UAMS Adds Two New Spaces for Breastfeeding Moms

By Katrina Dupins

On Nov. 6, two 50-square-foot, wheelchair-accessible Mamava lactation rooms arrived. Users can access the room through a free mobile app.

App image

Users can access the room through the free mobile app.

The addition of these rooms will encourage moms to keep breastfeeding as long as they can, says Nirvana Manning, M.D., associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“We know that when mom is away from home it’s often challenging to find a space to pump and nurse,” Manning said. “As good as UAMS is, there are ways to improve. We’re excited that these are now available for UAMS employees, students and visitors.”

Sierra Miller

UAMS employee Sierra Miller was the first official user. She enjoys having a more convenient place to pump while she’s at work.

This is the first Mamava pod in Central Arkansas, joining more than 5,000 lactation spaces across the United States. The Mamava mobile app allows moms to find and unlock clean, private spaces to breastfeed or pump and gives them the ability to set alerts to know when the space is available for use.

The Mamava app also allows UAMS to monitor how often the room is being used, and moms can report if the pod needs cleaning or maintenance. The data will help ensure the pod is always ready for use and in the optimal place. The pods are on the first floor of the Daniel W. Rahn Interprofessional Education Building and on the first floor of the hospital near the Admissions Desk and Lobby Café.


Outside graphics on the pods feature the benefits of breastfeeding.

Outside graphics on the pods feature the benefits of breastfeeding. The ADA-compliant pod can comfortably hold four people inside, making it ideal for a mother with older children in tow. There is a mirror inside as well as graphics perfect for a mom to take a selfie with her baby.

The lactation pods fit into the strategies and action steps of Healthy Active Arkansas by encouraging breastfeeding in health care settings and providing community support for breastfeeding.

UAMS Medical Center received the official Baby Friendly designation in 2018. Since then, the institution has continued to look for ways to promote breastfeeding because of its long-term health benefits for both mother and baby.

“We believe a breastfed Arkansan is a healthy Arkansan,” said NICU Assistant Director of Nursing Rebecca Sartini, D.N.P. “Breastmilk contains antibodies that help babies fight off viruses and bacteria. It also reduces the risk of developing allergies and respiratory illnesses and lowers the risk of obesity. For the mother, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.”

UAMS Medical Center purchased the lactation pods with a $50,000 grant from the UAMS Chancellor’s Circle.