Monday, May 2, 2016

Lactation Rooms at Airports

I just read a post on facebook about a bill that would require clean, safe, lactation rooms at airports for nursing/pumping moms.  I didn't want to comment there and hijack the thread but I have mixed feelings about this.

I just wonder about the ramifications.  I breastfed both of my boys at various ages, in airports, and on airplanes, with no problems at all.  I do recognize that I was not shy about that.  When my kids needed/wanted to nurse, I didn't even give it a thought, I just nursed.  I know that other moms might be more sensitive about breastfeeding in public than I.

But when special rooms are created for this purpose alone, are we further stigmatizing breastfeeding as a "not normal" situation?  Are we taking it further out of the public view, placing it behind closed doors and giving the impression that breastfeeding belongs there?  That it should be private and not seen?  I would hate to see that happen.  For those opposed to public breastfeeding, would this give them one more bullet to shun it back to the back room.  I mean after all "airports have special rooms for that".  Like it is meant to be there.

Another concern of mine is that if there is a room provided for breastfeeding, will it become mandatory to breastfeed "only" in that room?  So if some mom decides to feed her child at the gate, waiting for boarding, will an airline employee stop them and insist they go to the lactation room?  I mean it is provided just for that purpose.  So mom's wouldn't be able to feed their child on demand, might miss a flight if they choose to nurse.  Some airports are HUGE, and providing one lactation room might be pointless.  Can you see where I am going with this.

I am honestly not opposed to a lactation room as such. I feel that moms that want that kind of privacy for themselves or for nursing babies/toddlers that are distracted easily, should have it.  And for those who feel they need to go somewhere private to nurse, it is a great option.  But will there be ramifications that we haven't thought of yet?  I don't know the answers, but it will be interesting to follow.

No comments: