New Law Requires Nursing Rooms for Breastfeeding Moms at Airports
While the passing of the FAA Reauthorization Act is older news and President Trump signed it into law a couple of weeks ago, there’s a provision in that bill that has gotten less attention than it probably. In that bill was a provision that actually requires large and medium hub airports to maintain a lactation area for breastfeeding mothers in each passenger terminal. This, of course, makes it more sanitary and comfortable for both mother and baby.
This provision to the bill was part of H.R. 2375, The Friendly Airport for Mothers (FAM) Act, which was introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) in May 2017. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was the Senate sponsor of the Act.
In a statement after President Trump signed the bill into law, Representative Knight said, “Air travel is often seen as a barrier for many new mothers. This can depress their ability to participate in the workforce, visit family and friends, or any other reason they may need to travel by air. By reducing this barrier, we’ll allow moms around the country to travel without having to worry about finding a safe and hygienic place to care for their children. I’d like to thank Senator Duckworth for her crucial help in advocating for this bill and I look forward to continue supporting policies that help everyday American families.”
The law sets out a certain set of requirements for the lactation stations:
- 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 Act will make some differences because there are airports that don’t have such a station in all the passengers terminals of the airport. However, major airports already seem to have a head start in meeting the requirement. According to USA Today, each one of the top 10 U.S. airports in 2017 has at least one such lactation station in the airport.