There’s a new bill in California being sent to the governor’s desk. This bill would require rooms with electrical outlets for the purpose of lactation in the Golden State’s airports.
Daily Breeze Legislation reports:
“Today’s workplace isn’t limited to a single office; mothers are traveling as part of their jobs,” Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal said of Assembly Bill 1787, which she sponsored. “This bill helps them balance the demands of their careers with the commitment to breast-feed their children.”
If Brown signs the bill before Sept. 30, it would require airports with more than 2 million annual visitors to provide rooms with electrical outlets for breast pumps by 2016. Airports also would have to include a sink to wash pumps in the rooms in new facilities or those undergoing remodeling…
Only San Francisco International and San Jose International currently provide a room where mothers can plug in their pumps.
“Nursing a baby is a very natural thing,” said Stacey Armato, a Hermosa Beach mother of two who used to travel to Phoenix once a week for work while breast-feeding. “The pump is a complete contraption that you basically have to disrobe to use.”
Pumping at an airport can be complicated, stressful and degrading when a woman’s only option is standing next to an electrical outlet in a public area or sitting in a bathroom stall, said Genevieve Colvin of Breastfeed LA, an education and advocacy group.
My pumping experience was very limited. The only time I had to do it was while my son was in the hospital after open heart surgery. Mothers that travel and must pump are truly committed to breastfeeding. They should have a sanitary space to do so in privacy.
Providing lactation rooms for nursing mothers is important, but it should not be used for mothers breastfeeding while traveling with their infants unless that is their choice. Women should feel free to breastfeed in airports and airplanes, whether there are lactation rooms or not.
Many “nurse-ins” have been held in airports to protest the treatment of breastfeeding women on planes and in airports. Lactation rooms are a step in the right direction for pumping, but I worry they will be abused by airport employees to tell moms they must go there to nurse.