NEWARK, NJ - Nine upgraded lactation stations have been installed at Newark International Liberty Airport, giving traveling mothers a private place to nurse.
The nine pods are part of 28 others the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey purchased for John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and New York Stewart airports. The suites include benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for a breast pump and a door that can be locked for privacy.
“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 pods were created by a Vermont-based company known as Mamava, which is Spanish for ‘’mother on the go.” Each station is large enough for a mother with a stroller, her child and a traveling companion. They’re also wheelchair accessible.
“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, in a statement. “We believe that all mothers deserve a clean, comfortable and dignified place to use a breast pump or breast-feed distraction-free —anywhere, anytime.”
Newark Liberty airport was among the first nationally to offer freestanding nursing stations in 2015. The newest installations are upgrades to the original ones, which were first installed about four years ago in response to customer requests.
“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,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton in a statement.
The stations make the airports fully compliant with a new federal requirement for large and medium airports to provide lactation areas in every terminal by October 2020.
“This a terrific move,” said S. Nadia Hussain, the New Jersey-based director of the Maternal Justice Campaign for MomsRising. “We are all harried when we travel and making it easier for moms to breastfeed or pump at airports is a significant step.”