Finding a Quiet Place to Nurse or Pump in an Airport

You've arrived safely at the airport, checked your bags, and baby is ready to eat (or perhaps you need to pump a bottle for the airplane). You're probably trying to figure out where you'll find a private, quiet spot where baby won't be distracted by the activity of other passengers.

What follows are my best tips based on personal experience, but this is one place where creativity is essential. I really appreciate your tips, creative ideas, and advice in comments.

  • Many airports have a nursing room with one or more gliders, well suited for nursing or pumping. You can find out whether your destination has one by either checking the airport's website or asking at the airport's information booth.
  • Find a quiet corner in an unused gate area
  • Some airports have private office cubicles for rent
  • Buy a one day pass to a business class lounge (at least the bathrooms are clean and spacious and there is no line. Some lounges even have private shower / changing areas.
  • Pump in a restroom. I personally was never able to get past the dirtiness of most airport (and airplane) restrooms, but there's really no reason not to. A family restroom can give you a confined area to watch a toddler while nursing an infant.

When all else fails, remember that in most states you have a legal right to nurse in any public place. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, don't be afraid to ask for help, or to make "This is their problem, not my problem" and "I will never see this person again" your private mantras. Here is a link to a 50 States Summary of Breastfeeding Law

Do you have something you want to add? Please let me know in the comments

Related Links
Reader Questions: Nursing and Pumping on an Airplane
Nursing On a Plane
NY Times: Pumping for My Daughter on A Business Trip (note that laws regarding breastmilk and airport security have relaxed since this was written)
Flying With A Baby

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  1. Aimee on July 19, 2010 at 11:36 p.m.

    I travel extensively and have pumped for both of my children. I have found the best place to pump with the most privacy is the family restrooms. They are located next to every set of seperate male/female restrooms in all of the major airports across the country. Also, if you forget your ice packs, starbucks will put ice in a grande cup with a lid. It easily fits into the pocket in the pump in style with three 5 oz. bottles.

  2. Debbie on July 20, 2010 at 7:15 a.m.

    Great advice Aimee! Thanks.

  3. aliya on January 15, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.

    I bought a silk scarf sewn poncho-like and use it as nursing cover. and so far I manage to ignore when people stare at me.