SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield Medical Care Systems, MVP Healthcare, Mamava, and Konrad Prefab came together Wednesday, Aug. 15 for the ribbon cutting of the first Mamava Lactation Pod in Springfield. Springfield Health Center is the first federally qualified health center in Vermont to open a lactation pod.
The Mamava pod is located at 100 River Street in the lobby. The pod is open to employees in the other businesses occupying the building, patients at Springfield Health Center, and the public. While its central location and unique shape and design is meant to be accessible to moms, it’s also meant to encourage discussion around breastfeeding and supporting mothers with a space designed for them in public.
According to Nicci Micco, vice president of content and partnerships for Mamava, the exterior of the pods are meant to be visible. Each pod exterior is customizable to the customer’s preferences. However, Mamava requires approval each location of the pods, and restrooms are never approved.
The interior of the pod is spacious so that a mom can bring her stroller and/or other children into the room with her. It has two benches facing each other, and a counter space with an outlet for a breast pump or charging station. It’s well lit, clean, and private.
With a goal of supporting the child-birthing program, SMCS reached out to Mamava about the lactation pods, to which they discovered that Mamava was interested in donating a lactation pod to Springfield Health Center, and that the pods themselves are built by Konrad Prefab in Springfield. SMCS then turned to MVP Healthcare to be a donor, and they agreed to support the project.
Ellen Sax, vice president of Community Engagement at MVP Healthcare said, “MVP is committed to creating healthy communities, and we know that breastfeeding is an important part of that to help a baby’s life start out strongly and in good health. We’re so thrilled that we were able to support this new pod, which is going to be safe, clean, and private for nursing mothers.”
“With this pod, women who work here, women who are in the public looking for a private dignified space to breast feed or pump can do that, whether they want quiet or to corral their toddler while feeding their infant,” explained Nicci Micco. “We love that this might invite some discussion to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and to help someone who is breastfeeding in our culture.”
Larry Kraft, director of Development at Springfield Medical Care Systems, added, “Even before it was completely installed, it generated some discussion, and I imagine if you spent some hours here in the lobby, you would have some interesting discussions with folks.”
Nicci Micco; Jackie Marciniak, director of Community Enagagement at MVP; Sarah Weidhass, M.D.; Larry Kraft; and Ellen Sax then posed for the official ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a reception.