Nursing should be a right, not a privilege.

It was Labor Day 2006. The New York Times featured an article written by Jodi Kantor that outlined the challenges certain mothers faced trying to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.

 

“As pressure to breastfeed increases, a two-class system is emerging for working mothers. For those with autonomy in their jobs — generally, well-paid professionals — breastfeeding, and the pumping it requires, is a matter of choice…. But for lower-income mothers — including many who work in restaurants, factories, call centers, and the military — pumping at work is close to impossible, causing many women to decline to breastfeed at all, and others to quit after a short time.”

 

This article struck a cord and the seed was planted. After having pumped at trade shows, airports, corporate retreats, baseball games, and even the back seat of a male client’s car, we decided enough was enough. This project was motivated by our personal experiences as working, nursing moms, and by all the friends and colleagues and the thousands of women who have shared their experiences and frustrations with us.

 

With the motto that nursing should be a right, not a privilege, we launched Mamava out of the graphic design studio where we both worked, Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly JDK). With the creative, problem-solving minds of design and brand strategists, and the generous resources of the studio, Mamava came to life.

 

Mamava is a business dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding. Our first product (we hope there are many to come!) is our freestanding lactation suite.  It provides privacy, cleanliness, and all you need to use a breast pump or nurse an infant — while simultaneously reminding passersby that breastfeeding should be supported and celebrated by all of us because of the good it does for babies, women, families, and society in general. That is to say, nursing moms are everywhere, and they need our support.

 

We have never wanted to hide breastfeeding — our goal is to do just the opposite by raising the profile of this natural human function, and celebrating the realities of the logistics involved in taking on breastfeeding for the many, many mothers who need to be away from their babies. Every day we receive tweets, emails and Facebook messages from moms thanking us for what we do. There’s nothing more rewarding.