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story.lead_photo.caption Shoppers walk through the parking lot of a Walmart in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles in this Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2020 file photo. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) - Photo by AP / Richard Vogel

Walmart Inc. will install app-controlled nursing suites in more than 100 of its stores this year to give customers and employees a clean, private place to breastfeed, the Bentonville retailer said Tuesday.

The company started testing the Mamava "lactation pods" a year ago at a Bentonville Supercenter as well as one store each in Vermont and Arizona. Walmart plans to install more in coming years, the company said in a news release.

The retailer said it's the first to install Mamava pods in stores. Walmart said it has Mother's Rooms in several hundred stores for employees and customers, and the pods will go in stores without Mother's Rooms.

Target Corp. lets women breastfeed anywhere in stores, and other retailers and shopping malls designate areas in restrooms for nursing. But the pods give mothers privacy and control over the environment.

Mamava's free-standing modular suites are assembled on site near the back of stores in an area that is quiet and convenient for mothers. Its app guides women to the nearest pod, opens it and lets moms customize lighting and airflow inside the pod.

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