MILWAUKEE -- Working mothers who are still breastfeeding now have an app that can help them find spaces to pump while away from home or the privacy of an office.
PumpHero is a free phone app available on Google Play that uses GPS location to find spaces that allow moms to pump. After asking for a space to pump, a room is reserved using a door tag.
Co-founders and first-time parents, Steve and Inge Plautz, created the app out of frustration. Steve Plautz told Inge he was going to make an app after he learned she'd pumped in the car during a work conference. Inge says there was no where else to go.
"It's 2018. Moms should not be pumping in their vehicles," says Steve.
There are currently 10 verified locations on the PumpHero app. The couple agrees 10 is a good start, but more are needed. The app uses crowdsourcing to find more locations.
"We're never gonna find all the locations because we needed to reach out to our moms now," says Inge.
Locations can be recommended for review by mothers who use or know of locations that have spaces. Additionally, businesses can sign-up to be part of the list. The very first to sign up was Hudson Business and Lounge in the Third Ward.
Hudson's General Manager Erin Hocheva, a new mom herself, says pumping in the car can leave you feeling vulnerable as people could walk by and there's no privacy. She adds bathroom stalls have too many sanitation issues, plus it's a downright uncomfortable place to pump.
The centers for disease control finds the rate for women breastfeeding a child past 3 months, to the recommended 12 months, drops drastically. Inge says two of the most common reasons for the drop, is the lack of flexible work schedules and location.
While many spaces give privacy, Plautz says they're working to make sure many of the spaces have WiFi, as well as, food and beverage options. While the latter isn't required criteria. By giving mothers more accommodations, they could potentially continue to work and eat at the space.
PumpHero is anticipated to launch in the Apple Store later this month. It's currently available now on Google Play, as well as, its website https://www.pumphero.social/