Our launch event at the airport yesterday was a huge success. Mamava made the front page of the Burlington Free Press and was covered on all our local television networks. We’ve had coverage on broadcast affiliates across the country as well as USA today. We’ve heard from people in California, Texas, Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio who are interested in how they can bring Mamava to their community or work place. One of our favorite articles was written by Melissa Gray of CNN.com, her article captured the truths of what it means to be a nursing mother in the modern age.
Ms. Gray wrote:
“Mothers who must pump their milk have an even tougher time finding a place to do it in public. A bathroom stall is often the only option, but it’s less than desirable — imagine sitting on a public toilet while balancing a pump (or baby), listening to the sound of flushing toilets all around and knowing other women can hear the kshhh-kshhh of the pump every few seconds.
Those realities became clear to Mayer after the birth of her daughter seven years ago, when she had to travel for work. She had to find ways of pumping while at trade shows, airports, corporate retreats, baseball games and rafting trips, so she began thinking of a product that would make things easier for other mothers facing the same challenges.
“We wanted it to be comfortable,” she said, but at the same time, “we’re not about hiding moms away. We’re about giving them an alternative to pumping in public, and an alternative to using a bathroom.”
Of course we have also been following some of the comments to the articles online that have been less accepting of our concept. As design professionals we learn to create from a place of empathy and understanding; this is where Mamava came from. We have never wanted to hide breastfeeding away, 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.
Our dream is that we as a culture can rise above the negative discourse around breastfeeding and the “mommy wars” which undermines each woman’s personal experience, and is a distraction from the real issues, such as social inequity and the lack of accommodations for nursing mothers. We won’t stop until every mama has a safe, clean, and comfortable place to use a breast pump or breastfeed—anywhere, anytime.