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It’s 2018, and the breast pump still sucks!

December 14, 2017

Mark your calendars. The Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon 2.0 is happening on April 27–29, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab!

Dear parents, investors, midwives, innovators, lactation consultants, community leaders and community listeners:

A lot has happened in the space since our 2014 hackathon. We wrote two research papers and talked with hundreds of experts, innovators and parents. New pumps and breastfeeding-supportive tech like Naya and Willow and Pacifyand UBoost have emerged on the scene. But they haven’t always gotten the funding they need to continue and affordability is still a problem. We STILL don’t have paid leave in the US, and mamas and parents struggle to meet their breastfeeding goals in an unsupportive environment. Meanwhile, black and brown babies are four times more likely to die in their first year and the rate is going up. Families in the US currently must choose between nursing their babies and paying their rent.

> > We think it’s time for Round 2 and this time we want to catalyze a movement for equitable #BreastfeedingInnovation.

We were astonished by the viral success of the 2014 hackathon, as well as its impacts. We are back with a bigger team and an incredible Advisory Board to catalyze brilliance in research, design, and policy for breastfeeding. Check out our new site to learn more about our efforts and ways to get involved. We are:

Kickstarting new ideas at the hackathon 2.0.

We are curating teams around 3D-printed flanges, Alexa/Siri interfaces for nursing parents, smart “fourth trimester” baby scales and data visualizations of formula company money. Oh — and smarter, better, more comfortable, more affordable, more discreet, less sucky breast pumps! Read more here.

Cultivating community innovation teams

Teams hail from Boston, Detroit, Tupelo, and Albuquerque. Their designs range from a birth clinic, to nursing-friendly indigenous clothing and peer lactation support. Read more here.

Photo courtesy of MIT Media Lab.

Focusing on Systems

Convening leaders for the Make Family Leave Policy Not Suck Summit on paid family leave.

Collecting stories of breastfeeding and pumping

With a specific focus on low-income parents, women and parents of color, and LGBTQ+ who face the most challenges amidst structural racism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression. Read more here.

Our innovation is inclusive and intersectional

Working with Jenn Roberts and our Advisory Board, we are leading with equity in all aspects of the event.

We can’t create a movement in #BreastfeedingInnovation without YOU! At the moment our ask is simply to share our website to your social networks:

We will be in touch soon with more ways to get involved, including organizing or joining a hackathon team. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your ideas, questions, and enthusiasm!

Onwards, Catherine, Kate, Becky, Jenn, Alexis, Dave, and Ethan

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