The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey opens 28 upgraded nursing suites for mothers on the go who are seeking enhanced privacy and comfort at Newark Liberty, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and New York Stewart airports.
The suites, offering safe and sanitary places for nursing mothers, are located post-security in each airport terminal and are listed on the Port Authority’s individual airport websites. Their addition underscores the agency’s commitment to improving all aspects of customer service at each of its facilities.
“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.”
“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.”
The new nursing facilities are larger versions of the previous pods, which were first introduced in 2015 at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports in response to customer requests. The two airports were among the first nationally to offer the freestanding stations. Currently, there 12 available at JFK (here) nine at Newark Liberty (here), six at LaGuardia Airport (here) and one at New York Stewart International Airport (here).
Created by Mamava – Spanish for ‘’mother on the go” – the suites are large enough to accommodate a mother with a stroller, her child and a traveling companion. The 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.
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: “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.”
“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,” said 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. “We are all harried when we travel and making it easier for moms to breastfeed or pump at airports is a significant step.”
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