Nursing mothers traveling through Tucson International Airport now have a private place to breastfeed or pump, after the airport christened two lactation suites.
The freestanding suites — one on each of TIA’s two concourses — opened Wednesday with an event attended by airport officials and breastfeeding advocates.
Provided by Vermont-based Mamava Inc., each of the roughly 5-by-9-feet pods has a locking door, electricity, a fold-down table and bench seating.
The suites are free to use by mothers who download the Mamava app to get a lock code.
Mothers departing TIA on Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, United or Via Air will find the breastfeeding pod on the A Concourse near gate A3.
On the B Concourse, passengers departing on Alaska Airlines, American and Delta airlines will find the pod at the midway point of the concourse, across from the restrooms.
The airport decided to buy the suites after fielding numerous requests from traveling moms, said Bonnie Allin, president and CEO of the Tucson Airport Authority.
“Whether they’re flying for work or leisure, we’re happy to now provide these suites for our traveling moms that deserve a clean and comfortable space of their own,” Allin said in prepared remarks.
More than 35 airports offer Mamava nursing suites, and TIA is the first Arizona airport to host the pods, though Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and other airports have set up lactation rooms.
All told, Mamava suites are located in more than 400 locations, besides airports including event and sports facilities; government and military sites; hospitals and health-care sites; schools and colleges; public libraries and museums; and private businesses.
The Tucson Airport Authority purchased Mamava’s larger suites that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act at a cost of about $28,000 each, using general funds earmarked for capital projects, airport spokeswoman Jessie Butler said.
Wednesday’s event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with speakers including representatives from Tucson Medical Center, a lactation specialist and members of Mama’s Latte, a breastfeeding support group.
For more information about Mamava or to download the free app, go to www.mamava.com.