Duckworth, Author of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, Visits Newly Installed Lactation Pod at O’Hare
Gwen Pepin Gwendolyn_Pepin@duckworth.senate.gov
[CHICAGO, IL] – Today at O’Hare International Airport, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) visited one of the facility’s vacant newly-installed and ADA-accessible lactation pods that help make expressing breastmilk and pumping less complicated for traveling nursing parents. During her visit to the Mamava-developed pod that helps the travel hub comply with her Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, Duckworth highlighted the impact of her FAM Act, as well as her commitment to continue making life easier for working parents and their children. She was joined by Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. Photos from today’s event are available here.
“As I rolled through O’Hare, visiting one of its newly installed ADA-accessible lactation pods, I thought of all of the nursing parents who may have felt isolated while only trying to feed their hungry baby in a busy airport,” Duckworth said. “I’ve been that mom before, and I am so proud that my Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act is moving the needle to make air travel more compassionate and seamless for nursing parents and their little ones.”
“Ensuring that young mothers have a comfortable place to nurse, pump or care for their young children is a key priority for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) as we continue to develop the customer experience at Chicago’s airports under the leadership of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot,” said Commissioner Rhee of the CDA, which owns and operates both O’Hare and Midway International Airports. “The 11 Mamava lactation pods located at both airports further support the eight Mother’s Rooms already in place, and together they can ensure that traveling moms always have a place to safely care for their children in a private setting.”
“We are closely aligned and so grateful for the hard work Senator Duckworth has done to support young families in the U.S.,” says Sascha Mayer, Mamava's Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer. “We created Mamava to make breastfeeding easier and accessible to all parents, and that requires infrastructure in facilities and support in the form of good public policy. Working with the Chicago Department of Aviation to install these lactation pods as a solution has demonstrated that when businesses work alongside the government, we can accomplish the mission to support, celebrate and normalize breastfeeding for traveling parents. With the momentum provided by the Friendly Airport for Mothers Act, as well as the FAM Improvement Act, we’ve placed 182 pods across 76 airports in the US, and have developed a free locator app that helps parents find thousands of public lactation spaces. These strong alliances will further help transform the culture of breastfeeding by making it easier for more parents to pump or nurse at workplaces and in public spaces.”
In 2018, the FAM Act was signed into law to require large and medium-sized airports to provide access to private, clean and accessible lactation rooms. Thanks in part to the Senator’s bill, O’Hare, one of the busiest and most connected travel hubs in the world, has now more than doubled its dedicated spaces for nursing parents to feed their children.
Two years after the FAM Act became law, Duckworth’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act was signed into law to ensure that small airports across the country support nursing parents and promote breastfeeding-friendly environments by providing accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms for travelers.
Duckworth first introduced the FAM Act in May of 2015 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2019, another bipartisan breastfeeding bill that was championed by Senator Duckworth, the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, was signed into law and ensures all federal buildings open to the public provide lactation spaces for visitors. Senator Duckworth has been a strong advocate for parents and families during both her service in the House and Senate.