Airport Lactation Pods

Mamava nursing podBurlington’s airport (in Vermont) recently unveiled a new lactation station–a pod-like space called a Mamava. I think this is fantastic! Not because I think mothers should be “sent” in there to nurse their babies, but because traveling moms who need to express their milk have a serious lack of options in airports.

If there is a “family restroom” in the terminal, my experience is that these spaces are disgusting, do not include a chair, and do not have functional electrical outlets. That means traveling moms are pumping their babies food while seated on an airport toilet. Or worse! The bathroom floor.

When I traveled for a conference, leaving my first son at home, I remember a horrid experience trying to find someplace to pump on a layover. I became angrier each time an employee had no idea where I might go and wound up pumping amongst the TSA supplies in a storage room with an armed guard standing outside the door! An armed guard. With a firearm.

So the idea of a friendly, non-toilet pod where I might go to pump my milk? That makes me smile.

I also recognize that not all mothers are as comfortable nursing their babies in public as me. Plus, an airport isn’t like most places. Babies in airports are overstimulated and prone to popping off to look at planes and passing carts and listen to announcements. A cozy pod might be just the thing for a distracted nursling in need of a snack.exterior of nursing pod

According to the pod manufacturer (Mamava)’s website, the nursing lounge at the Burlington airport occupies space once housing payphones. The company says the nursing lounge has a chair, table, and ample room for strollers and luggage. Seems like a nice, private place to retreat with baby even if nobody is hungry!

The company founders are working moms themselves who talk about having to nurse/pump at trade shows and baseball games across the country. Sports stadiums are indeed a nightmare to nurse in, as are concert arenas. I hope they are able to sell their nursing pods to many other airports. I can think of a million places I’d appreciate seeing one of these stations pop up. I also imagine the nursing pod could be a solution to help businesses comply with the Support Working Moms Act, to bring lactation accommodations to more working mothers.

Brava, Mamava.

What do you think of the Mamava pods? Leave us a comment to share your thoughts!

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