Proposed law seeks to make airports friendlier to nursing mothers

Aug 19, 2015

Major airports across New York, including Buffalo Niagara International, would have to provide space for breastfeeding moms under a proposed law that was unveiled Tuesday. A study shows only eight percent of airports across the nation have lactation rooms.

State Senator Tim Kennedy says traveling with babies is stressful enough without moms having to worry about finding clean and private spots to nurse their infants. Rachel Jackson agrees. She breastfed her two sons and created a medical device company for breastfeeding mothers. Jackson says women who unable to pump their milk or nurse their babies can face serious consequences.

Senator Tim Kennedy partnered with local mothers to call for increased accommodations for nursing mothers.
Credit nysenate.gov

"Women who are breastfeeding or having to pump have to either do it in a bathroom, which is really unsanitary, or they have to go without doing it, which exposes them to getting really ill," Jackson said.

Jackson says numerous medical problems can occur if a breastfeeding woman cannot express their milk, including mastitis. Supporters believe major airports have an obligation to provide clean and private space for nursing moms and their babies.

"We have serious concerns by mothers because these airports didn't have areas for them to take care of themselves and their children, they actually had to choose against breastfeeding," said Kennedy. "No woman should have to make a choice between doing her job and taking care of he family the way she would like to."

Illinois and California already have laws that require airports to have lactation rooms. But a study shows more than 90 percent of all airports do not have such facilities.