The World Health Organization recommends that new mamas breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their babe's life. And while we're thrilled to report that more and more mamas meet that mark every year, the reality is that only 22% of moms who initiate breastfeeding make it to that six month goal. We designed our pods as a solution to this problem - striving to make breastfeeding more accessible for all mamas, regardless of their circumstances. Be they working, traveling, pumping, or feeding, moms deserve options. We designed these pods with the emotional, physiological, and biological needs of a nursing mom in mind. We designed them with feedback from personal experience along with feedback from hundreds of nursing moms, near and far. As a result, our Mamavas are well designed, well crafted, and well loved, by both us and our customers.
AND, because you might think us biased, we thought we’d go out and ask some of our customers what they thought of our pods. I had the pleasure of speaking with Lacy Lueck, Director of Marketing at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), about PBI's Mamava experience thus far.
Here’s what Lacy had to say.
How has the Mamava been received by your staff?
When I first brought the idea to the department head, they were certainly caught off guard. It took a few conversations to bring people around to the idea, and the need. When you’re not living the reality of what it’s like to stress about finding a private space with a door or an outlet, it’s not really an issue that comes to mind.
I’ll tell you though, as we rolled it out, did a press release, got a great segment on NBC Affiliate, and then had this mom walk out of the unit with her baby and its red cheeks, and heard her go on about how amazing it was - so clean, so nice - that was it.
All the time now, we get Tweets from our moms thanking us, as well as Facebook posts from moms exclaiming, “I can’t believe it I didn’t have to chase my toddler while I was feeding my infant!” We even got tagged once in a selfie from Daphne Oz kissing our pod on Instagram!
This was most definitely the right choice for us - look how people are responding to a decision that made people a little uncomfortable because we’re talking about breasts. We, as a society, have over-sexualized breasts, but in this way we’re bringing it back to mothers and this is where it all began.
Has there been any negative feedback?
A group on Facebook, Concierge Doulas, picked up our press release and reposted it on Facebook. They were talking about how proud of the airport they were, and negative comments came from the moms who misunderstood the pod, suggesting that this encourages mothers to hide out, and plays into the nonpublic side of breastfeeding. My response to that was, “No. At the airport we follow all of the laws for everything. We encourage mothers to breastfeed wherever they want, and for those moms and children who prefer quiet or privacy, why wouldn’t we provide an option? This Mamava allows us to accommodate all the circumstances and all mothers. We’re taking the stress off those families.” And besides, most people don’t think about the pumping side of that.
The negative feedback is simply an opportunity to educate people about the realities of breastfeeding for moms at the airport.
How did you come to find out about Mamava?
One day I got an email from a woman working in our administration building about the Mamava pods in the New York area. As soon as I learned about these, I was determined. It hasn’t been that long since I was a working and traveling mother myself, and I remember what it’s like - pumping in the car, airport, hotel room, everything. Obviously, I would bring all the milk I could back to my daughter, but where I pumped made a huge difference. Pumping in the bathroom meant the milk was going down the drain, not to my daughter. This email really hit home for me, and I’m so grateful that this woman sent it along. She doesn’t come over to the airport all that often, but when the pod was delivered and installed I sent her a picture and thank you. As a result, we’re a better airport for it. She and I both felt really proud to be a part of such an important project.
What’s been one of your best moments with the Mamava?
Three or four days after it was installed, on the table there was the top tear off plastic of a milk bag. I picked it up and I was like, “Yes, yes, yes! It’s being used!” This is like the tear off of a movie ticket - it works, people are using it, they’re doing exactly what we want them to do. If one mom was able to find that sacred space, it’s a win. Only a mom who’s been through the hell of trying to find a space in public knows what this is.
West Palm Beach has two Mamava suite for nursing guests and employees of the airport. The pods are located in 2 locations: The Lounge Area, Main Terminal, Level 2, pre-security, next to the Kids Zoo play area, and in Concourse B, at Gate B1. As always, you can find our public Mamava suites on the Mamava mobile app.
Thank you graciously to West Palm Beach, and Lacy Lueck for your time and amazing feedback.