Where to breastfeed when out at a public park or public event? That was the question mother-of-two Kelli Mumphrey faced.
So, she came up with a solution: a mobile MilkSpace.
Mumphrey won a $25,000 pitch platform through local entrepreneurship programs like the Veteran Women's Enterprise Center.
"When we think of veterans, we don't often think of women, and we definitely don't think of women of color," said VR Small, founder and CEO of Veteran Women's Enterprise Center. "It's extremely important to change the narrative around women veteran entrepreneurs."
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The money Mumphrey received from her pitch helped her customize her MilkSpace trailer and fill it will pillows and products to make mothers comfortable while they breastfed or pumped milk.
"You have to be able to get other people to be concerned about what matters to you," Small said. "You have to make it matter to them. She made MilkSpace matter to the judges."
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Mumphrey said although it's the law that mothers can breastfeed in public, finding a comfortable, private space to do that can be a challenge.
"Just imagine they have to feed their babies in a public restroom. You wouldn't want that. So, why would you want breastfeeding women to be subjected to feed, to pump in a public restroom?" Mumphrey asked. "I try to make that connection, and sometimes you see a lightbulb go off."
Mumphrey is hoping to encourage more event organizers to consider breastfeeding mothers' needs. She hopes one day to have a fleet of mobile MilkSpaces nationwide.
"I really want women to know I see them," Mumphrey said. "I just want them to feel welcome and appreciated when they come into the mobile MilkSpace.