What to Know
- Mothers will have private state-of-the-art places to breastfeed if they find themselves at four local tri-state airports
- Port Authority opened 28 upgraded nursing suites for nursing moms at Newark Liberty, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and New York Stewart airport
- The new nursing facilities are larger than the previous pods, which were first introduced in 2015 at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports
Mothers will have private state-of-the-art places to breastfeed if they find themselves at four local tri-state airports.
The Port Authority has opened 28 upgraded nursing suites for nursing mothers at Newark Liberty, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and New York Stewart airports.
The suites are located post-security in each airport terminal.
“With the Port Authority in the midst of comprehensive airport redevelopment, any amenity that makes the travel experience better for nursing mothers is an important component of that modernization,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We recognize the needs of our travelers and are committed to providing them accessible, sanitary and convenient nursing suites.”
The new nursing facilities are larger than the previous pods, which were first introduced in 2015 at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports in response to customer requests.
These two airports were among the first nationally to offer the freestanding stations.
Currently, there 12 available at JFK, nine at Newark Liberty, six at LaGuardia Airport and one at New York Stewart International Airport, according to the Port Authority.
“Providing suitable facilities for nursing mothers, as well as providing other facilities for families with young children, is an important step in our commitment to improve the experiences of travelers who use our facilities,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We want our customers to know that we are not only listening, but making improvements that meet their needs and offer an enhanced customer experience.”
Created by Mamava — a company whose name means "mother on the go” in Spanish – the suites are large enough to accommodate a mother with a stroller, her child and a traveling companion.
The upgraded pods feature comfortable benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump and a door that can be locked for privacy, the Port Authority says, adding that Mamava’s ADA-compliant pods offer a 60-inch turnaround and grab bars for easy wheelchair access.
For additional user convenience, Mamava launched a free mobile app to help mothers locate pods, and with just one tap on the mobile device, users can unlock the suite.
“We’re thrilled to support nursing mothers at all major New York and New Jersey airports,” said Sascha Mayer, co-founder and CEO of Mamava, a Vermont-based company working to improve such facilities for mothers. “We believe that all mothers deserve a clean, comfortable and dignified place to use a breast pump or breast-feed distraction-free —anywhere, anytime.”
Amelia Psmythe, the interim executive director of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, said in a statement: “As the national breastfeeding coalition in the United States, we believe that it is imperative that all lactating people who need or prefer a private space to nurse or pump have access to a clean and safe space, and we are glad to see the New York airports have answered that call.”
La Leche League shared similar sentiments. La Leche is an NGO that helps mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, education and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
“We commend the Port Authority for being a leader among airports by installing 28 Mamava nursing pods in their airports,” said the La Leche League in a statement. “Mamava, La Leche League International and the Port Authority all recognize the importance that breastfeeding anywhere is a mother’s right, not a special privilege.”
“This a terrific move,” S. Nadia Hussain, the New Jersey-based director of the Maternal Justice Campaign for MomsRising, an organization that works to improve conditions for mothers and their families, said in a statement. “We are all harried when we travel and making it easier for moms to breastfeed or pump at airports is a significant step.”