National Survey of Convention Centers' Lactation Facilities

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Abstract

Background:

There is little published about lactation accommodations in public spaces.

Objective:

The objective of this study was to determine what lactation facilities, if any, convention centers in the United States are providing to accommodate breastfeeding moms.

Methods:

A list of national convention centers was collected from meetings-conventions.com and recorded in an Excel spreadsheet, with the name of the center, total meeting square feet, number of meeting rooms, address, and telephone number. Each convention center was contacted by phone and administered the survey. Questions were asked as to what type of lactation accommodations were available, if any.

Results:

A response rate of 78.7% (326 of 414 convention centers) was achieved. A mere 5.5% reported permanently designated lactation rooms, whereas 32% made temporary accommodations. While the phone survey was conducted, a wide variety of qualitative responses were provided by participants, demonstrating an overall lack of awareness of this as a public health issue.

Conclusion:

Return to work and breastfeeding in public are commonly reported barriers to breastfeeding. This survey clearly demonstrates a lack of accommodations in very public areas that are visited by women on a regular basis. Policy changes are necessary so all women can be supported in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.

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