A large Pa. employer supports ‘Medicare for All’ to ‘remove an albatross from American business’
Mamava Fights for Working Mothers - and Medicare for All
By Daniel Barlow
Each week, we send Wendell Potter all over the country to meet with business leaders and talk about the economic and health benefits of Medicare for All.
We recently sent him to Vermont where he met Sascha Mayer, the CEO and co-founder of Mamava, a lactation space design company. Mamava’s freestanding lactation pods provide breastfeeding moms with a comfortable, private space to pump milk at work and in the world (you may have seen their state-of-the-art pods at airports around the country).
Mamava’s free locator app helps moms find over 5,000 mom-approved places to pump all over the country, and opens Mamava pods with a touch of a button. The company’s mission is to change the culture of breastfeeding to ensure that breastfeeding is a right for all moms, and not just a privilege for the few.
Mamava was founded by Mayer and Christine Dodson—both of whom pumped in bathrooms, supply closets, and cars— in 2013 with the goal of changing workplace culture for all breastfeeding mothers.
“Before Mamava, the challenge of being a breastfeeding mother was invisible,” said Sascha Mayer. “Our units are a form of ‘choice architecture’ that provides a highly visible nudge of support for the pumping or breastfeeding mother, and also telegraphs an employer’s inclusive, health oriented values.”
Like many small businesses, employee health insurance is a huge expense for Mamava. Part of Mamava’s core values is ensuring all their employees have access to high-quality health care. Before Sascha and Christine hired their first full time employee in 2015, they made sure they had a robust benefits package.
A Medicare for All system would not only cover their employees with comprehensive health care, but it would also save Mamava money, allowing them to expand their business by manufacturing more pods, creating more jobs, and supporting more moms.
“The cost and complexity of providing healthcare makes starting and sustaining a business more difficult,” Sascha Mayer said. “Within the first three years of business five babies were born to Mamava employees, and a Medicare for All system (not to mention National Paid Parental leave) would be hugely helpful for our little business.”
Mamava is a woman-owned company, B-corp certified, and made in the United States. Business for Medicare for All is proud to have them as a member. The Mamava team are leaders in changing workplaces—and the larger culture— to recognize and support working mothers.
“New moms should not have to choose between going back to work and nursing their newborn,” Wendell Potter said. “More and more businesses recognize that providing dedicated and secure lactation spaces at the office is good for the workforce and the health of babies. A Medicare for All system would ensure that all women, whether working or not, would have access to the reproductive care that they need.”
Thank you, Mamava, for supporting Medicare for All - and being a member of Business for Medicare for All!