MilkSpace Aims to Accommodate Breastfeeding Mothers in Outdoor Spaces
August is a month that recognizes Black Business, World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week. In celebration, mother and MilkSpace, LLC founder Kelli Mumphrey partnered with the owners of MilkStrip and Mama Love to donate breastfeeding products to low-income Black women.
MilkSpace offers outdoor public-space operators and event planners with premium, public-use lactation spaces that are mobile. Mumphrey started her business in 2018 after experiencing how unsanitary and uncomfortable expressing breast milk in public could be.
“Milkspace empowers women to accomplish their breastfeeding goals comfortably in a private and comfortable space to express and store their precious liquid gold during outdoor events,” Mumphrey said in an interview with Hey, Black Mom!
Shortly after transitioning from active duty as a U.S. Navy sailor in 2014, Mumphrey found herself homeless with her 1-year-old daughter and husband in Dallas, Texas. Grinding day in and day out, Mumphrey was working full-time as a government employee, serving in the Navy as a drilling reservist at Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and pursuing a master’s degree all while trying to be a present wife and breastfeeding mother.
Always on the go, Mumphrey found herself in situations where she would resort to pumping and dumping her breast milk in public restrooms and in other places she felt were unsanitary and uncomfortable. Frustrated by the lack of access to convenient and sanitary public spaces to express breastmilk while maintaining an active lifestyle, Mumphrey created MilkSpace. The pop-up canopy lactation spaces help address the gap in outdoor breastfeeding amenity solutions.
During the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mumphrey was struck with the decision of whether to continue to try and grow her business during a time when people were suffering or to close up shop. Her decision: “Match It 4 HER!”, a social impact initiative serving Black women with the goal to lessen breastfeeding disparities in communities of color.
“COVID-19 has and still is having a direct or indirect impact on everyone, where overwhelmingly data reflects minorities as being disproportionately impacted by the virus,” said Mumphrey, who continues to actively run MilkSpace.
During MilkSpace’s “Match It 4 Her!” Pop-Up Experience from Aug. 16-31, 10 nonprofit organizations that predominantly serve low-income Black women will receive free breastfeeding products and services from MilkSpace, MilkStrip and Mama Love.
Products and services include MilkStrip Breastmilk Expiration and Breastmilk Vitamin C Level Rapid Tests, which analyze breast milk for critical nutritional elements. The other is Mama Love, a plant-based all-natural chocolate protein powder for muscle recovery and healthy breast milk supply.
According to the CDC, breastfeeding disparities exist the highest in Black women. Increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation and supporting continuation of breastfeeding among Black women might help reduce disparities.
Registered nonprofits in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, interested in participating in the MilkSpace “Match It 4 Her!” Pop-Up Experience can enter by liking and following the MilkSpace, MilkStrip and Mama Love Facebook pages and posting a 30-60 second YouTube video explaining their mission and why they’d like to participate. Interested nonprofits should use the hashtag #MILKSPACEBREASTFEED when posting the clip.