How you can help to realise Maddie’s dream and create a ‘boob bus’

The 'boob bus' outside Aylesbury Youth Motor Project's warehouse
The 'boob bus' outside Aylesbury Youth Motor Project's warehouse

Aylesbury Youth Motor Project is trying to realise the dream of Maddie McMahon and create an innovative ‘Boob Bus’ - but it needs your help.

The hope is that the bus would act as a safe haven for women who are unable to attend breastfeeding clinics, or assist families with complex needs.

The aim of the project is to transform a large van into a mobile safe haven that will travel the country offering breastfeeding support to new mothers who would be otherwise unable to access these services.

Aylesbury Youth Motor Project, a local charity have a van suitable for the project, and will complete the bespoke conversion, including helping with the design, layout and choosing the fixtures too.

The project however, needs your help to crowdfund the cost of the vehicle.

Maddie McMahon said: “I am immensely excited about this project as it will allow us to reach families with complex needs or those who are unable to travel to breastfeeding clinics.

“Breastfeeding is an enormously important public health issue and this mobile clinic will make specialist support more accessible for thousands of mothers and babies.”

Maddie has been a breastfeeding councillor since 2005, and is a member of the association of Breastfeeding Mothers and Co-Founder of Cambridge Breastfeeding Alliance.

She is also a doula, offering practical, emotional and informational support to women during pregnancy, labour, birth and early parenthood.

She’s a Doula UK approved training provider and owner of Developing Doulas.

The booby bus has been a dream of Maddie’s for many years, but it was on one of her recent training courses that she mentioned it and the idea captured the heart of one of her trainees.

Zohar Marer, a recent graduate of Developing Doulas, went home inspired.

Zohar has a background in charity fundraising and so has the perfect skill set to make this dream a reality.

It wasn’t long before she’d sourced the van and spoken to Aylesbury Motor Youth Project about collaborating on the scheme.

She’s now in the process of registering the charity, after which she’ll begin fundraising for the cost of converting the vehicle.

Breastfeeding counsellors, peer supporters, midwives and doulas from all over the country have already volunteered their time to offer support on the bus when the project comes to fruition.

Maddie explained the issues surrounding the bus’ conception, and how it could help mothers.

She said: “There are many women across the UK who are isolated for different reasons, or can’t access services and support, or their area may not have adequate services.

“New mothers may be in need of breastfeeding guidance and support but perhaps they can’t move due to c-section, or are isolated geographically or due to mental/emotional reasons.

“Getting the right advice and support as a new mum impacts the baby’s feeding, sleeping and growth and likewise impacts the mum’s (and partner’s) sleep and overall wellbeing - so this support is very important.

“Today we have enough research to know the importance of breastfeeding and its major long-term positive impact on both mum and baby which is why every mum who would like to breastfeed should be given the support in doing so.

“Like with every new subject or new process that we lack experience in, we require good education in order to understand it and to master it.”

The bus will provide breastfeeding guidance and mother’s support - advising on ideal breastfeeding positions and baby’s latch, educating women on the wonders of breastmilk - how it changes to suit the baby’s needs and according to the weather - it would be more fatty in winter and more watery in hot summer.

This knowledge answers queries that new mothers tend to have and avoid unnecessary worries that may arise.

The travelling bus will have professionals working on board who provide support to women within the areas that we visit.

This will include Doulas (birthing supporters), midwives, breastfeeding consultants, sling consultants, tongue-tie specialists and other professionals on board - this will vary according to dates/needs and regions.

For more information and to donate towards the project visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/maddies-miracle-travelling-bus/