Events Industry Caters to Nursing Moms

According to a 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 60 percent of women with a baby under 1 year old are in the workforce—many of whom are required to attend off-site meetings. For nursing moms, many challenges come with traveling for a conference, with or without their little one in tow. Among those is finding a clean, safe space to nurse or pump (aka not simply a public restroom). “After having pumped at trade shows, airports, corporate retreats, baseball games and even the back seat of a male client’s car, we decided enough was enough,” says Sascha Mayer, co-founder of Mamava, a company devoted to solving this issue for nursing moms. Mamava Suites, first created in 2013, are private, stationary, freestanding pods for moms to nurse or pump in that can be found at airports, convention centers and other venues around the country. Even better for meeting planners, Mamava recently launched an inflatable, pop-up version of the suite, which debuted at the Women in Aviation International conference in March. 0602_Mamava inflatableAll of Mamava’s products can be customized with logos, making it a potential sponsorship opportunity for events. “On the inside, you have a high-value, captive audience,” says Mayer. “Everyone is beginning to pay attention to and trying to recruit moms, so this is a prime way to inform [moms] about your product.” Other venues are opting to install more permanent spaces on-property to accommodate working mothers. In San Francisco, event venue Bently Reserve has a mother’s room (see above) with a wet bar, a mini fridge, a water and tea station, comfortable chairs and free Wi-Fi. At Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, the Nursing Mothers Amenity Program provides guests with a hospital-grade pump, as well as in-room options like microwaves, mini fridges, ice packs and mini cooler bags for transport. In fact, the state of Illinois recently passed legislation requiring its airports to provide nursing rooms by 2017, and a similar bill has been introduced at the federal level.