I'm a working mom of two who breastfed both children. When my youngest was eight months old, I traveled on Amtrak from my home in Philadelphia to New Haven. Being away from my son that long meant that I needed to pump every few hours to avoid swollen, leaking, and painful breasts.
When I asked about where I could pump on the train, I was told by one Amtrak employee, "we don't accommodate for that." Another told me that I could "use the handicapped bathroom." And if that weren't bad enough, there wasn't a clean, private place with a plug for me to pump in Philadelphia's Amtrak-owned 30th Street Station before getting on the train either.
I'm so disappointed in Amtrak's lack of hospitality and thought in this area. The 30th Street Station is one of the busiest intercity passenger railroad facilities in the country. Over four million Amtrak passengers go through the station each year. And yet there are no lactation rooms or Mamava pods to accommodate the needs of women who need to pump while traveling without their child.
I am tired of all the unnecessary difficulties that I experienced as a lactating mother and that my friends who currently pump and nurse still experience. It would be so easy for Amtrak to support breastfeeding, which provides an important public health benefit for our country's children.
So please sign my petition to demand that Amtrak provide lactation rooms or Mamava pods in Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. No woman should be forced to sit on a toilet while she produces milk to feed her child.