More than half of women with children less than a year old are working, and work travel can make breastfeeding a challenge. A study of 100 U.S. airports found that few provided a suitably equipped, private lactation room, even though most described themselves as being breastfeeding friendly, as reported in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until November 27, 2014.
In “Airports in the United States. Are They Really Breastfeeding Friendly?,” authors Michael Haight, University of California, San Francisco-Fresno and Joan Ortiz, Limerick Inc. (Burbank, CA), report that while 62% of the airports surveyed answered yes to whether they were “breastfeeding friendly,” only 37% provided a specific lactation room. In only 8% of the airports did that designated space offer the minimum requirements of not being used as a bathroom and having an electrical outlet, table, and chair. These included San Francisco International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Baltimore/Washington International, San Jose International, Indianapolis International, Akron-Canton Regional (OH), Dane County Regional (WI), and Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional (FL) airports.
“This study presents provocative data about our airports,” says Ruth Lawrence, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine. “The good news is that 62% think they are ‘breastfeeding friendly.’ The bad news is that their actions do not support the claim. There is a lot of work to be done to make travel possible for breastfeeding dyads.”
Article: Airports in the United States: Are They Really Breastfeeding Friendly? Haight Michael and Ortiz Joan, Breastfeeding Medicine, doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.0112, published online 14 October 2014.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.