Walmart adding Mamava lactation suites to 100 stores this year

Walmart is adding Mamava lactation suites to 100 stores in 36 states this year, further solidifying the relationship between one of the world’s largest retailers and the Burlington company that invented the freestanding pod to provide privacy in public spaces for breastfeeding mothers.

Co-founders Christine Dodson and Sascha Mayer were working at the former JDK Design studio in Burlington when they had the idea for Mamava in 2015. Both Dodson and Mayer had young children, and knew firsthand that breastfeeding mothers on the go had nowhere to go to feed their babies or pump milk. 

Walmart employee Tennille Webb and her son in front of a Mamava pod.

Walmart was the first retailer to install Mamava pods in their stores. The company began with a pilot program last year, placing Mamava pods in its Williston store, as well as its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and two more stores in El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix.

The push to put Mamava pods in Walmarts came from a Walmart executive, Tennille Webb, who traveled for her job and was using a breast pump after she had a baby. Webb recognized there was a lack of lactation spaces in Walmart stores.

“She saw a Mamava during her travels at an airport and she brought it to the attention of the head architect (for Walmart), who was pivotal in making the pilot happen,” Dodson said in a January interview.

“There is nothing else like the Mamava pod,” Julie Murphy, an executive vice president for Walmart, said in a statement. “We strongly believe in what Mamava is doing to support moms and the experience the pods help create.”

As the Burlington Free Press reported in January, Mamava has sold more than 1,000 pods to venues across the country, selling about 400 units last year alone, more than doubling the size of the business.

More:Mamava surpasses 1,000 units sold, helping new moms across the nation feed their babies

Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or ddambrosio@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Sign up today for a digital subscription.