The breast pumping solution company recently secured FDA clearance and closed a $5 million seed round
MilkMate was founded with a mission to empower working mothers and their employers and better facilitate breast pumping in the workplace.
Patrice Meagher, the company’s founder and CEO, said she wanted to create a more streamlined way for women to breast pump at work after returning from maternity leave.
“MilkMate was born from a simple truth: Parents should never feel like they have to choose between their family and their career,” Meagher told Athletech News.
The MilkMate founder noted that fewer than one in five new moms return to work within three years after maternity leave.
“In order to make this better, we have to break down the barriers that make it hard in the first place: pumping at work is one of many challenges,” Meagher said. “I am a mother of four and was balancing my role as a commercial real estate executive with motherhood, and pumped in less-than-ideal settings, like bathrooms. I knew that there had to be a better way for parents to pump in the workplace.”
MilkMate is a turnkey solution for employees and employers, offering a multi-user breast pump and single-use recyclable parts that are pre-assembled and pre-sterilized. Its pump and parts recently received market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A comfortable sofa seat, a side table for laptop use and ample refrigeration space for breast milk storage are also available. Unlike many breast pumping solutions which require working mothers to lug equipment to their offices, MilkMate does not require users to bring anything but themselves.
MilkMate also provides ongoing servicing, like inventory and single-use parts replenishment, as well as software management and upgrades. The company’s customer support acts as a resource for employers and parents after installation.
MilkMate helps employers address needs brought forth by the PUMP Act, which requires companies to provide a private non-bathroom space for nursing mothers to pump while at work. As employers build out their wellness rooms in response to the legislation, MilkMate takes the guesswork out of the necessary investment.
After the company’s recent seed fundraising round of $5 million, MilkMate is focusing on expanding domestically, with a particular focus on the Manhattan market.
“In the long run, we want to help bridge the gender gap and promote diversity in the workforce,” Meagher said. “We hope that one day everyone who is breast pumping in the office will have a seamless and efficient experience, and that it will become as straightforward and accepted as any other physical need or amenity offering within the office.”
“MilkMate is a visible tool that signals to employees that their employers care about supporting them on their parenthood journey,” she added.