8 Relatable Topics Only Breastfeeding Parents Will Understand

For Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we want you to do more than just be aware. We want you to take action, and nothing will light a fire under you like hearing from these powerful women just how important breast/chestfeeding advocacy is and how it shapes early parenthood.

CEOs, founders, executive directors, authors, writers, and even an Olympian — we’ve got a full roster of badass mamas here to share some inspiring and super relatable stories about their experiences as pumping parents on a mission!


“As a NICU mom, I initially struggled with breastfeeding. I found myself triple feeding (pumping, bottle, and breastfeeding) for the first 15 weeks of my baby’s life. During those weeks where we were triple feeding, my goal was to breastfeed for 6 months, and each month I stretched it out a bit longer.

During month 9, though, I got mastitis — that’s when I decided to call it quits. Mastitis is terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!”

— Nathalie Walton, CEO, and Co-Founder of Expectful


“I negotiated an acquisition while pumping in a hotel room in Dublin. I hated pumping, by the way. I always say I’d go through labor twice never to have to pump.”

— Sarah Lacy, bestselling author, journalist, & Founder & CEO of Chairman Mom

“I was working at a small startup with another mother who had a baby the same age as mine (5 months) and we would have our 1:1 meetings while we were both pumping. The problem was that we worked in a space that had rooms but no doors to shut so we had to remind everyone to just stay in their zones.

Of course that would fail on occasion — we had one out-of-town colleague (guy in his early 20’s) who was confused by the sound of dueling pumps and came running in the room to ask, “What is that noise?!”

Oh yeah, he got the full view of it all. Not that we cared. Welcome to the world of boobs = food, kid.”

— Molly Dickens, Co-Founder, Executive Director of &Mother


“I was in China 6 weeks after giving birth. I was hosting TechCrunch’s first international conference in Beijing. It was a massive professional accomplishment 2 years in the making. We brought super incredible founders from Silicon Valley to China and got rare foreign journalist access to the best entrepreneurs in China.

I got pregnant and gave birth in the middle of the process, but wasn’t going to let the baby derail me! I pumped and dumped (nothing like Milk Stork at the time or if there was I didn’t know about it!).

I remember the worst day was when I had to take a bus full of American male billionaires to the Great Wall and had to pump in the back of the bus the whole time. As if that were not awkward enough, THE BATTERIES RAN OUT. I dropped the billionaires for drinks and had to run around with the driver to small markets and stands trying to find the right American batteries.”

— Sarah Lacy, bestselling author, journalist, & Founder & CEO of Chairman Mom

“Too many.

On the way to a conference, I hand pumped on an airplane under a blanket, twice, with a middle seat passenger falling asleep on my shoulder.

I pumped in various locations (all unacceptable) at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — including at my booth, while working.

I pumped in a co-ed bathroom and then promptly emailed the office manager, who had told me that that location was “where all the other nursing mothers pump”, to remind her that the co-ed bathroom is also where all the men go to take their morning dump.”

— Molly Dickens, Co-Founder, Executive Director of &Mother


“My best and worst and MacGyver moments are combined into one. At 8 months postpartum I traveled to Cambodia for my first tournament back. It was the first time I’d ever pumped exclusively (I’d only pumped once or twice a day before) and it was sooo much harder than I realized. I tried to do a ton of research (not much out there) on what to bring, how to store it while at the hotel, and how I was going to travel home with 8 days worth of breastmilk.

I pumped on the airplane, in the shuttle, at the tournament, and even on a tuk tuk. It took me a couple days to figure out that the hand pump got the milk flowing the best, so my forearms looked like Popeyes by the end of the week and I was so sore each day. It was a ton of work but I was so proud of pumping, storing, and traveling home (about 29 hrs) with 130 ounces of breastmilk. I even wrote a blog about it.”

— Lauren Fendrick, Volleyball Olympian


“As an advocate, I HAVE designed the perfect pumping station and mother’s room for large employers. They’ve included inspirational messages, tips from other moms in the office, baby photos so moms know who they’re working so hard for, and calming aromatherapy machines.”

— Christine Michel Carter, Writer

“First and foremost, it would have the essentials:

  • A hospital-grade pump.
  • A locking door.
  • A kitchen sink with regularly replenished dish soap.
  • A fridge that also has a freezer.

It would also be comfortable — excellent lighting, temperature-controlled, comfy chairs (appropriate for pumping), and lots of clean, flat surfaces. It would be stocked with breast milk storage bags, breast pads, and sanitizing wipes. Also, it would be regularly sanitized, cleaned, and vacuumed.”

— Kate Torgersen, Founder & CEO of Milkstork


“I think the external world thinks it is easier than it is, which admittedly is what I thought when I became a mom. It’s not so easy to breastfeed, and women shouldn’t be chastised for not being able to or for supplementing with formula.

I love how we live in a society where men have all sorts of products and services to assist with impotence and erectile dysfunction, but it’s taboo and abnormal for a mother to struggle with producing breast milk. Like, WTF?!”

— Christine Michel Carter, Writer

“It is insane that the AAPSurgeon GeneralCDC, and WHO all recommend breastfeeding, but then they barely offer any support in a curated way for moms and babies. Breastfeeding is like working a second job (some might argue full-time job!) and is all about supply and demand. The more you do it, the more you produce, so you can’t just take a day off.

As an engineer who loves math, I feel the need to break this down. If you are mostly nursing at the breast, this is 15–30 minutes roughly every 2–3 hours. On average, you will spend 3.5 hours a day just nursing, but honestly it could be more. If you are mostly pumping like me, then this is 20–40 minutes also every 2–3 hours. I produce “just enough”, so I often have to pump for at least 30 minutes. Then it takes about 5 minutes to wash the pump each time, so that’s another 40 minutes.

Breastfeeding is wonderful and supports both mom and baby health, but it is not easy and it is certainly not easy to take on while you are working. It is an all-encompassing activity and moms deserve more time and space through national policies like paid parental leave to make it happen.”

— Andrea Ippolito, Founder of SimpliFed


“Lend a hand or look away/mind your business. It’s so disheartening when a nursing mom is made to feel like some sort of alien for feeding her baby. We’ve over-sexualized breasts and the moms and babies suffer for it. Having a newborn is difficult enough. Don’t make new moms hide themselves for your comfort.”

— Vernita Brown, CEO of Natalist

“If your workplace doesn’t have a lactation room, advocate for one. If a 3-hour meeting doesn’t have a break, ask for one. If you are hosting an event, make sure that there is an adequate lactation space (not a bathroom). Speak up, so pumping parents don’t have to.”

— Kate Torgersen, Founder & CEO of Milkstork


“Invest in a portable pump if possible. As someone who pumped a lot, I was so grateful for the freedom a portable pump gave me.

My second tip is to keep perspective on your sleep and mental health. After weeks of waking up in the middle of the night to pump, I realized that getting continued sleep was more important than the few ounces I would pump during that time. If someone is struggling (and aren’t all new moms struggling at some point?) I hope they can remember this perspective.”

— Nathalie Walton, CEO, and Co-Founder of Expectful

Kate Torgersen is a mom of 3 and the founder and CEO of Milk Stork®, the first-ever breast milk shipping company. As an advocate for working mothers, Kate has made it her mission to normalize pumping and motherhood in the workplace.

Sarah Lacy is a journalist, author, mom of 2, and founder and CEO of Chairman Mom. Through her writing, she’s become a voice for working mothers everywhere, especially with books like, “A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman’s Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy.”

Molly Dickens, is co-founder + Executive Director of &Mother, as well as a PhD stress physiologist, maternal health advocate, and mom of 2.

Nathalie Walton is the CEO and Co-Founder of the wellness app, Expectful. Her personal experience as a mom of 1 also led to a passion for Black maternal health advocacy.

Vernita is CEO of Natalist, a mom of 1, and a community volunteer. With 10+ years of experience across leadership, asset management, program development, and recruitment, she also serves on the board of the International African American Museum and has many accolades to show for her expertise.

Christine Michel Carter is a writer, speaker, consultant (with various Fortune 500 clients), media analyst, and mom of 2. As a “working parents and women’s ERG subject matter expert,” her mission is to make working mothers feel confident and understood through positive, relatable content.

Andrea Ippolito is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFed, a mom of 2, a biomedical engineer who has researched telehealth with the military health system, and a Lecturer in the College of Engineering and SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University.

Lauren Fendrick is a USA Beach Volleyball Olympian, brand ambassador, coach, and mom of 1. On top of being a phenomenal athlete, coach, and mother, she even earned a law degree from USC and has passed the bar exam.


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