Fort Lauderdale Airport’s Breastfeeding ‘Box’ Causes Controversy
The Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International airport is a busy travel spot during the vacation season. With access to many of sunny Florida’s most popular beaches, as well as the trendy city of Miami, a lot of people find themselves spending time inside of it.
The airport has taken cues from many other airports in hot spots by upgrading the experience. At the Fort Lauderdale airport, you can shop, have a nice dinner and even get a good glass of wine. But it is their latest upgrade that has polarized a lot of people.
The new Baby Oases is a place that allows mothers to breastfeed their babies in a private setting. Pretty on the outside with the serenity of clouds and sky and sun, the setup also appeared to many to be a little box that aims to shield many other travelers from seeing breastfeeding mothers.
“Get over it,” one commenter said regarding the airport’s latest venture.
“It’s the privacy. It’s the bonding time. You know, you don’t have people looking at you kind of weird,” said one mother to wsvn.
The units are equipped with changing tables, power, the ability to charge your smart devices and a lock (I suppose to keep the creeps out?).
For many, this appears to be a glorified way for the airport to “clean up a breastfeeding issue.” But for others, it just looks like something the airport put up as an additional service for mothers who do prefer to breastfeed in private.
The airport hasn’t commented on the controversy as of yet, but I expect they will.
Here’s some of the public feedback:
“Yes, you can breastfeed but cover up not expose it especially many have nasty looking boobs. if you have woman breastfeeding with a nice boob and pretty, sit next to you with your man or while you’re both walking, I truly think as a woman you will feel uncomfortable. Many men get arouse with women breastfeeding. Just saying, because I breastfed in private and covered up nicely. My boobs are pretty nice to look at and I wouldn’t want a man to see that and still want to be classy. But then most of the women that are exposed breastfeeding are nasty looking and just not class act women. Sore eyes to see in public.”
“Child boo! I whipped that breast on the plane for my baby && let her suckle while taking off so her ears won’t pop. This don’t mean we won’t have to do it on the plane.
The guy next to me asked “do you have to do that now?”.
Me: Why yes…..yes I do ???????????????? hell its a three hour flight. I’m going to have to do it at some point.”
“I’m not climbing in a box to feed. Get over it people.. It is what our breast are for! Stop looking at them as sexual objects when you see a woman breastfeeding. It is beautiful and natural”
Months back, a breastfeeding mother called out IKEA for noting they have a private breastfeeding area over the loudspeaker. IKEA later clarified that the recording is an ongoing recording and certainly wasn’t targeting that specific breastfeeding mother. They also went on to say that they don’t take any issue with public breastfeeding in the store, they simply offer a separate area for mothers who prefer such.
I think IKEA was probably sincere in their response, though they were forced to meet with a group of breastfeeding moms to further clarify.
The question now becomes, are these establishments truly intending to offer a service, or are they hoping to encourage change that discourages public breastfeeding? If they are sincerely offering up a service, other businesses should likely take note that this move seems to cause more grief than worth. But if they are trying to sequester breastfeeding mothers, I too, say, “get over it.”
One thing that’s clear from all the comments over the matter is that there are still many people, including mothers, who do not approve of public breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an essential part of the cycle of life. We need to respect women, not condemn them, for taking on such a difficult, meaningful and powerful task.
So what do you think, is the airport “not so subtly” asking mothers to consider change, or are they just trying to keep with their current trend of modernizing the airport’s experience for travelers? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.,
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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