Nursing mothers now have two spaces to do what needs to be done so they can feed their babies in-flight.
The lactation centers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) give mothers a private place to collect milk ahead of boarding their flights, the airport's operators announced Wednesday.
"Airports can be hectic places under the best of circumstances. But for nursing mothers, travel poses an extra challenge — where to comfortably collect their milk," said Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which owns and operates MSP and six general aviation airports in Minnesota.
"[The] lactation centers provide well-equipped, comfortable spaces to express milk before boarding a flight," Hamiel added.
Both of the secure and sanitary spaces are in Terminal 1. One is on Concourse F, near Gate F2. The other is on Concourse C across from Gate C13.
"We've had a nursing mothers room for several years at Terminal 1," said airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski, "but that room had only a chair and a lamp in it, and was more a room for nursing than for pumping."
The lactation rooms feature a deep sink for equipment cleanup, easily accessible electrical outlets, soft lighting, artwork and comfortable seating.
Nursing mothers can gain access at an information booth. A janitor will clean the room in between guests. If the information booths are unstaffed, typically from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., a sign outside the room instructs where to call for access.
Additional locations are in the works: one in Terminal 2 next year and the other in Terminal 1 this year at the entrance to Concourse E.