WESTCHESTER (CBSLA.com) — Elizabeth Post has her hands full between caring for her 10-month-old son and meeting the demands of her career as an attorney.
As CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports, the balancing act was put to the test last week when Post had to travel for work and left out of Los Angeles International Airport.
“I was pretty nervous about it,” she recalls.
One of her biggest concerns was how and where to use her breast pump as her son is exclusively breastfed.
“I was worried. ‘Am I gonna be able to pump at whatever location I’m at?’ ” she said.
That proved to be a problem, according to Lazar, even before her flight took off.
“I start to look for a location where it would be appropriate to pump my milk, and not a single person could provide me a proper accommodation,” Post said.
Post said some employees told her to walk to Terminal 4, where they said there may be a family restroom.
“I was all the way at Terminal 7. That’s about a 25-minute walk each way. And if you’re catching a flight, that’s not even realistic,” she said.
Others told her to find a bathroom stall.
“When you’re pumping, you’re making food for your baby, and I think it’s a pretty common-sense notion that you don’t mix food and human waste,” she said.
The only airport in California currently able to provide a sanitary place for mothers to nurse is at San Francisco International.
But last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that would require all major airports in the state to do the same, including LAX.
“Those rooms have to be rooms that aren’t, say, a restroom so no toilet in them and if its brand-new construction, then yes, a sink and electrical outlet,” said Mary Grady, an LAX spokeswoman.
Post eventually persuaded an Alaska Airlines employee to let her use a bench outside their passenger board room, and she generously waived the $50 fee.
Post has to travel again Friday.
“What I took away was that the message is: being a working, traveling mom and a nursing mom are mutually exclusive,” she said.
As Lazar reports, a nursing room just opened at LAX and two more will open this summer.