Bath Iron Works Making Strides for Working Moms
One of Maines largest employers, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, announced recently that they were going to be introducing Mamava Lactation Pods to the shipyard. A huge win for working moms, especially in a male dominated industry.
These pods will offer a private, clean place for mothers to pump. The pods are equipped with power.
Motivated by their motto, "nursing should be a right, not a privilege," founders of Mamava, Christine Dodson and Sascha Mayer set out to improve the work/motherhood struggle that so many women face.
Their first product was the freestanding lactation suite that BIW is implementing at the shipyard.
In the state of Maine, moms are legally allowed to breastfeed anywhere they choose, public or private as long as the mother is authorized to access the space.
As far as workplace laws for nursing mothers, employers must allow "adequate unpaid break time" to pump, and provide a clean space, other than a bathroom, for the employee to pump. Some employers may be exempt if providing these things would disrupt operations.
The state of Maine has found that supporing nursing moms reduces employee turnover, employee absences, and raises morale and loyalty. Plus, it saves money for the mothers thanks to fewer insurance claims.
If you feel like your workplace is discriminating against you when it comes to nursing there are resources for help:
The Maine Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division: 207-623-7900
Maine Human Rights Commission: 207-624-6050
There are currently no public Mamava's available in Maine, but there are a few in New Hampshire and Massachusettes. Mamava does have their own app of networking breastfeeding mothers who may be able to recommend spaces to feed or pump in public.