- Sara Tabin
- The Breast Express
Burlington mamas met over Ben & Jerry's ice cream on Tuesday at the Breast Express, a 40-foot RV touring the country as a mobile nursing and pumping suite. More than just a meal on wheels, the RV is promoting pumpspotting, a social app to help mothers share support and advice, including tips on breastfeeding locations, as part of its mission to connect a community of lactating ladies. The app is sponsoring the RV tour.
Barb, as the Breast Express is known, advertised itself with cartoonish, mammary graphics and the slogan "You Got This, Mama." Inside were brightly colored furniture and cushions, as well as boob-themed goodies such as nipple cream and breast-stress balls. Some moms visiting the bus sampled Oat of This Swirled ice cream, the flavor of choice because of the folk wisdom that oats boost lactation.
Burlington-based Mamava, which makes lactation pods for moms to pump or breastfeed, cosponsored the Queen City Breast Express stop at Perkins Pier. A few passersby threw surprised glances at Barb, but Amy VanHaren, pumpspotting's founder, said people had been overwhelmingly supportive of the trip.
Erin Bolger, a member of the Chittenden County Breastfeeding Coalition, learned about the event on Facebook. She said she is in favor of anything that supports moms and makes them feel more comfortable breastfeeding and pumping, including the Breast Express and the Mamava pods.
"I don't care where my boobs are shown, but some people do," said Bolger. "I'm sure you'll see mine later."
Bolger said she occasionally gets some "side-eye" when feeding her 2-year-old daughter but has found Burlington to be a generally supportive community for public breastfeeding.
Heather McCrea, who has a 10-month-old son, said she thinks the Burlington community is open and accepting toward breastfeeding moms in public, adding that it was exciting the Breast Express made a stop in the city. McCrea said she prefers the privacy of a Mamava pod when breastfeeding.
The busty bus tour launched in Boston on April 27 and will end in San Francisco on August 8.