Nursing Rooms Are Now Required By Law In All Major U.S. Airports.
Nursing moms will soon find it easier to feed their babies and pump while traveling through airports around the U.S. as nursing rooms are now required by law in all major U.S. airports.
We all agree that when it comes to feeding your baby, fed is best. Whether you choose to formula feed or breastfeed, knowing your rights is extremely important. Not everyone feels comfortable nursing or pumping out in the open, thus making it uncomfortable for traveling mom’s to feed their babies.
All commercial airports will be required to provide nursing rooms at each passenger terminal, thanks to the passing of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act (FAM) of 2017. The act was included in the five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration that president Trump signed on Oct. 5.
Most major airports already have rooms that are designated to give moms a place to nurse a child or pump breast milk. Each of the 2017 Top 10 U.S. airports by passengers has at least one “Mom’s Room”.
Before the FAM act, airports added nursing rooms at their own discretion. Beyond having to provide a space for nursing Mom’s, there are certain guidelines that have to be followed.
The lactation areas must:
- Be available to the public.
- Be behind security.
- Be shielded from view and free from intrusion.
- Have a door that can be locked.
- Includes a place to sit, a table or other flat surface and an electrical outlet.
- Be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs.
- Not be in a bathroom.
The bipartisan bill was introduced in May 2017 by Congressman Stephen Knight, of California, and Senator Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois.
Senator Duckworth has been a force to reckon with and a warrior for working mothers’ rights. With the arrival of a baby girl named Maile, Duckworth became one of just 10 women to give birth while serving in Congress. In April the senator brought her newborn daughter to the floor for her first vote—making her the first baby ever allowed there.
Senator Duckworth’s own experiences expressing breast milk while traveling motivated her to introduce the FAM Act (Friendly Airports for Mothers).
“As a nursing mother, I had to stick to a feeding and expressing schedule, including when I was at the airport, but I quickly realized that finding a clean, accessible, private space was stressful and inordinately difficult,” she wrote. “At many airports, I was redirected to a bathroom, forced to pump in a bathroom stall. We would never ask our fellow travelers to eat their sandwiches in a bathroom, but there I was, expressing milk for my child on a toilet seat.”
“With the Senate passing my proposals, new mothers who are traveling through airports will no longer need to turn to bathroom stalls to feed their children,” said the Senator in an interview with CBS.
Thanks to the trailblazing efforts of Senator Duckworth, working mothers are seeing more rights than ever. She’s a true hero!!
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