Walmart Rolls Out A New Feature For Breastfeeding Parents

Walmart is a store that is generally not associated with social progress — after all, it was just a few months ago that certain Walmart stores got around to de-segregating their hair care products. Still, there's no denying that amongst the big dogs of retail, Walmart is the St. Bernard. Where Walmart leads, others will follow, and lately, they've been on a roll of doing the right thing. In June, Mississippi-area Walmarts removed that state's flag due to the fact that the design still incorporated the Confederate flag. Perhaps not coincidentally, the state soon moved to adopt a new flag design.

Once again, Walmart is poised to be at the forefront of a change, one that will be welcomed by all breastfeeding parents. According to ABC News, they are the first retailer in the nation to install lactation suites in-store. These suites, or pods, will allow shoppers to take a breastfeeding break without having to awkwardly cram themselves, their babies, and their diaper bags into restroom stalls or changing rooms if they're not comfortable nursing in public.

The breastfeeding pods were suggested by a Walmart executive

Tennille Webb, who, according to her LinkedIn profile, is a senior business relationship manager of people services for Walmart, first noticed the breastfeeding pods made by Vermont-based Mamava in an airport in 2017. She was traveling for business at the time, but had recently returned from maternity leave and had an infant of her own at home. The pods struck her as a brilliant idea, and she thought she'd bring them up to the Walmart brass back in Bentonville.

Well, obviously her bosses were more than happy with the idea of installing such pods, although corporate wheels do turn slowly, so it did take them a few years from the time she made her proposal to the time they were set to roll out. Still, the first three pods had a test run last year, and they must have passed the test since the company just announced that over 100 pods will be delivered to Walmart store nationwide by the end of this month.

Each pod has seating space, air control, and electrical outlets (possibly for those who need to use breast pumps, or maybe for type-A parents who are such amazing multi-taskers that they continue to work on their laptops while simultaneously breastfeeding and shopping at Walmart). There's also a Mamava app, of course, that can help parents find the pod nearest their location. If they're lucky, that location just may be at their nearest Walmart.