We are super psyched to produce a weekend with the leading innovators (including YOU) in breastfeeding and postpartum health. This time around we have a focus on equity and inclusive innovation in breastfeeding. We want to catalyze the development of tech, products, spaces, clothing, programs and services that have an eye on affordability and access as well as cultural diversity.


The event is free and all meals are provided. Due to high interest and limited space, we have to have an application process.

  • Feb 1 - Application open

  • Feb 28 - Application closes

  • Mar 7 - Notification of acceptance

Please only apply if you can commit to attend the full event from Friday, April 27th at 6pm to Sunday April 28th at 5pm.

What Will Teams Work On?

At the hackathon, teams will definitely work on improving breast pumps. But they will also work on other kinds of breastfeeding-supportive technologies like apps to connect parents to real-time lactation lactation consultants and data visualizations of the places most in need of breastfeeding support. Teams might also work on lactation-friendly spaces, handy accessories, and functional as well as stylish nursing clothing. And not everything has to involve tech or products - teams can also work on designing programs and services. There is a lot to do to support mamas and parents and babies!

Do I Need to Have an Idea in Advance?

Nope. If you do have an idea, you should bring it and pitch it to lead a team. If you don’t have an idea, then you can join a team based on someone else’s pitch.

What Are You Looking For in the Application?

We are seeking diversity along a number of dimensions. This includes gender, racial and socioeconomic diversity as well as domain diversity. We want to have nursing parents talking with lactation consultants talking with engineers talking with public health researchers talking with community activists talking with graphic designers talking with nurses talking with dads talking with...you get it.

We are also looking for a commitment to the central throughline of the event: equity in innovation. This time around, we are centering the experiences of mamas of color, low-income parents and LGBTQ+ parents. Breastfeeding in the US is hard for everyone, but these groups face particular challenges due to structural racism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression. If you are passionate about inclusive innovation and equity (note that you don’t have to be an expert to be passionate) then we definitely want to hear about it.

What about my baby or toddler?

Babies and toddlers are welcome at the event! If your application is successful, then we welcome you to bring your small kiddos aged 3 and under. While liability costs prohibit us from offering daycare on-site, we extend the invitation to all accepted participants to bring a partner, friend or caregiver to the event to help watch your baby while you participate. We also plan to have a “Baby Village” lounge with plenty of toys, snacks and baby wipes so that babies and parents are happy.  Breastfeeding and/or pumping is welcome throughout the space; private spaces will also be available for these activities, for participants’ comfort.

What’s the schedule?

The event takes place at the MIT Media Lab on  April 27-29, 2018 (75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02139)

You should expect to be at the event for the following hours:

Friday, April 27th - 6pm - 9pm: Inspirational talks and kick-off party

TED-style talks from luminaries in a range of fields including human lactation, child development, public policy, public health, pediatrics, midwifery, economics and social work. The organizing team will also be revealing new findings from a 4-city study into the user experience of breast pumping and infant feeding among women from lower socio-economic backgrounds, made possible with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Medela.

Saturday, April 28th - 9am - 5pm: Introductions, Team Formation and Hacking

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.

The Make Family Leave Policy Not Suck Summit kicks off simultaneously 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. Note that the views, goals and content of the policy summit do not necessarily reflect the views of our sponsors.

Sunday, April 29th - 9am - 4pm: Hacking, Demos, Recognition Ceremony, & Visioning

Participants continue to hack on projects and policies in the morning. In the afternoon, the Hackathon and the Policy Summit participants come together for an awards ceremony and collaborative visioning session.


This application should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Applications close on February 28th. 


Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible: