have to travel for work purposes, for example. Initiatives such as lactation pods and better legislation could help to prevent “breast-shaming” from taking place.
What do you think? Should there be more private spaces in public for breastfeeding or expressing moms?