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Northwest Arkansas VA among first to offer smart pod for breast-feeding Veterans

Staff using phone to enter Mamava Pod

The maternity program at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks currently serves 74 women Veterans; however, there are more than 1,700 women Veterans of childbearing age in the area.

FAYETTEVILLE, AR (January 26, 2023) – The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO) is the among the first in the VA to provide women Veterans who breast-feed and/or pump with a Mamava Pod, a private, free-standing, room offering smart-features.

“Giving women who breast-feed a safe and clean space to pump demonstrates the care and attention our facility places on women Veterans,” said Women's Health Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner, Anna Parker, who uses the Mamava Pod while at work. “I also like how visible it is to Veterans. And when our guests see it, they know that the Fayetteville VA is supporting women trying to balance work, health, and being a mom.”

The Mamava Pod provides women a clean and spacious place with lots of benefits like handicap accessibility, sound proofing, dimmable lighting, and auditory options.  Before the Mamava Pod, women Veterans with infant children had to use a bathroom or other borrowed spaces to breast feed or breast pump when at VHSO.

The easiest way to know if the pod is available is for users to download the Mamava app to their smart phone. The site will show if the pod is vacant or occupied. If vacant, the user approaches the pod with the app open and it will automatically unlock the pod door. Once the user is inside, and the door is locked, the app will show that the pod is occupied. Then the lights will turn on, the fan will start and it’s ready to use.  And for users who don’t have access to the smartphone app, there is also a QR code on the pod for easy access. 

VHSO is among the first of a select group of VA facilities nationwide offering the use of the Mamava Pod. The pod was purchased through grant funding, with no cost to the facility.

According to Veteran Program Manager Roseanne Harris, women represent a growing population though out the VA system and at VHSO.  The facility’s Maternity Program currently serves 74 women Veterans; however, according to Harris, there are more than 1,700 women Veterans of childbearing age in the area.   

“The Mamava Pod answered the call for positive cultural change,” said Harris. “Women Veterans can’t say enough about this opportunity.  They are truly thankful and excited about the ease, privacy, and convenience of the Mamava Pod.”

To learn about women’s health at VHSO, visit Women Veteran Care | VA Fayetteville Arkansas Health Care | Veterans Affairs.


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