Nursing is a very personal journey that a mom experiences with her baby. It also comes with a unique set of challenges that include finding safe and quiet places to breast pump or breastfeed.
An innovative new app for moms called Moms Pump Here, created by Kim Harrison and Priya Nembhard, allows moms to discover, rate, and share safe and close places to express breast milk.
With close to 1,000 nursing room locations, moms on-the-go can easily search for a place to breastfeed or breast pump, which helps to reduce the frustration and isolation nursing moms can face when looking for a good spot to breastfeed their infants.
By clicking on “Find Nearby Nursing Rooms” or “Search State, City, or Zip,” users will obtain a list of nursing friendly places, as well as detailed descriptions and photos of each nursing room. The app also allows traveling moms to plan ahead by searching and finding nursing friendly locations anywhere in the United States and internationally (including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands). Users can download and install the MPH Nursing Room Locator app via Android Smartphone, Tablet, iPhone or iPad.
Our interview with Founders Kim Harrison and Priya Nembhard is below, where they share more insight into the app and their website, which offers a new way for nursing and breastfeeding moms to connect.
What does Moms Pump Here do?
Moms Pump Here: Moms Pump Here is the first on-line GPS tool and app which helps nursing moms easily find, rate, and share places to breastfeed and breast pump privately throughout the United States.
How did you realize there was a need for this?
Moms Pump Here: I am a mother of three children and I’ve nursed and pumped for all because I felt it was the best nutrition for them. While traveling for work when my youngest was three months old, I was desperate to find a clean place to pump in New York City. I was attending a conference at a well-known convention center but they didn’t have facilities that accommodated a nursing mom’s needs. I wanted to consult someone, another mom perhaps, and ask where they would recommend me to pump. I wanted a clean, safe, comfortable place to pump and who better than other moms to tell me where I should do this?
My business partner, Priya Nembhard, also has three children and we’ve known each other since college. We frequently talk about how to run our businesses plus be there for our growing families, so I got in touch with her right away and we agreed this is something nursing moms need, not just in New York but across the country and globally. Priya’s husband Wade created the website and the mobile site so that we could integrate GPS while Priya and I began vetting nursing room locations and talking to other moms about places to pump. Every woman we spoke with told us how helpful our service would be for them or someone they’re close to.
Why are workplaces so slow to comply with breastfeeding regulations?
Moms Pump Here: I feel many workplaces are not compliant with breastfeeding regulations because they’re not up-to-date on the regulations and they’re ignorant of what a woman needs when she returns to work. I feel very fortunate that when I first returned to work, I had a female supervisor who fully supported my desire to nurse and she made sure the corporation provided me with every accommodation I deserved: a private place to pump, a place to store the milk, and time to express the milk. The ultimate accommodation, however, was her support for me to be a breastfeeding and working mother.
What can mothers do to make the situation better?
Moms Pump Here: Be informed and be an excellent self-advocate. Moms need to know their rights and privileges when it comes to breastfeeding, breast pumping, and the laws. When Priya and I speak with mothers at our Moms Pump Here events, we are saddened to learn that some mothers do not even begin to breastfeed their children because they feel their employers will not support their needs to breast pump when they return to work. “Why should I even start if I have to stop in six weeks when I return to work?” is a question we hear more than we’d like. Women need to know both the laws in their state and the policies within their companies for lactating women. Moms Pump Here is committed to educating moms with information, research, and blogged personal experiences from both Priya and myself on our website and on social media.
How does breastfeeding support fit into the larger pictures of mothers’ success at work?
Moms Pump Here: Not only are there health benefits for both mother and baby, but support for the breastfeeding working mother helps her build a comfortable work/life balance. Many experts say breastfed babies are healthier than formula-fed babies and a healthier baby may mean less missed work for mom. Also, a happier mom means a happier employee and this can boost morale for the entire office.
Additionally, I think this type of specific support needs to be considered as part of the overall benefits package of an employer. If successful women begin to seek out and prefer employers with better benefits and more flexibility for their work/life balance, perhaps employers will see they need to be pioneers with the ways they support working mothers – and this includes providing improved support for women who are breastfeeding. at they For example, when my husband and I talked about starting a family I was working for a small company with less than 50 employees. I knew I wanted to take I know it should be easy (better work-life balance, healthier child means less missed work for mom, happier mom means happier employee and that can boost morale for the entire office) but this is a bigger question I think.
What have you learned by developing this project?
Moms Pump Here: We are certainly on the right path with Moms Pump Here. We hear many stories of women who are pumping in shared office spaces, in dirty bathrooms, or even behind an emergency room curtain at the hospital. These conditions are not acceptable and moms need to know there are better options available to all of us.
The Nursing Room Locator App is currently available free for download on the Google Play Store, Amazon and iTunes. he app is currently accessible via iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Nexus Tablet, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Fire, BlackBerry, mobile and online website.
For further information on Moms Pump Here or the Nursing Room App, visit www.MomsPumpHere.com.