Penn Dental Medicine Unveils Freestanding Lactation Suite


Located on the second floor of Penn Dental Medicine’s Robert Schattner Center, the freestanding nursing suite is available for use by patients, staff, and students.

Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine has eliminated one stress for nursing mothers — finding a private, secure spot to nurse or pump when coming to the School. As a service to moms and babies alike, Penn Dental Medicine recently unveiled a freestanding Mamava lactation suite — the first site within the University of Pennsylvania to acquire one of the specially designed units, according to the Vermont-based manufacturer.

“We want to ensure Penn Dental Medicine is a welcoming, supportive environment for all,” says Morton Amsterdam Dean Mark S. Wolff. “This innovative space offers a comfortable, clean, and stress-free environment for breastfeeding mothers while here at the School.”

The 26-square-foot, self-contained, mobile “pod” at Penn Dental Medicine features two benches, a fold-down table, a mirror, a power outlet for plugging in a breast pump, a USB port, occupancy-activated lighting and ventilation, and a lock indicating if vacant or occupied. While meant for individual use, it can fit a stroller and more than one person to accommodate mothers with other children in tow.

The suite is located on the second floor of the School’s Robert Schattner Center, near a main patient waiting area and convenient to other clinical care areas, making it readily accessible to patients. Patients, other visitors to the School, and members of the Penn Dental Medicine community can access the suite via the Mamava app (free for iOS and Android). The app unlocks the pod via Bluetooth technology and once a mother is inside and locks the dead bolt, the pod registers as “in use” on the app. The Mamava app also showcases the location of other Mamava suites nationwide and notifies users when they are in the immediate vicinity of a pod. Nursing mothers at Penn Dental Medicine can also again access to the nursing pod via an access code available at the School’s security desk.

Penn Dental Medicine has had a dedicated lactation space within the School for use by faculty, staff, and students for some time. Coinciding with the unveiling of the Mamava suite that additional space was relocated and upgraded as well — it features two private nursing areas and a refrigerator. The Mamava suite is a supplemental resource for the nursing mothers within the Penn Dental Medicine community.

While Penn Dental Medicine is the first site within the University of Pennsylvania to acquire a Mamava unit, there are multiple facilities for nursing throughout the Penn campus (view map) and individuals can contact there school’s/center’s human resource office to determine if their building has a dedicated facility. In regard to other Mamava public suites, there are a handful installed in other public venues in Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia International Airport, 30th Street Station, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Wells Fargo Center, and the Philadelphia Zoo as well as Temple University, Einstein Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. According to Mamava, there are more than 600 suites across the U.S. and Canada.

Inside the pod features two benches, an outlet for using a breast pump, a USB port, a fold-down table, and a mirror.