It was nearly 30 years ago when two young mothers Corky Harvey and Wendy Haldeman, learning to be mothers themselves, saw a need for parent education beyond the birth process. What initially began as a Baby Care ‘bootcamp’ class offered out of their homes, has since evolved into a nationally recognized premier breastfeeding resource center, now known as The Pump Station and Nurtury™.
“We had 50 breast pumps to rent,” Ms. Haldeman says. “We were open part time; we had a part-time secretary. And in three years, we were renting 1,000 pumps” at a time.
The number of women wanting pumps was definitely a surprise, but what truly resonated with Wendy and Corky was the tremendous need for expert lactation support and information. So they applied to UCLA and became certified Lactation Consultants in one of the first clinical lactating consultant programs. Soon they began offering the expert advice so many women needed to successfully breastfeed their infants.
In 2007, Cheryl Petran, a lactating mom with a history of retail behind her, had a three-month old baby that just wouldn’t stop crying, so she headed down to The Pump Station in Santa Monica. She fell in love not only with the people there but the business model as well.
“Hundreds of years ago, you sat by the campfire and talked about breast-feeding. You had that support, that community,” Mrs. Petran says. “You just don’t have that anymore. So moms come here, and it is the proverbial campfire, where you can talk and share. ‘Am I doing this right? Am I not doing this right?’ That’s a part you’re not going to get sitting in an aisle at Target.”
She soon joined forces with Wendy and Corky in an effort to take The Pump Station to the next level.
The company has now grown into a place where new parents can attend classes led by a team of lactation consultants or participate in discussion groups ranging from Breastfeeding Support, Free Sling Clinics, Introducing First Foods, Developmental Play, Sleep Coaching, Baby Signing, Babyproofing your marriage, Infant Massage, a Sizzling Hot Topics Lecture series, as well as have access to the huge selection of expert-recommended products.
“When someone is sitting here going, ‘Oh my God, there are 20,000 bottles out there,’ we can tell them, ‘But this bottle is going to be fabulous and will allow Dad to feed the baby and you to go back to work,’ ” says Cheryl Petran, the now CEO of Pump Station.
With the proliferation of on-line resources, the addition of programs like “Mommy & Me” and the recently launched “Helpouts by Google” The Pump Station and Nurtury™ can now support moms/dads/babies everywhere and do so long past their first and even second birthdays.
However, it is clear their goal remains the same today as when they opened over a quarter of a century ago. “We want The Pump Station to be a sanctuary for expectant parents, new parents, and their precious babies at this very challenging and rewarding time of life.”
So thank you Wendy, Corky and Cheryl for being an amazing team of moms, helping new moms adjust to new mom life…and breastfeeding!