For a lot of nursing mothers, finding a suitable place to breastfeed their baby or child isn’t always easy, especially when they are shopping, running errands, or traveling. Luckily, there are many airports that now carry nursing rooms or pods that have been built specifically for nursing mothers and their children in mind. But as this traveling mother recently found out, it’s not just moms who use them.
According to The Bump, Holly Novak was delightfully surprised to find a nursing room upon landing at Los Angeles’ LAX international airport. But that surprise turned into shock walked in she saw an airport employee go in the room before her and eat his lunch inside for approximately 30 minutes.
Holly took to her Facebook account to share her dismay over the situation. She explained that she was shocked to see someone so blatantly use a room that was supposed to be for nursing mothers and their children. She said that after all, breastfeeding mothers face so many challenges in public and added that this was shockingly inconsiderate.
Holly wrote, "As I was walking away I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a male Panda Express employee heading in there with food. For THIRTY minutes he occupied the nursing room to eat his meal. I was able to snap this photo as my daughter and I waited... not so patiently. I also heard banging and found a filthy mess left behind from him kicking the dirt and grease from his boots. I said something to him as he walked out and talked to the manager."
Many lactation rooms and pods in airports and public spaces clearly say that they are intended for mothers and their children only. They usually feature a table, bench and power supply for pumping. But unfortunately, not much can be done – other than to file a formal complaint - if someone randomly uses the pod to eat their lunch or anything else while waiting in between their flights.
And while a lot of people did sympathize and even commiserate with Holly by adding their own stories of people using nursing rooms in public, others actually defended the airport employee. One person in particular blamed Holly for not speaking up and went as far as accusing her of posting his photo without consent and possibly putting his job on the line.
Some comments have included, “He was eating lunch, not committing a crime,” along with, “Our job as a breastfeeding moms is not call him stupid, but to educate. If we do it properly, he might...be the best supporter for his future wife.”
Unfortunately, Holly didn’t specify if she approached the airport employee or if she made a complaint at the airport. Her post has since gone viral with multiple Facebook likes and shares.
Many of these pods are located in both domestic and international airports from all over the world, including Orlando International Airport, Chicago Midway Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International airport and more. Many other airports also have a “Mother’s Room” that also include a kids’ playroom.