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Vermont airport offers place for nursing mothers

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont’s Burlington International Airport is host to what’s being billed as the first-in-the-country airport nursing station where mothers are able to breast-feed their children in a secure, private, and clean space.

The ‘‘Mamava’’ was developed by cofounders Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson, of Burlington, who have both dealt with the difficulties of trying to breast-feed their babies while traveling for their jobs and their lives.

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‘‘We want everyone to feel comfortable,’’ Mayer said. ‘‘We’re here, not hidden in some dark hallway.’’

The nursing station only takes up about 20 square feet.

It has two facing benches, with a fold-down table and a power outlet.

Cassie Lindsay, who visited a rollout of the Mamava, told the Burlington Free Press it would make traveling much easier.

‘‘This is amazing; every airport should have one of these,’’ Lindsay said.

‘We want everyone to feel comfortable. We’re here, not hidden in some dark hallway.’

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Burlington airport’s director of aviation, Gene Richards, said the airport welcomes women who breast-feed in public, but the Mamava ensures that people who want privacy have that option.

Burlington’s Mamava is sponsored by clothing manufacturer Zutano.

‘‘We feel like this is such an important piece to acknowledge the needs of working mothers, and address the balance between taking care of their babies and going back to work,’’ said cofounder Michael Belenky said.

“It’s not an easy transition. We think it’s important to promote breast-feeding, making breast-feeding an accepted and supported part of our culture.’’

Mayer said a Mamava unit such as at Burlington International Airport would sell for about $3,500.

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