A Breastfeeding Pod Near You!
My first thought was a bit huffy: how dare they banish us to a hermetically sealed food truck?! Then I kicked the tires of the breastfeeding pod at DHMC with my one year old daughter and decided it was actually pretty great.
I had been tipped off by a friend that there was a trailer-like "lactation suite" at the hospital. I was dubious... it seemed like entering the freestanding structure in the huge hallway would attract more attention to a breastfeeding mom. Since my baby and I had a recent appointment at DHMC, a quick stop at the pod sounded like a nice way to check it out and decompress after she was jabbed with a needle.
These wild flowers are a beautiful sight in March.
One of my first thoughts was why flowers and not pictures of babies? But my next thought was, I would not want to be in charge of that selection committee. Colorful flowers bathed in sunlight is a much easier choice. A mom who needs to use the pod for pumping can bring a photo of her own baby or babies to encourage let-down. My inner critic was looking to nay-say, but the angel on my other shoulder chimed in, too: just be quiet and enjoy the lovely flowers already.
Stocked with hand sanitizer and wipes.
I'm not much of a hand sanitizer kind of mom, but it was nice to see the pod stocked with supplies for those who are. I doubt it's visible in the above photo, but in the lower left hand corner of the mirror it says "Looking Good Mama". Though probably untrue for many exhausted, spit-up stained breastfeeding moms, the words of encouragement are a sweet touch. If someone lightly smeared the mirror with Vaseline, I might believe them.
Baby plots her escape.
All the surfaces were exceedingly scrubbable in bright, chipper shades of clean white. The faux wood laminate floors paired with the light laminate surfaces evoke a pleasant Scandinavian vibe. A trash can is conveniently stowed under the counter, but please don't leave a diaper bomb in there to stink up the place. A note on the back of the door politely requests you dispose of your baby's toxic waste elsewhere. I appreciate the consideration: like farts, someone else's diaper is a thousand times more noxious than smelling one's own.
Love the logo!
Speaking of ventilation, the pod designers at Mamava included a lightly whirring fan and ventilation grate in the roof. A little daylight supplements the recessed lighting and fresh air circulates freely.
NOT hermetically sealed after all.
I would give the Mamava lactation suite an A+, though I do have two suggestions for improvement. One, there is no arm rest for nursing, so my weak, tired arms had to support the full weight of my one year old while she nursed. I know, talk about a First World Problem. I had to hold up my own baby! And there was no cute design in my latté foam! Wah!
Second suggestion, locate the light switch at a less tantalizing height. My exceptionally precocious baby turned the light off on us twice.
Hey mom, what does THIS button do?
I admit that I approached the Mamava "food truck" with skeptical misgivings. My first impression was gentle discouragement of public breastfeeding. But as I sat in the pod thinking it through, I realized the hospital administration has given nursing moms the option to breastfeed in private. No one is mandating we hide our bodies or babies inside, but more modest moms now have a quiet, discreet location to breastfeed or pump. In fact, there might be many moms who work at DHMC who don't otherwise have an adequate location to pump. No one wants to hide in a bathroom stall, perched on a toilet, tethered to a far wall via breast pump and extension cord.
But my favorite part of Mamava's lactation suite: the pass code to get inside...
I love breastfeeding humor.
Has anyone else test-driven the DHMC breastfeeding pod? What was your impression?