I recently saw a flange company trying to explain what elastic nipples were in a blog they wrote in 2021. This particular company had been around for a few years but I felt they had focused on selling their product vs trying to get to the root of moms’ issues because why would you wait so long to write a blog about elastic nipples? This struck me for some reason… But let’s continue with my rant.
Here I come around in 2018 in the breast pumping world a few months after giving birth to surrogate twins. At the time, I was very concerned to see so many moms with breast-pumping issues. I wanted to help and that’s just my personality, I was a litigation paralegal for 11 years, I want to help solve issues. I was on maternity leave for a few months and had nothing better to do than to be in a lot of Breast Pumping Facebook groups and that’s when I had the “aha” moment. Everyone was using the wrong size flanges. I will never forget being in the Official Spectra FB group and the owner of Spectra kicked me out because I was sizing moms for free wherein they were only sizing moms to 20mm, because that is the smallest size they offered even though other companies offered smaller. That event, and a few others, pushed me to create Save The Milk.
I was hurt because all I wanted to do was help and it seemed they, and other companies, didn’t care about the effect they were having on moms pumping journeys in the long run. It seemed they didn’t like that I was offering sizes that were smaller than what they offered and perhaps could hurt their bottom dollar? But as I said, that event combined with all the moms that were sad that Spectra and other Pumping groups kicking me out because I wasn’t providing “Evidenced Based” sizing information. This motivated me to open my own company and a FB group based on sizing moms nipples regardless of what professionals were telling me because I knew that women were pumping more milk, their comfort was greatly improved and I was solving basic pumping issues. In the end, MY RESULTS HAVE BEEN MY EVIDENCE.
At the beginning of this journey in 2018, I wanted all the breast pump companies to get along and stop competing. All companies have different approaches to what they want, and it seems like it has been to make themselves and their stock holders money. What if we focused on MOMS that are pumping? What could that look like for our future? What if we created a Breast Pumping Association? An association that takes all the new breast pumping ideas in current use and start doing Evidenced Based Research? Isn’t this what all the LCs and IBCLCs have been wanting? I don’t understand why no one has done it yet and when someone try’s to create something new, why are the professionals so bewildered and set in their ways that something may be better then what they have been taught and teaching others? Many of the moms and LCs I have talked to over the years can attest that I want breast pumping advise to be as consistent as breast feeding advice and the only way to do this is to have all the big companies and professionals in lactation, get on board.
Just over a month ago there was an IBCLC that did a world wide presentation about how she had discovered that recommending flange sizing has been working for some of her clients. I sent her an email the same day stating that I have been sizing moms for the past 4 years, have a pending patent on the method and have many techniques to help all pumping moms. I received a message the email will be responded to and I have never heard back. I speculate why. Is it because she thought she discovered something new and had no idea I and others have been doing this for years? Was it because I scared her with the Pending Patent? Or that I am not an IBCLC? Why wouldn’t someone that is excited about flange sizing want to connect and learn more about how we can change the future for pumping moms? Where is the open communication?
I have reached out to several companies in this industry wanting to update them on their sizing methods so they can better help their customers, but still no response. It only seems like there are a select few that want to see things change and I am happy to have them on board with me. Literally, they are my board members!
For the past six months I have been building my Breast Pumping Association and setting up my connections to get research funding and trying to move forward with what I said I was going to do since the beginning. My Character and what I put out into the world means a lot to me and what I say to someone means something (my word is my bond). So here I am, laying it all out like I usually do. I am just a woman, winging life, trying to find other like minded individuals. That actually want to change our future, because in the end, what else unites us more than wanting to feed our children?
I know, this is a rant, but I am frustrated. I know there are others like me that just get tired and need to express themselves and their husband are tired of listening to the same violine playing! But hey, if it were not for moms like me trying to find their way in life, some things would never have been made, like Beaugen Cushions, Junobie, Tunkie & Co., Lacteck, Pumpables and Cookies, Then Milk. These are some women owned businesses that want us to succeed on our pumping journeys.
If you know of or have insight to any company, individual that may be doing research in the Breast Pumping world, please contact me! Donations to help this BPA startup are appreciated!
All your Save The Milk recourses are here.