Cobo Center offers moms breastfeeding pods

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Cobo Center now has a couple of places for nursing mothers to feed their children just in time for the North American International Auto Show.

Officials for the convention center announced this week there are now two Mamava breastfeeding pods in its concourse. They heralded the arrival on the center's Twitter feed.

Cobo Center now offers new mothers visiting the facility two Mamava breastfeeding stations in its concourse.

Claude Molinari, Cobo Center's general manager, said the lactation stations will remain at the facility for use during all events. He said since the pods are portable, they'll be moved around the center to accommodate the needs of its customers.

The Mamava stations are part of the center's ongoing improvement programs for 2018 and a growing number of nursing mothers attend Cobo Center events and warranted the addition, he said.

The nursing stations were made by Burlington, Vermont-based Mamava Inc. The company manufactures mobile lactation suites and has them in more than 150 locations across the country, including airports, stadiums, universities and zoos, according to its website.

It has two mobile suites in Michigan with the addition of Cobo Center. The other station is at the Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, according to Mamava.

Its suites feature benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for plugging in breast pumps, space for bags or a stroller and a door that can be locked.

Built by the city of Detroit, Cobo Center originally opened in 1960 and was named in honor of former Detroit Mayor Albert Cobo, who served in office from 1950 to 1957.

Cobo Center offers 722,500 square feet of exhibit space in five exhibit halls that range from 100,000 to 200,000 square feet.

In 2009, the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority was created to operate Cobo Center under a long-term lease with the city. The authority is overseen by a five-member regional board.

A year later, the authority awarded the contract for Cobo Center's management to a company called SMG.