While I was on my pumping journey, I often times felt isolated and alone. Being an exclusive pumper for 8.5 months, I thought nobody understood how I felt or how tired I always was. Everything about it was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting.
Luckily one day I came across a Facebook community and was introduced to one of the leaders Josi Wolfenbarger. Her cheerful spirit and desire to educate and help moms through their own pumping struggles was amazingly helpful. I wanted to spotlight Josi and her amazing sisterhood of pumping moms support group in hopes to provide help for moms who may be in a similar situation I was in.
When did you start the community?
I created the Facebook group Breast Bottle & Beyond (BBB) Support Group on July of 2015.
Why did you start the community?
I started BBB because of the lack of pumping education being offered. I wanted to help moms struggling with latching to have an outlet of advanced education on the ins and outs of the breast pump, the best methods of pumping to maximize/maintain milk supply and how to size for your flanges. However after going through the lactation education courses, I realized I didn't want to focus ONLY on the breast pump. I broadened the horizon of education being offered within the group to extend to help moms with more than just the breast pump but to also include, nursing and all the trials and tribulations that come with that journey.
Not only did I want to offer and help moms with breastfeeding education, I really wanted to create a group that had a super supportive and positive vibe. Hence the administrators of BBB work very hard to uphold the positive and supportive vibe that encompasses ALL forms of breastfeeding and parenting.
Support and education is important for moms, especially in those wee hours of the night when they are overwhelmed and stressed. This provides much needed support all hours of the day and night that other outlets cannot provide.
What made you become so passionate about pumping & helping other moms?
When I had my first son 7 yrs ago- I was young, but wanted to give breastfeeding a try. Unfortunately I struggled. The lactation support provided to me was lacking. The lactation consultants in the hospital were overworked and did not have enough time to thoroughly educate me. Instead, due to the pain I was encouraged to offer formula, so I did.
After 2 weeks of heart breaking failures, my supply dried up and I switched to exclusive formula feeding. Two months later my son was diagnosed with torticollis, which was clearly one of the main reasons why we were experiencing so much pain while nursing. I later found out that he had a pretty severe tongue and lip tie.
At the birth of my second son I was much more determined to breastfeed and decided to educate myself on the different feeding options.
After gaining so much knowledge and education for my second, I was incredibly disappointed that I was not educated with my first- at least with how to maintain my milk supply properly with a pump. I could have provided my first with as much breast milk as my second if I had a better support and education system. Failure to be able to breastfeed can feel like a devastating inadequacy as a mother. All I could think about was how many mothers went through and ARE going through those similar feelings and it motivated me to change this.
How has BeauGen been part of this?
Since we are a breastfeeding support group with a "niche" on the breast pump- BeauGen really belongs in BBB.
Beaugen’s nipple cushions can provide much relief for a variety of issues that sometimes arise when moms pump. BBB will continue to support and recommend nipple cushions as an option to relieve some pumping tribulations.
With over 9,000 members and more growing daily, the collective experiences and support of all the pumping moms will continue to help many future moms through their pumping and breastfeeding journey.