I’m a new member of the “Mom Club” (though you probably could have guessed that without me having to tell you by glancing at my baggy eyes, or while being forced to admire numerous pictures and videos of my baby that you may or may not have asked to see). As any mom will tell you, being a part of this club is the BEST thing in the world… but it’s not without its challenges.
One of those challenges sounds deceptively basic: feeding your child. Babies need to eat a lot, and quite often. This makes it especially difficult to be away from your child, or travel with him/her.
Last year, a Turnkey colleague and fellow “Mom Club” member wrote about the Cincinnati Reds opening a luxurious Breastfeeding Suite at Great American Ball Park. As MLB season starts up, I’m happy to hear of many other ballparks following this trend and upgrading their nursing areas, creating new ones, or setting up lactation pods. A few things in particular have really impressed me about this movement:
- Sponsors: The Reds (Pampers) and Nationals (Lansinoh), for example, used sponsors to create inviting spaces for mothers. What a great way to help fund the project while offering a partner an extremely targeted and personal activation opportunity! Getting samples of sponsors’ products into mothers’ hands in such a direct way is genius. If moms attending baseball games are anything like me, I’m sure there is something they forgot to grab on their way out the door. Samples can conveniently fill that need, and potentially open moms’ eyes to new brands. On that note, moms are excellent brand ambassadors. I’m fiercely loyal to the products that work for me and my baby – once I find a good one, I will recommend that to every mom I know, regardless if they ask for my opinion.
- Inclusion of Pumping Areas/Awareness of Needs: My husband and I were recently discussing going to a sporting event (without our child) that we had attended together for the past 5 years. While discussing the event, my first thought was, “Where could I pump?” I’d prefer to have an area that is clean, and need a space that has access to an outlet… and that’s not always the easiest to find at an event. Often, not being aware of an option that will fit my pumping needs means I end up staying home; on the flip slide, hearing how many MLB ballparks have created clean environments with sinks and refrigerators for pumping, or set up lactation pods, is really encouraging.
- Pre- and Post-Research: Although I haven’t experienced many of MLB’s breastfeeding suites myself yet, it appears from the pictures that teams have done their research. And I think I know why it looks that way: this year, I’ve started to see MLB clubs actually ask about the breastfeeding suites in surveys! What a great way to show moms you continue to care about them – it both enables teams to set up facilities nicer than the nursery I have at home, and creates life-long, loyal fans.
Keep up the good work MLB – the rest of the “Mom Club” and I love what you’re doing, and can’t wait to see every venue, league, team and event eventually follow your lead.