'You got this': Mums leave post-it notes of encouragement in airport lactation room

Photo: Audrey Gelman/Instagram
Photo: Audrey Gelman/Instagram 

When new mum and CEO Audrey Gelman walked into an airport lactation pod in New York City's LaGuardia airport she was overcome with emotion.

Ms Gelman who welcomed a son, Sidney Allen, 10 weeks ago found herself surrounded by heartwarming post-it notes from other women, other mums who had used the airport feeding space. 

And the words were exactly what she needed to read.

Photo: Audrey Gelman
Photo: Audrey Gelman 

The 32-year-old, who was travelling without her baby for the first time, shared her experience on Instagram: "All of a sudden I felt flooded - the intensity of new motherhood, the stress of running a business I never thought would grow this fast - and the pressure I put on myself to do it all perfectly," she writes.

"The notes were sappy but they were the only things I needed to read in that moment.

"You are enough."

"It gets better." 

"Feel proud of yourself for what you've created."

"Those simple messages of encouragement and the recognition that so many have been through this before, made me feel less alone," Ms Gelman continues. "And the gratitude these women expressed for having a pod - a little, modest pod - in the sea of commerce and throngs of business travellers made me remember why I care so much about what I've created, and why it's so important women have spaces to contain all this shit we do and feel in our lives that no one ever sees.
 

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just walked into one of those airport lactation pods in laguardia and found it was covered with post-it messages from other moms. all of a sudden i felt flooded - the intensity of new motherhood, the stress of running a business i never thought would grow this fast - and the pressure i put on myself to do it all perfectly. the notes were sappy but they were the only things i needed to read in that moment. “you are enough” “it gets better” “feel proud of yourself for what you’ve created.” those simple messages of encouragement and the recognition that so many have been through this before made me feel less alone. and the gratitude these women expressed for having a pod - a little, modest pod - in the sea of commerce and throngs of business travelers made me remember why i care so much about what i’ve created, and why it’s so important women have spaces to contain all this shit we do and feel in our lives that no one ever sees.

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The pods are thanks to the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act (FAM) of 2017, which as of October 2018, stipulated that all large and medium U.S. airports must have a lactation room in each building

For Ms Gelman, the breastfeeding friendly space is a cause close to her heart. Three years ago, the PR consultant co-founded "The Wing" a network of work and community spaces designed for women - and it continues to grow.

"We began with the hope that women could find solace, friendship and closeness inside our walls," Ms Gelman explains of her vision. "Never did we dream it would be as big, as meaningful, as complex and as instrumental as it has become. Never did we dream we would be a community of 10,000 strong, a place where companies would be launched, deals would be hatched, campaigns would be plotted."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ms Gelman, who married Genius.com founder Ilan Zechory in 2016, was also the "first visibly pregnant CEO" to be featured on the cover of business magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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