Breastfeeding moms, in case your travel plans this summer include a visit to the Statue of Liberty, don’t worry about finding a dark corner or cramped bathroom to feed your baby. The iconic attraction has just installed a lactation suite that will have you feeling as free as Lady Liberty herself.
At 50 square feet, it’s way more roomy than a bathroom stall and has some great amenities: comfortable benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump (or charging your phone) and a locking door for privacy. And, while the pod is meant for one person and a baby, there’s enough room to bring your other kids in with you, too.
Mamava spokesperson Ann Pechaver says the breastfeeding pod came about because parents are always looking for private spaces in public places to feed their kids.
“There were many requests from pumping mothers and nursing moms who needed a quiet spot to sit, so they recognized the need for a private, clean and comfortable place to use a breast pump or breastfeed,” she tells Mom.me
“A bathroom is never a place for that, so they found the ideal solution with a Mamava. Of course, mothers can breastfeed openly wherever and whenever they wish, but if a mama needs a quiet space, she has the choice.”
The pods also provide an atmosphere where moms don’t have to feel rushed to finish feeding or pumping, and locations can add units if they see an increasing demand.
“There is no time limit. Mothers can take the time they need,” Pechaver adds. “When facilities find there is a long line, they know they need another Mamava. This has happened in a few stadiums.”
Using the facility is completely free — users simply download an app first to unlock the pod.
The mobile app sounds like an exciting feature. It finds breastfeeding-friendly locations, so parents can find spots ahead of time on their route or at their destination. The list boasts 4,000 mama-approved places to pump or nurse in public, not just Mamava spaces.
The company says it has crowdsourced and vetted information from mothers across the country to find the best breastfeeding spots, and the app even provides breastfeeding tips. Moms can also connect with other moms via the app on their Words of Support network and share info on different locations.
“Many mothers tell us this is the most important app they've ever used,” says Pechaver.
The Statue of Liberty is just one of the locations where moms can breastfeed in a private suite. There are currently Mamava pods in more than 850 locations in 46 states and Washington DC. These include locations in malls, hospitals, universities, corporate offices, football and baseball stadiums, schools and zoos, and 130 Mamava suites in 48 airports.