Lactation education

Baptist Hospitals Opens Region’s First Public Mamava Lactation Pod

Parents in Southeast Texas now have a private space to breastfeed their children in a public place.

Southeast Texas Baptist Hospitals on Friday unveiled the region’s first Mamava Lactation Pod — a private room equipped with resources where people can safely breastfeed and pump.

The module will be open to Baptist Hospital staff and visitors as well as members of the public.

Funded by the Baptist Hospitals Foundation of Southeast Texas, the module is equipped with a table, two built-in benches, an external keypad lock, an internal deadbolt with an external indicator indicating “free/ in use,” among other conveniences, according to a press release.

The pod has outlets, air control and the ability to allow users of the accompanying Mamava app to dim the lights in the pod for a more relaxing environment.

The capsule’s opening marked a special moment for one of the Baptist hospitals, Philanthropy Coordinator Olivia Warner, who when approached about the possibility of bringing one to Southeast Texas by the director of neonatology Snehal Doshi, had just discovered that she herself was pregnant.

“It’s become a very personal project for me,” said Warner, who brought his daughter Marlow to serve as the mascot for the new facility during a ribbon cutting Friday morning. “It’s really exciting to have something like this.”

From pitching the idea to opening it, the process took more than a year and cost about $26,000 to build, said general manager of philanthropic services Kim Moncla.

“We never imagined a formula crisis when this started, but that’s just another element,” she said.

Doshi said that often in public spaces there is no place for parents to go and breastfeed their children, this capsule will help alleviate this problem and provide individuals with security and privacy to do so.

“Breastfeeding is hard enough on its own,” he said. “Right now, with the baby formula crisis, the shortages that exist, we can support mums in any way we can to help them breastfeed (we will).”

Doshi said not having a private space to breastfeed is a concern he has observed for some time. The hospital has a private room, but it is upstairs and not easily accessible to non-staff members, while the pod is located in the Neches Hall on the first floor of the hospital.

“It’s a way of bringing that to the fore,” he said. “Put it here in the lobby, put it in the center not only for our staff to make it something they can easily pass and see, but also for customers, it’s something customers can easily access. .”

To use the pod, download the Mamava app. After creating an account, the app will tell users where the nearest pod is.

After selecting a location, the app will let the user know if the pod is in use, and if not, provide a code for the user to enter on the keypad outside of the pod. The app will generate a new code each time.

The pod is also ADA accessible.

Warner said the module is also a great recruiting tool for hospitals.

“What a good thing to know that when you come to the hospital, even as a visitor,” she said. “Everyone has to come back and take newborn labs a week after your baby is born. It’s an Olympic sport trying to get out of the house with a newborn. When I brought (Marlow) , we didn’t have the pod yet and I was just — anxious, just like ‘Please don’t panic.’ Just having that then would have been so nice.”

Moncla said the hospital will see how much use the module is made of and, if it seems warranted, may consider adding more to the sprawling campus in the future.

Baptist Hospital is located at 3080 College St. in Beaumont.

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