Last updated: 05:30 PM ET, Mon June 08 2015

Nursing Mother Asked To Use Janitor's Closet to Breastfeed at LAX

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | June 08, 2015

Nursing Mother Asked To Use Janitor's Closet to Breastfeed at LAX

Photo courtesy CBS2 Los Angeles

Helping nursing mothers by building places to accommodate them has become a big topic of conversation in the travel industry—particularly at airports—but one woman was allegedly directed to a janitor’s closet to breastfeed her child.

According to CBS2 Los Angeles, a woman from an Austin, Texas, named Haley Picchini was looking for a place to breast feed her child, but could not find the one and only nursing station open at Los Angeles International Airport.

Several airport employees directed her to different locations and there were signs, but she still couldn’t find the station. Instead, she paid $50 for a pass into a United Airlines lounge and began the process of breastfeeding there.

Picchini claims she was then directed to the janitor’s closet to feed her child. A spokesperson for United Airlines told CBS that the woman was asked if she wanted to enter the closet for more privacy, but no one told her it was mandatory.

“I was mortified,” Picchini told CBS. “I was scared. I didn’t want to do anything that would endanger my baby.”

While there is no doubt that a nursing mother deserves better than being stuffed into a closet, the situation sheds a light on an issue that is already being addressed by California Governor Jerry Brown. Starting in 2016, all major airports in the state must offer designated areas for nursing mothers with chairs, electronic outlets and sinks.

As for Los Angeles International Airport, a spokesperson told CBS that there is one nursing station already open—although it isn’t where employees told Picchini—and two more will be put into service by the end of the summer.

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