There must be a better way to do this—an easier, more dignified way to pump breast milk on the go, thought business partners Christine Dodson and Sascha Mayer, who logged their share of frequent‐flyer miles while raising and nursing babies.
While businesses are required to provide employees time and space to nurse, thanks to the 2010 passing of the Affordable Care Act, Dodson and Mayer realized nursing moms are still underserved. The result? Mamava suites—clean and comfortable places for new moms to pump and nurse.
Though small in size—32 square feet—these suites are making a big difference for moms. Each has a power outlet, table and seat, providing women with a comfortable, private and sanitary space to breastfeed or pump.
As they near the milestone of 100 suites across the US—primarily in office spaces, along with public locations like airports, hospitals and stadiums—Dodson and Mayer are already exploring what’s next: potentially a pop‐up unit you might find at an outdoor festival or an inflatable one (fun house, anyone?) perfect for a work conference.
The bottom line: When Dodson and Mayer hear from happy moms who are meeting their breastfeeding goals, “that’s the kind of stuff that keeps us going.”
“That it’s a women’s issue and a mom thing,” Mayer says. “It’s really a family thing—and a good business decision. If our country wants to continue to have a healthy economy and engage all capable workers, then motherhood needs to be better addressed through initiatives like flex‐time for both parents, family leave and so on.”
“We’re introducing a category that no one has heard of. Often, the person making the purchasing decision (usually a middle‐aged male facilities managers) isn’t the end user,” Mayer says. “What keeps us going is hearing from these working women who have the desire to breastfeed but wouldn’t have had the opportunity without a place like Mamava.”
On ‘having it all’
“It’s when compromises don’t feel like compromises, Dodson says. “I don’t look at my life and think ‘I’ve got it all,’ but I have a husband, family, two jobs and live where I want to live. I may make sacrifices in all of those, but it still feels like I have it all.”
A motto we have is “Yes...and?” It’s about saying yes to opportunities and adding value on that.