Kittery-based Pumpspotting, a digital support platform for lactating and nursing parents, has secured $1.5 million in funding and a partnership with the state of Maine in the past week.

Founded by Amy VanHaren in 2016, Pumpspotting offers an app for new parents and a company lactation program to help employers create breastfeeding-supportive work environments. The app offers a social network for new parents that provides access to professional lactation consultants, articles and information about breastfeeding, a crowdsourced map of locations to nurse or pump, and a community of other new parents to provide support and answer questions. Users can also tailor their profiles to connect with other parents in similar situations, such as other working parents.

Pumpspotting founder and CEO Amy VanHaren Courtesy of Pumpspotting/Kate & Keith Photography

The new funding comes from a seed round led by MooDoos Investments, with participation from Maine Venture Fund, Maine Angels, Launchpad Venture Group, Crystal McKellar and Punchbowl. The funding will benefit Pumpspotting’s company partnership programs, such as a new program tailored to startups and small businesses, and product development for bigger companies.

According to VanHaren, the funding is well timed to help companies relieve the burden that the pandemic has placed on working parents.

“We’re in a place where, post-pandemic and just this world that we live in, the burden of caretaking on parents is really extreme, and breastfeeding is really part of that,” she said. “It’s no wonder that 50 percent of moms have to choose between feeding and their career because of the strain. So what we’re really doing is trying to help keep parents working and feeding their families and not having to make that choice. What this funding is going to do is really help us accelerate the work that we’re doing for and with companies.”

VanHaren also noted that much of the funding was secured with the help of Maine investors.


“Being a Maine-based company, it’s been really fantastic and remarkable for us to have such champions in this state helping us grow the company,” said VanHaren. “It’s been a really positive experience for us to be supported by those in Maine as we build something that has an impact here in Maine, but nationally and globally also.”

Pumpspotting’s local roots also worked to the company’s advantage in securing a partnership with the state of Maine. On Tuesday, the state announced that Pumpspotting – along with OpBox and Acadia Composite Materials – was selected to participate in the Early Adopter Program, which launched in April and partners with Maine companies to undertake short-term projects.

In partnership with the Maine Bureau of Human Resources, Pumpspotting will provide over 30,000 state employees with access to the Pumpspotting app. The state also will join Pumpspotting’s “guild,” a collection of companies committed to creating breastfeeding-supportive environments for their employees, as a “luminary” – the highest level of commitment to Pumpspotting’s platform.

“The company is doing great work for parents and is offering a service that has the potential to improve the working lives of state employees and others within the Bureau of Human Resources system,” said Martha Bentley, director of economic development coordination for the state. “This dual benefit – to the company and to the state – are the twin goals of the Early Adopter Program.”

To VanHaren, the partnership indicates Maine’s commitment to fostering a supportive working environment for new parents.

“The goal for the state of Maine is they really want to establish a breastfeeding-supportive climate,” said VanHaren. “That’s a little bit different from a breastfeeding-tolerant climate, which is what I think a lot of companies offer and that’s great to start there. But really, in order for parents to thrive as both workers and feeding parents, it has to go a step further to be a place that not only offers a policy or space but really is building a culture of support for parents who are on this feeding journey. The state of Maine is really committed to that.”

In addition to providing an employer toolkit, Pumpspotting will also partner with the state to measure the impact of the program’s implementation with the help of a research team at the University of Wisconsin, positioning Maine as a leader in shaping the future of breastfeeding-supportive work environments.

“Not only will they have this opportunity to serve all their current new parents who are in this phase of life and navigating the journey of breastfeeding and baby-feeding, but they’ll be leading the way in the establishment of really family-friendly workplace cultures,” said VanHaren. “We hope, together, to really be demonstrating a breastfeeding support model for other state and federal governments and really for all employers.”

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