It seems as though the gods that govern airports have finally heart breastfeeding moms loud and clear! Without further ado, meet Mamava, the first-of-its-kind breastfeeding and pumping station that will be installed this month in the Burlington International Airport in Burlington, VT (and the answer to our prayers!).
The "Lactation Station" (as it's called), looks like an egg but is a freestanding kiosk that has seats and an outlet for nursing moms to pug in a pump or any other electronic device. It also boasts additional space for luggage (or a stroller!).
The completely game-changing product was created by Sascha Mayer, a working, breastfeeding mom, inspired by a 2006 New York Times article that revealed the anxiety women face breastfeeding at work. She said, "I guess I was really motivated by the social justice angle. I was breastfeeding at the time, and while it was challenging when I traveled, I did have the support at work to take the time I needed. I was really thinking about all the women working at places like Walmart, or even teachers and nurses who didn't — and many still don't — have the same opportunity I did. How it must feel to be told over and over that it is the best thing for you and your baby, but have it logistically completely unrealistic?"
'Mamava is for every woman has the the need to express milk with a breast pump when they are away from their baby for work, for play, or for travel," reads the description on their website, adding, "Mamava is a solution for HR managers, building managers, and hospitality coordinators who know that a comfortable mama is a healthy, productive, happy mama. We believe that a woman should be able to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants to, and we also know there is a need, especially in high-traffic public areas for a private and comfortable place to nurse."
At Burlington airport, the Mamava's Lactation Station will be placed just beyond security, on the second floor terminal, matching Mayer's vision of a "clean, comfortable, secure place for women who need to use a breast pump or want to nurse in privacy." The vision is one that Mayer shares with the director of the Vermont airport, Gene Richards, who "immediately saw the need to provide better accommodations for nursing mothers" and was instrumental to moving the initiative forward.
Mayer added, "Women who work away from their babies need to use a breast pump every few hours and, until now, the only private place to do that while traveling was in a restroom or car. Neither of (these options) are particularly private or sanitary," saying that she and Richards believe that "women deserve better.”
As for the Burlington location, well, it's just the beginning. Once the business model and design have been finalized, Mamava's goal is to expand the concept "anywhere a woman might need a privacy solution," Mayer says, including workplaces settings, retail outlets, shopping centers, restuarants, hospitals, transportation hubs (think: train stations, bus stations and more airports).
Here's hoping the idea takes off — and doesn't look back!
Would you use a Mamava station?