In August, the Washington Nationals became one of the first pro sports teams in the country to set up a private room designated for breastfeeding. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings announced that they would be the first NFL squad to offer lactation facilities where they play.
The Vikings will install two lactation suites from a company called Mamava at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Gophers where they are playing until their own new stadium is ready to go next year. The suites are expected to be in place when the team hosts the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 18, and it will also put a pair of them in its corporate headquarters.
“Creating a family-friendly environment and a positive experience for all fans at our football games is paramount to the Minnesota Vikings,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren in a statement. “While we certainly encourage breastfeeding mothers to nurse where they feel comfortable, we have become increasingly aware of the need many moms have for the privacy and comfort that these Mamava lactation suites provide. In addition, we are always striving to create the most positive workplace environment within our organizations and the pods at our two headquarters will benefit many of our female employees.”
The Vikings described the 4-foot-by-8-foot suite as “a self-contained, mobile pod with comfortable benches, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump and a door that can be locked for privacy.” Here is a video showing some of the Mamava pods that have been installed at various airports by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:
The Vikings said that their new stadium will also have the pods, and that the team is looking into an expanded area for nursing mothers that will allow them to watch games in progress. The Cincinnati Reds opened a nursing suite at their stadium, Great American Ball Park, in March.