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Updated: October 4, 2021 The Next LIst

Next: Amy VanHaren's ‘fem-tech’ startup provides innovative breastfeeding support platform

Photo / Tim Greenway Amy VanHaren launched pumpspotting, a feeding and postpartum app, to connect parents with each other and with breastfeeding, pumping and postpartum support services.

In 2015, Kittery entrepreneur Amy VanHaren launched pumpspotting, a feeding and postpartum app designed to connect parents with each other and with breastfeeding, pumping and postpartum support services. VanHaren has been featured in national publications like Forbes and Vogue and has grown its virtual community to over 40,000 parents. In 2020, she launched the app’s corporate program to simplify workplace lactation support. She recently closed on $1.15 million in seed funds to fuel B2B growth and announced partnerships with the state of Maine and Tilson Technology.

Originally from Michigan, VanHaren was a social media specialist who launched the app in response to her own experience as a working mother daily pumping milk. Marketing research included outreach tours in 2017 and 2019 to speak with parents and professionals in lactation and related fields.

Mainebiz: What are you doing with the seed funds?

Amy VanHaren: That will help us accelerate B2B initiatives, grow our sales team, expand marketing and get more employers onboard.

MB: How extensive is pumpspotting’s reach today?

AV: We have eight companies onboard, in Maine and nationwide.

MB: How do you partner with clients?

AV: We offer pumpspotting for business as software and service. It’s a solution employers purchase to implement comprehensive breast feeding support. Employees get access to our mobile app, which offers things like access to lactation consultants and connection with other parents. We become the hub and catalyst to the breast-feeding support program, giving employers a toolkit with everything they need to easily implement a positive breastfeeding climate.

MB: How do you make those connections?

AV: Sometimes we’re introduced through parents looking for more support from their employers. We attend HR and benefit events. We do typical lead generation. Recently we’ve been focusing on press.

MB: How do you convince employers this is an important service?

AV: We usually start a conversation around their needs in terms of retaining and engaging employees and what they now offer for benefits. We do a demo and Q&A around the platform. We highlight how turnkey pumpspotting is.

There’s a real business case. Companies that provide lactation benefits have better retention rates and a 50% reduction in absenteeism. Companies see an enormous savings in medical claims for mom and baby.

MB: Do you encounter resistance?

AV: I think employers want to choose this kind of support. But it’s not something that’s talked about enough.

MB: How would you characterize attitudes in this arena?

AV: I think breastfeeding and pumping have been invisible at work. But I think things are changing. I think the pandemic, with the merging of work and home, has brought it to the forefront. We still have a really long way to go until breastfeeding is as ingrained in day-to-day life in the workplace as it could be. But I’m an optimist and proud to be part of the solution.

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