About Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon

Science conclusively shows that breastfeeding saves lives, prevents disease, and provides optimal infant nutrition. But due to gaps in postpartum care, policy, and technology it is almost impossible for parents in the US to fulfill the basic public health goal of exclusive breastfeeding for six months. And when women "fail" they blame themselves instead of the broken systems around them.

Our leadership team, under the guidance of a rock starAdvisory Board, is catalyzing a movement for breastfeeding innovation in research, technology, and policy that is grounded in equity. To this end, we are collecting stories, cultivating community innovation teams, kickstarting new ideas at a hackathon, and convening leaders for a policy summit. The efforts are culminating in large-scale collaborative design event on April 27-29, 2018, at the MIT Media Lab. The hackathon and policy summit will create an opportunity to address systemic gaps in supporting breastfeeding, supporting mamas and parents to give our babies the best start in life. Specifically, the 2018 hackathon is focused on inclusive innovation. Breastpumps and family leave suck for almost everyone, but they particularly suck for low-income mothers. Top designers and policymakers of color will be invited to speak, along with student participants from HBCU’s. All designers, developers, parents, activists, educators, journalists and babies, are welcome to attend.

The event builds off of the 2014 hackathon which resulted in 80+ articles in the press, an online documentary, a Facebook community, and two peer-reviewed research papers. Our initiative is developed with support by the MIT Center for Civic Media and made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Medela as well as corporate sponsors.

  • Teamwork at Make the Breast Pump Not Suck 2014 Hackathon
  • Alexis teaches a sketching workshop at the Community Innovation Program Kick-off
  • Mentors chatting at the at the Community Innovation Program Kick-off
  • Several members of the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck team with Program Officer Vijaya Hogan at the Community Innovation Program Kick-off
  • The Detroit team at the Community Innovation Program Kick-off
  • Several members of the Mississippi team from the Community Innovation Program
  • Jasmine Trice of the Detroit team of the Community Innovation Program
  • A community meeting with the Boston team from the Community Innovation Program
  • Monica Esparza of the New Mexico Community Innovation Program