Airports can be a difficult place to privately breastfeed your baby, let alone pump breastmilk. Most mothers are either forced to reluctantly use a public restroom, or do their best to cover themselves in public waiting areas.
While it is indeed every mother's right to breastfeed in public without criticism or discrimination, some mothers prefer privacy and quiet to breastfeed their babies and pump breastmilk. Other mothers don't mind where they feed, and feel that public breastfeeding is an important step in normalising breastfeeding.
However, airports also present other breastfeeding barriers, one of which was recently highlighted by actress Alyssa Milano, who tweeted her frustration after security discarded her pumped breastmilk:
As a result of increasing traveller complaints about the lack of breastfeeding facilities, home and baby care company, Seventh Generation, teamed up with Mamava, a breastfeeding advocacy group, in order to create a solution — sponsored breastfeeding pods.
Several breastfeeding pods have just been placed in US airports, right in time for mother's day. These freestanding, private pods offer a cleaner, quieter alternative to public rest rooms, and have enough space for luggage and four family members too. Measuring 4 foot by 8 foot, the breastfeeding pods offer an electrical outlet for a pumping machine, a mirror, two benches and hand sanitiser. The pods lock from the inside, providing privacy for mother and baby.
One of the best features of the breatsfeeding pods are where they are located. Alyssa Milano will be thrilled to know that the pods have been strategically placed past the security checkpoints, allowing for mothers to pump milk and not have it confiscated.
While the breastfeeding podsÂ are only available in the New York area — JFK, Newark and LaGuardia — the plan is to expand and have the pods placed in more airports.
The very best thing about breastfeeding pods? It provides another option for mothers and babies. And don't we need more of those? No-one will be forced to use one, but if you want it, it's there. If it helps more mothers feed their babies, without anxiety, for a longer duration of time, and with peace of mind, then that's nothing short of amazing.
Is this something you'd like to see at your own local airport? Let us know in the comments section below.