A Feminist HCI Approach to Designing Postpartum Technologies: 'When I first saw a breast pump I was wondering if it was a joke.'

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In recent years, the CHI community has begun to discuss how HCI research could improve the experience of motherhood. In this paper, we take up the challenge of designing for this complex life phase and present an analysis of data collected from a design process that included over 1,000 mother-submitted ideas to improve the breast pump, a technology that allows mothers around the world to collect and store their breast milk. In addition to presenting a range of ideas to improve this specific technology, we discuss environmental, legal, social, and emotional dimensions of the postpartum period that suggest opportunities for a range of additional supportive technologies. We close with insights linking our findings to ongoing discussions related to Feminist HCI theory, crowdsourcing, and participatory design.

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