Walmart has revealed plans to install Mamava lactation suites at more than 100 locations this year, making it the first retailer to do so in a store setting.
The suites, or pods, are free-standing spaces that offer a clean, comfortable and private option for nursing mothers to breastfeed or pump. The pods are accessed via the Mamava app, which leads a user to a pod’s location. The app opens the pod and enables the mom to adjust the lighting and airflow, as well as listen to soothing sounds. She can also leave digital notes of encouragement for other moms. The pods are free to use.
“We started Mamava to ensure that every breastfeeding mother could choose whether or not to breastfeed, so we set out to remove all barriers to making that choice,” explained Sascha Mayer, CEO and co-founder of the Burlington, Vermont-based company. “Walmart’s commitment to supporting breastfeeding associates and community members with Mamava pods is a huge leap forward for inclusivity and normalizing breastfeeding culture.”
The Walmart-Mamava relationship began when Walmart associate and new mother Tennille Webb came across a Mamava pod while traveling and urged the retailer to install them.
The launch follows a successful pilot at three Walmart stores in 2019. In addition to the current rollout of the pods in more than 100 stores across the United States by the end of this year, more are planned in the years to come.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart already has Mother’s Rooms in several hundred stores for the use of associates and customers. The Mamava pods are intended for select stores without a Mother’s Room.
In addition to the Mamava launch, the retailer has introduced a Breast Pump Program that enables expectant moms to receive a premium breast pump covered by their insurance, without even leaving home. The service, offered in English and Spanish, allows parents to quickly find out which pumps are covered under their insurance. A team of mom and baby specialists deals with filing the insurance paperwork, and once approved, the breast pump is shipped directly to the customer at no charge.
Walmart also has a Baby Feeding Guide and a new Baby Safety Guide on Walmart.com, and during September, a.k.a. Baby Safety Month, is providing rollbacks on items to help infants sleep, travel and play securely.