It’s taken me 23 years to begin this blog. Not because I didn’t have a perspective, but because I really questioned if my perspective was worthy of reading by those that would be exposed to it. Why you ask? Uh, could it be because I’m a dude writing a blog about breast pumping? No, that isn’t it. It’s because I wasn’t sure I could adequately capture in writing all of the wisdom and insight I have been so blessed to receive from the 1000’s of thousands of wonderful parents I have had the pleasure of chatting with over the last 2 decades discussing their pumping challenges. I am simply in awe of their determination to provide the best nutrition to their newborn and fight through whatever discomforts, ailments, sleep disorders, phobia’s, infections, etc. they are experiencing to share their story with me, not only a total stranger but a guy total stranger. The pressure to perform weighs heavy on pumping parents and my respect for them runs incredibly deep.
After I briefly explain how I got to this point in my life where I am writing about this topic, the plan is for me to contribute blog posts that give readers a different perspective about the many complexities that make up this concept of using a suction machine to harvest a full course meal for another human being, i.e. breast pumping. And it’s not really my perspective as much as it is a cumulation of perspectives gathered by spending thousands of hours on the phone (I answered the customer service phone line personally for most of the the company’s’ existence and still do on the weekends and holidays) with customers. I believe it is extremely rare for anyone, especially a male, to have the opportunity to interview thousands of folks over so many years about such a personal and mostly single gender focused topic……and that gender not being mine It has been an extraordinary ride and one that I am happy to share unabashedly with new parents in hopes they find success in their pumping efforts.
In case you didn’t already know the Pumpin’ Pal story, the short version is that I watched my lovely wife Janene struggle to use a breast pump when our daughter was born and, wanting to do my part, I created some “accessories” from garage parts (seriously) for her to use to hopefully lighten the load of a 8 times/day, 24/7 pumping mother. I did not set out to change the world. I had no plans on leaving my field in construction, and it was never a get rich idea. My only focus was helping Janene reach her pumping goal of 6 months. I was raised in an environment where having the right tool for the job was key and so designing makeshift tools for the job at hand was just part of how we lived.
Keep in mind that in 1998, although not that long ago, it was basically unheard of to think you could pump for a month or two, let alone 6. There were no “Exclusively Pumping” groups, heck, there were no support groups at all. Pumping was an individual sport with almost no information available and little support from even the lactation community (they have since come a long way). But after Janene was finished with the various “contraptions” I had created, a very delighted coworker who inherited the “products” convinced me to explore ways I could get this stuff into the hands of other moms, they had made such a huge impact on her. I listened, I felt her appreciation, and I decided I needed to do more. Well, we now ship worldwide😊 I could not be more proud or feel more blessed than I do today that the efforts of this tiny company have helped pave the way for more achievable long term pumping for parents helping to turn pumping into what it is today….a viable means in which to get breast milk to babies when, for whatever reason, nursing is not.
Founder, Pumpin’ Pal