Establish Lactation Rooms in Illinois Airports

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O'Hare International Airport (O'Hare) and other Illinois airports, do not have designated lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers. Midway Airport recently opened a Mother's Room on Concourse C. There should be additional lactation areas in each airport terminal and each concourse. At a minimum, a comfortable space for breastfeeding mothers should include an electrical outlet, a sink, and wash area.

Currently, O'Hare airport asks mothers to feed their children in the restroom or to contact Travelers Aid in Terminal 2 to arrange a private room to pump or breastfeed. There is no information or timeline posted on their website when or if Mother's rooms will be established at O'Hare.

I started this petition because traveling through O’Hare airport as a nursing mother is extremely problematic. In February 2015, I traveled from Chicago O’Hare airport to Houston, TX to attend a conference. It was my first overnight trip away from my ten (10) week old son. As a nursing mother, I knew that there would be obstacles to overcome by carting breast milk to/from this short trip. However, I did not anticipate having significant trouble locating a clean and private place to pump breast milk. The terminal that I departed from had ONE “family” bathroom. I stood in line and waited for the bathroom attendant to finish cleaning. Another young couple and their toddler got in line behind me. Even though I was next in line, the bathroom attendant admonished me and said that it was the “family bathroom”. I advised the attendant and the couple behind me that I needed to pump. The other mother seemed understanding, however, someone insisted on knocking on the door as I was pumping anyway. Nursing mothers should not have to hunt for a private space, rush through nursing/pumping, or explain to airport employees why they need a private space accommodation in public airports.

One of the greatest struggles for breastfeeding mothers is to find accommodations to express milk and feed our children in public places. This campaign seeks to make Illinois airports nursing friendly and to build public accommodation for breastfeeding mothers.

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Emily M. needs your help with “Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago Department of Aviation: Establish Lactation Rooms in Illinois Airports”. Join Emily and 1,505 supporters today.