Watch CBS News

Only On 2: New Mom Allegedly Asked To Use Janitor's Closet To Pump Breast Milk At LAX

LOS ANGELES ( — An Austin woman says she ended up in a janitor's closet at LAX after she couldn't find anywhere else to pump her breast milk.

There is a new law requiring airport nursing rooms by January 2016. But so far, there is only one open and ready at LAX.

But new mother Haley Picchini, who shared with CBS2/KCAL9 pictures from inside the crowded, messy janitor's closet where she says she pumped breast milk before boarding a flight, says mothers shouldn't have to wait.

"I was mortified," she said. "I was scared. I didn't want to do anything that would endanger my baby."

Picchini said both on the day she arrived and when she left she tried to find a place to pump.

Signs directing her to a mothers' area seemed to lead nowhere; one worker said there was a nursing room in Terminal 7, another thought Terminal 6 and another suggested finding a less busy area in between terminals.

"That's like someone telling you that you should sit and have a bowel movement, covered of course, in the middle of two gates where people can see you," Picchini said.

Picchini said she paid $50 for a pass into a United Airlines lounge. But there, after she set up near a power outlet in the hallway, she says said was directed to a storage room.

A United spokesperson said that while workers did ask Picchini if she wanted a more private spot, they did not insist or require her to move there.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating that by 2016 all major California airports provide sanitary spaces with chairs, electronic outlets and sinks for nursing mothers.

"It happens every single day, and for a nursing mom every three to four hours a day. It can't really wait," Picchini said.

A LAX spokesperson said officials are working on providing mothers rooms at every terminal. Two are scheduled to open later this summer. For now, there is one open in Terminal 5 — the one Picchini says no one could help her find.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.