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The Traveling Mother

Navigating, visualizing and utilizing lactation spaces in U.S. airports
Published 2019
By Joyce S. Lee, Aidan Ganzert, Christina Jackson
Planning Types: Campus Planning

This analysis was led by one of the authors of the SCUP–Penn Nursing joint study of lactation policy and facilities in higher education. Originally published by Building and Environment journal.

Breastfeeding has well-known health, economic and social benefits. As mothers continue to work, play, learn, travel and live their lives in all environments, the need for breastfeeding spaces continues to expand. However, a key detriment to engaging in safe and private breastfeeding is the lack of dedicated lactation space. While there have been regulatory strides to support nursing mothers, businesses and employers are not required to create a permanent and dedicated space for breastfeeding mothers. Little research has examined the essential building specifications of these spaces.

Airports are one of many environments that have been overlooked for requiring a lactation space. A total of 130 US airports, categorized by hub size and region, were analyzed for the following features: website source, photos, amenities description, and location/access. Findings conclude that while many airports are addressing the issue of mothers and breastfeeding, more could be done to provide quality accommodations.

Partner: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing