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The future of breastfeeding is now.

 


Our team sees a near future in which all families can nurse their babies and pay their rent. In this future, it is possible for all families to meet basic public health goals.  

To get there, we are hosting a giant breastfeeding festival at the MIT Media Lab from April 27-29, 2018. 

It includes kickstarting new ideas at a hackathon, convening leaders for a policy summit, showcasing breastfeeding artdemo-ing the latest in lactation tech, and even a launching a book!

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Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon

April 27-29th, 2018

The Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon kicks off with welcoming remarks from Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, and an inspirational group keynote by the six women behind this year's breastfeeding festival

It’s not just about the pump—participants will roll up their sleeves and get to work designing telehealth lactation services, better nursing spaces, milk bank technology and community-based interventions, in addition to hacking the breast pump.

 
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Make Family Leave Not Suck Policy Summit

April 27-29th, 2018

The Make Family Leave Policy Not Suck Summit kicks off next to the hackathon and includes insights from state leaders who have successfully implemented paid family leave, the legal and technical organizations who are drafting the policy, and advocates from around the country who are working to build political will.

Participants will dialogue around how to put equity and health at the center of conversations on paid family and medical leave.

 
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Centering the voices of mothers and parents

We are collecting stories and ideas from women of color, low-income women, and LGBTQ+ parents to understand the triumphs and challenges of breastfeeding their babies amidst structural racism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression.

At the event, we are launching our book: Speaking Our Truths – 27 Stories of What It's Really Like to Breastfeed and Pump in the United States.  These stories and follow-up interviews will help hackathon and policy summit participants focus on inclusion, equity and structural transformation.

 
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Equity is the central focus of this initiative

Our innovation is inclusive and intersectional, and we are conducting significant work prior to the 2018 events:

1. We are collecting and centering the voices of the mothers and parents who face the most structural barriers to breastfeeding. 

2. We are cultivating four community innovation teams from around the country to bring their innovations to the hackathon.

3. We are intentionally creating a space where parents of color, low-wage workers and LGBTQ parents feel empowered to speak, lead and innovate.

 
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Leading up to the 2018 events, we are...

 

 
 

Conducting human-centered research

In the year leading up to the event, the research team is collecting stories and ideas from women of color, low-income women, and LGBTQ+ parents to understand the triumphs and challenges of breastfeeding their babies amidst structural racism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression.

Learn about our research efforts →

 

Convening an amazing Advisory Board

Our advisors include national experts on equity and breastfeeding, irreverent mamas, tech gurus, fourth trimester family doctors, policy mavens and global advocates. 

Meet our Advisory Board →

 
 
 

Running a Community Innovation Program

Participants in the program represent people who have not traditionally been involved in hackathons but who are already talented innovators and advocates for low-income families in their communities. The four Community Innovation Teams come from Boston, Detroit, New Mexico and Tupelo.

Meet the teams →

 

Planning an inclusive hackathon

The future is intersectional. Working with equity expert Jennifer Roberts and the Office of Diversity and Student Support at the Media Lab, we are centering the voices of women of color and cultivating relationships with historically black colleges and universities to support the participation of undergraduate students in the events.

Learn about our values →

 
 
 

Photos of MIT Media Lab by Andy Ryan