Last week, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) introduced the bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which would require airports to provide accessible, safe, clean and convenient lactation rooms for travelers. The legislation would require all large and medium hub airports in the U.S. to provide a private space in each terminal for mothers to express breast milk. The space would also be accessible to persons with disabilities. Airports would have two years to comply with the legislation and would be able to use Airport Improvement Program funds for the purpose of complying with the new requirement.
Finding a clean and private place to breastfeed or pump breast milk in an airport can be burdensome and stressful if not impossible. In a 2014 survey, only 8 out of 100 airports surveyed in the U.S. offered suitable accommodations.
“Moms shouldn’t have to worry about finding a place to breastfeed while they’re traveling, they already have enough to worry about,” said Duckworth. “Unlike other public spaces, travelers have little control over the amount of time spent in airports. It’s not uncommon for moms to be directed to a bathroom to breastfeed their child. We would never ask our fellow travelers to eat their meals in bathrooms stalls, yet we ask new mothers to feed their children while sitting on a toilet seat.”
“The FAM Act stands up for traveling mothers throughout this country and it is my hope that members on both sides of the aisle will come together to pass it into law.”