For many working moms, finding a private spot to pump at work is challenging. After reading an article about how women in lower-paying industries like restaurant, factory and call center workers, Sascha Mayer and her co-founder created a freestanding lactation suite to provide women with a clean, comfortable and private place to pump. We spoke with Sascha about the inspiration behind Mamava, breastfeeding laws, and the surprising places Mamava lactations suites are popping up.
We absolutely love what you’re doing to support breastfeeding moms. What inspired you to start your business?
My inspiration really came from my personal experience while traveling for work. It was hard enough to leave my baby for extended business trips, but so demoralizing to have to use my breast pump in a restroom. There was a clear problem I knew could be solved through design.
What has surprised you most in your work to provide safe, comfortable spots for moms who’re pumping?
I have been amazed by the diversity of organizations that have placed our pods. They range from professional sports teams, to zoos, to car factories, to government laboratories. Clearly there is a need anywhere women work or go.
Do you have any advice for the mom who wants to pump, but feels like she can’t because of her work environment?
She should remember that while she might be a pioneering mama in her company, millions of women have experienced the same challenges she has and we are here to support her. I recommend a great book by Jessica Shortall, called Work. Pump. Repeat. that covers all the ins and outs of going back to work as a breastfeeding mother— with a sense of humor.
Also, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, moms have the right for break time and a private place to pump.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Going for walks while listening to podcasts.
What is your best parenting hack?
Letting my kids be responsible for themselves. It can be painful when they make mistakes, but eventually they learn and are empowered by their accomplishments.
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
That the dog died in his sleep.
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
Seeing my kids care for younger kids, and treating them with kindness.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Make a good nights sleep a priority.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
My mantra is that perfection is the enemy of progress – whether at work or at home. Sometimes good enough is good enough. I also have a wonderful, supportive husband who takes on more than half of the childrearing, and believes in my company’s mission as much as I do.
What was the last book you read?
The Originals by Adam Grant.
Favorite Beauty Product:
Tata Harper lip and cheek tint
Favorite Form of Exercise:
Hiking and cross-country skiing
What is on your DVR?
Favorite Kids Store:
I only have time to shop online— I like Mini Boden for kids clothes.