Breastfeeding innovation - for everyone

The future of breastfeeding is now. We are mamas and papas, artists and innovators, community leaders and community listeners. We are catalyzing a movement in #breastfeedinginnovation

We see 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. Breastfeeding, chestfeeding and pumping are celebrated and supported – by employers, governments, investors, doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and grandmas.  

To get there, we are collecting your stories, cultivating community innovation teams, kickstarting new ideas at a hackathon, and convening leaders for a policy summit. Join us!
 

 
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Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon 2018

April 27-29th, 2018

The Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon kicks off with inspirational talks by top designers, CEOs of women’s health companies who are fighting stigma, and community organizers who trained moms to envision and build a breastfeeding-friendly community at scale.

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 Policy Not Suck Summit 2018

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 and Fortune 500 CEOs from the private sector who make a case for investing in paid leave.

Participants will workshop model policies that support healthy babies and families, with a focus on paid family leave and other key blockers to a supportive breastfeeding environment.

 
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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.

These digital stories and follow-up interviews will help ensure that future designs and innovations will be focused on inclusion, equity and structural transformation. From these parents' stories, we will produce a set of design guidelines, user personas and artistic artifacts for use at the 2018 events.  

 
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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 take a leadership role at the hackathon.

3. We aim to create the most inclusive hackathon that MIT has ever hosted. 

 
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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 the most inclusive hackathon MIT has ever hosted

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

 

Our 2014 Hackathon

In Fall 2014, we hosted the first Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon at the MIT Media Lab. 150 designers, developers, mothers, fathers and babies converged to create better breast pumps, nursing environments, and support systems for breastfeeding moms.

Through this process we learned that the breastpump isn’t the only thing that sucks. We need to invest in research and technology, change public and private policy, and shift social norms. That's why we need to catalyze a movement for #breastfeedinginnovation.

 
 
 
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