Becoming a new mom didn’t slow down Cross Cultural TravelingMom Taty Pradilla. She just turned the baby into a fellow frequent flyer. Among the biggest challenges: nursing or pumping at airports. Today, though, lactation stations are opening up in airports around the country, including Miami International Airport.
While nothing slows down a Traveling Mom, I was never comfortable breastfeeding baby at the airport. Being from South America where nursing in public is not frowned upon, it was not so much so being covered enough, as it was thinking how unsanitary it was.
The times that I had to travel solo were probably even worse. Having to deal with luggage, baby diaper bag, a hopefully not cranky baby and to top it off, stares. What about traveling without baby and still breastfeeding? Can you just picture pumping anywhere but a private secluded clean place? Yes, that only left the overused bathrooms at the airport. Translation: the milk got dumped and the pumping machine got a thorough cleaning at the final destination.
A private little peaceful clean place for breastfeeding was wishful thinking only a couple of years ago. Today we have good news: airports are becoming breastfeeding friendly!
Traveling Moms and Private Airport Breastfeeding Spaces
Luckily, many airport administrations have recognized this problem for lactating moms, and have started designating special areas for breastfeeding at airports. Take for example, the nursing room at Dallas Love Field airport which is conveniently located across from the play area for children. Brilliant isn’t it? The same goes for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. There are nursing stations in each terminal there.
The Nursing Suites at Miami International Airport
As of September 2016, Miami International Airport has made available 8 pod-like MIAmamas nursing stations. “It makes this the U.S. airport with the largest number of these innovative units for breastfeeding mothers,” says Emilio Gonzales, director of Miami International Airport (MIA).
There is a nursing suite in each concourse. Concourse D has two of them once you pass security. You can locate the suites using the MIA Official app. By the way, keep in mind that the State of Florida protects the rights of mothers to nurse in public, and MIA states nursing moms are welcome everywhere in the airport. The nursing stations at MIA are an additional amenity for breastfeeding moms.
The nursing pod is free to use and has a deadbolt lock on the door (like the ones on planes) that indicates if the suite is vacant or not. Inside are two bench seats, and USB and AC power outlets so you can charge your phone while you pump. Soft lighting sets the mood and you get extra space for luggage or strollers or other family members plus a fold-down table.
This is so much better than sitting on the dirty floor of an airport bathroom to pump or breastfeed! It is a much needed cleaner, comfortable and private area for breastfeeding traveling moms. True they were long-overdue, but they are here and hopefully soon a standard all over the country!
Other Airports with Designated Lactation Spaces
Other airports that provide private nursing areas are:
- Pensacola International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport
- Akron-Canton Airport
- Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport
- Indianapolis International Airport
- Baltimore International Airport
- Midway International Airport
- Dallas Love Field Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor international Airport
- Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport
- Newark International Airport
- Atlanta International Airport
- Jacksonville International Airport
- Key West International Airport
- Oakland International Airport
- San Antonio International Airport
- Spokane International Airport
- Palm Beach International Airport
- Manchester- Boston Regional Airport
- La Guardia
Better Late Than Never
Isn’t it fabulous that breastfeeding moms are finally getting some privacy and comfort at airports? Better late than never. I love the idea that there is one less thing to be anxious about when flying and breastfeeding.
As you might have guessed, it took a breastfeeding mom to plow the way for dedicated breastfeeding spaces at airports. We can thank Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who experiencing herself the challenges of trying to breastfeed in airports. She introduced the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which would require all large- and medium-hub US airports to provide private lactation rooms in which mothers could either pump breast milk or breast-feed their infants. Thank you!