The 8 Best Places to Nurse in America

Baby brag walls, flat-screen TVs and a Bring Your Nursling to Work policy? Breastfeeding moms across America are in heaven in these 8 nursing-friendly places.

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The Mama Bear Room, Rotary International HQ

Miriam Doan

The Mama Bear Room, Rotary International HQ

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. got into hot water earlier this month for labeling a public bathroom stall a "nursing lounge." Frequent flier mom Leslie Morgan Steiner busted them, snapping a pic and posting it to social media along with the caption: "Seriously? This is where Reagan National Airport admin expect moms to feed their babies? Not good enough."

Steiner's right: Breastfeeding moms—and their little ones—deserve something more than to feed next to a Caution Wet Floor-cone, amid a cacophony of a dozen flushing industrial toilets. With this in mind, we scoured the country, asking moms for their top nursing and pumping spots. Check out these 8 lovely lounges where you won't need to lay down a wreath of toilet paper in order to nurse your bub in peace. (Oh, and if you want to find a suitable nursing room near you, check out Moms Pump Here, an app that uses GPS to help moms locate and rate spots to nurse and pump.)

Rotary International World Headquarters

Welcome to the Mama Bear Room! That's what employees call the lactation suite at Rotary International's HQ in Evanston, Ill. In addition to a full-sized fridge (stocked with a Brita water filter for thirsty pumpers), computer, floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets for stashing pumping equipment, controlled lighting, and easy-to-clean linoleum flooring for those inevitable spills, the door is key-coded so that only moms have access, and a privacy wall prevents them from accidental over-exposure as people come and go. Multiple drying racks flank a deep sink, and Seventh Generation soap is provided for cleaning pump parts.

But the best part may be the "Baby Brag Wall", featuring a collage of 30-40 photos and birth announcements from mini Rotarians. "I was pretty nervous about dealing with milk at work," says Jenna Archuleta, 35, of Highwood, Ill., "but I hung up a picture of my daughter and was immediately 'part of the club.' Sometimes there will be up to eight of us in the suite at once, and the Baby Brag Wall is a way to connect." As Major Gifts Officer, Archuleta says she and her fellow working moms also use the room as an opportunity "to discuss and strategize about our 'other' full-time jobs with ladies who can share our perspective. We even tackle work issues while getting to know coworkers who we might otherwise have never met." Improved inter-department communication and stronger working relationships? Breast milk really is magic.

(Cover photo: Halfpoint/Shutterstock)

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Judy Canahuati Nursing Room, CARE USA Headquarters

Nicole Harris

Judy Canahuati Nursing Room, CARE USA Headquarters

At CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty with its US headquarters in Atlanta, the powers that be don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Maternal health is a key part of CARE's work, with staffers traveling all over the world to teach women about breastfeeding's benefits for both baby and mom. That same pro-nursing mentality is palpable at the office: Not only does staff have access to a lovely nursing room (named after U.S. Agency for International Development maternal and child nutrition expert Judy Canahuati), but an innovative policy allows staffers to bring their babies to work for the first six months to facilitate nursing.

"I pumped at work for 8 months with my youngest, and the only reason I stopped one month shy of my one-year goal is because I went on a work trip to Nairobi," says CARE employee Nicole Harris, 41, a mom of two girls. "As a mom who understands the benefits of breastfeeding, it was incredibly helpful that my employer was supportive too. I didn't have to worry how pumping three times a day at work would be viewed by my bosses; it was just an expected part of returning to work post-baby, and it made for a happier, healthier mom and employee."

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Lactation Pods at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport

Mamava/Facebook

Lactation Pods at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport

Moms flying in and out of Milwaukee, known for its beer and baseball, can kick back with a cold one while they pump in a "lactation suite"–a private kiosk with comfortable seating, soft lighting, electrical outlets and an "occupied" lock for privacy. Sascha Mayer, CEO of Mamava, said her company's lactation pods can also be found in Vermont's Burlington International Airport and will be installed at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports by Mother's Day; the futuristic lactation stations are also at select private businesses, government buildings and hospitals.

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The Mother's Rooms at Nordstrom

Nordstrom, Inc.

The Mother's Rooms at Nordstrom

Nordstrom is known for its top-notch customer service, and not only because returns are super easy: Every women's restroom has a changing table either in the restroom or in an attached Mother's Room, a seating area with welcoming couches and cozy stuffed chairs, plus a gallery of funky, colorful art. Nordstrom also offers diaper dispensers stocked with $1 kits containing a diaper, baby wipes and hand sanitizer! Changing tables and diaper dispensers can also be found in most of their men's restrooms. Ashton Kutcher would be proud.

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Ikea

Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/Shutterstock.com

Ikea

EKTORP loveseat, Sí–DERHAMN chaise, POí„NG rocking chair...take your pick: IKEA welcomes you to have a seat in any spot that looks comfy and feed your baby while simultaneously noshing on a Swedish meatball. Your milk isn't the only BYO food allowed: IKEA's website also assures parents, "You're welcome to heat your child's food using our microwave ovens and bottle warmers. We'll provide the bowls of course!" Nervous about customer's seeing your ligonberries? Pick one of the scores of mock room set-ups and have a seat at a desk or on a kid's bean bag, facing away from the aisle.

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Pampers Nursing Suite, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Cincinnati Reds

Pampers Nursing Suite, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

What happens when you're taking your family out to the ball game but you don't want to take your own balls out for the crowd? At Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati Reds fans can now retreat to the Pampers Nursing Suite, thought to be the first ever dedicated ballpark suite constructed exclusively as a quiet place for moms to feed and care for their shortstops. The nursing area features five comfy gliders, changing stations, a private restroom, a kitchenette with a sink, ice and refrigeration, lockers for storing items and a flat-screen TV so mom needn't miss any big plays. The suite, which just opened this month, welcomed more than 200 moms during the first week of Reds home games. They're not the only fans: Plenty of dads came to lounge in the rocking chairs outside.

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Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

Jeff Schear Visuals

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

Traveling mamas crashing at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago can join the Nursing Mothers Amenity Program, complete with a Medela breast pump, in-room refrigerator/freezer, travel-sized cooler bag, Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags and Quick Clean Wipes, disposable bra pads and more. The cost is $30 and proceeds benefit local families of children in the neonatal intensive care unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago through The Jackson Chance Foundation, an Illinois non-profit dedicated to providing support to NICU families.

The idea is the brainchild of general manager Carrie Meghie, who pumped exclusively for nearly a year while her son Jackson was in the NICU. Sadly, Jackson passed away when he was just 10 months old due to a chronic lung condition; Meghie founded the Jackson Chance Foundation in his honor. "As a working mom in the hospitality industry, I want to support other moms in every way possible," Meghie says. "I hope our program makes traveling while nursing a little bit easier."

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP International Airport

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

New mom duties—nursing, pumping, changing diapers, carrying a little bowling ball around 24/7—can be murder on your back and neck, so the ergonomic chair in the private lactation space at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport looks mighty appealing. But our favorite feature? Janitorial staff is automatically notified as soon as a mom exits, so they know the room needs to be cleaned in preparation for the next guest. Reagan airport, are you listening?!

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