The Best Airports for Breastfeeding Moms
Airports are often ranked on customer service, on-time arrival rates, and their overall amenities. But when you’re breastfeeding, what you really need is a place where you can put down your bags and pump or nurse.
Unfortunately, not all airports have lactation accommodations. (Yet many airports have multiple pet relief areas and smoking lounges.) Air travel will improve for moms soon, however, thanks to the recently passed legislation, The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which requires medium and large airports to have a lactation space in every terminal by 2020. Until then, consider flying from, or through, one of these mama-friendly airports that already go the extra mile.*
1) John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
JFK knows how to support traveling breastfeeding moms with their twelve Mamava pods across their six terminals. If you’re traveling solo, check out the high-end shops or book yourself a mani-pedi at an Xpress spa (in Terminals 1, 4, and 7). For families, the Jet Blue Terminal (Terminal 5) offers an outdoor area called “T5 Rooftop” (across from gate 28), a play area, and Muji (where you can stock up on all your favorite pens!).
2) Newark International Airport (EWR)
Welcome to the club, EWR! As of 2019, traveling moms will now find nine Mamava pods throughout the airport. While Newark has not always been known as the most hospitable place for travelers, they’re adding more restaurants and amenities to improve travelers’ experiences. Like the new “At Your Gate” food delivery service that delivers food right to your gate, which is helpful when you’re a mom juggling little ones.
3) Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
Traveling moms rejoice! In November 2018 DTW added eight nursing rooms across the airport: three are located in the North Terminal and five are in the McNamara Terminal. All the rooms have a comfortable chair, a sink, counter, and electrical outlets. Plan ahead, because you’ll need to call the number on the door to gain a one-time access code (the phone is staffed 24/7). If you’re traveling with little ones, you’ll find a play area in the McNamara Terminal near gates A8, A18, B20 and C6. There’s also a play area in the North Terminal near gate D16.
4) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Moms flying through LAX will find eight nursing rooms—one in each terminal. Which means whatever airline you choose, LAX has you covered. If you’re traveling solo, choose from eleven art exhibits (located in Terminals 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal) or grab a bite to eat at The Proud Bird where you can watch the planes take off. Got little ones in tow? Hit up LAX Beach, a mini beach-themed playground, located post-security in the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
5) Miami International Airport (MIA)
Miami International Airport knows just what traveling breastfeeding moms need: lots of places to pump. There are eight Mamava pods throughout their three airport terminals. Solo travelers can indulge in a little self-care in their Jetsetter Spa (on the 2nd level of South Terminal H). If you’re traveling with a little one, keep baby from getting bored by taking a spin through some of MIA’s art galleries. Toddlers and small kids will love Plane Fun, an interactive collaboration with the Miami Children’s Museum, located in Concourse E, near Gate E5 (it’s also accessible from Concourse D).
6) Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Moms flying through IAD will be happy to know that there are eight nursing rooms throughout the five airport concourses (four of them are post-security). But do plan ahead, because access requires calling Airport Services or stopping by an information desk. For mamas with toddlers in tow, The FunWay (in Concourse B, near gate B70) is an interactive play area with airplane-themed activities.
7) LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
Traveling breastfeeding moms will be relieved to know that LGA now has six lactation spaces (all Mamava pods) throughout their four terminals. If you’re flying solo, treat yourself to a blowout at WT Warren Tricomi Blowout. Travelers with kids might want to take a stroll through FAO Schwartz (located in Terminal B between Gates 40 - 59).
8) Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Sea-Tac provides seven lactation spaces throughout their four concourses—six Mamava pods and one Mother’s Room. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll find a children’s playroom between Central Terminal and A gates, right across from Seattle Tap Room. Sea-Tac also offers other great amenities such as their free STQRY app that provides background information about all the art in the airport and live music performances offered every day of the week.
9) Logan International Airport (BOS)
BOS does a great job of supporting traveling breastfeeding moms with lactation spaces across their four terminals: two nursing rooms and two Mamava pods (with two more planned for 2019). For mamas flying solo, take some time for yourself with a quick treatment at a B Relax travel spa. If you’re traveling with kiddos, you’ll find an interactive Kidport play areas in Terminals A, B, and C.
10) Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
ATL has six lactation spaces throughout their six concourses—all Mamava pods—and, thanks to Zappos, the pods have additional amenities like breast pads and hand wipes to make life just a little bit easier. Plus, a new nursing room is scheduled to open soon in the Main Terminal West Crossover area near Baggage Claims North and South.
11) Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
FLL FTW! This airport has a great lactation space to terminal ratio: six spaces (all Mamava pods) across four terminals. A notable bonus of this travel hub: the opportunity to offset travel stress by petting one of FLL’s twelve roaming AmbassaDogs.
12) Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
BWI offers mamas pumping spaces (Mamava pods) in each of its five concourses. In addition, they’ve also sprinkled rocking chairs all around the airport—perfect for nursing or rocking your babe to sleep. Pick one near the Observation Gallery to watch the planes go by while rocking out. Traveling with someone who needs to work off a little extra energy? Hit the playground in the D/E Connector.
13) George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Houston’s IAH does a great job of anticipating travelers’ needs by providing lactation rooms in four out of their five terminals. Moms will find two Mother’s Rooms in both Terminals A and C, plus a nursery (complete with a baby crib and rocking chair) in Terminals B and D. To help soothe hectic travel, check out IAH’s “Harmony in the Air” series for musical airport performances.
14) O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Chicago O’Hare has a Mother’s Room in each of their four terminals. These lactation rooms are open for business 24/7 (just like mamas!) and include a sink for easy pump-part rinsing. The Windy City was ahead of the curve when it comes to legislation to support traveling moms: in 2015 it passed a law requiring all medium and large airports to provide lactation spaces.
15) Orlando International Airport (MCO)
MCO has been ranked as the top mega-airport (with 32+ million passengers) for the last two years, so it’s no surprise that they also support traveling moms. (They have a lot coming through with Disney as a top destination). The airport has four designated areas across two terminals for breastfeeding, all Mamava pods.
Download the Mamava app to find all of the airport lactation spaces mentioned in this piece, plus thousands more places to nurse or pump wherever you go.
*About our best airports: We know It’s not always possible to choose your airport. We started with the busiest airports to increase the odds of helping the most mamas. From there, airports needed to have at least four lactation spaces to make our list.
**Updated March 5, 2019 to reflect new changes in airport amenities.