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Business suits and breast pumps in America: A three-part adventure

12:45 July 03, 2011

The Backstory- Part 1

I have a six month old that I am exclusively breastfeeding. I take my responsibility very seriously. I believe that breastfeeding is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. The nourishment value of breastfeeding is unparalleled.
I also enjoy the experience of feeding my baby. The joy I see in his eyes as he drinks his milk is gratifying. I am not a "breastfeeding Nazi" as my husband and I like to call those that make you feel bad about not breastfeeding or push you too hard to breastfeed. It is a huge commitment that some may not want to or cannot make. I have worked very hard to keep my milk supply up and to be able to fulfill this commitment.

My son was born before his due date. Sometimes I pumped 6-8 times a day after breastfeeding to get my milk supply up to exclusively breast feed. Given the history, I stay committed to my responsibility.

Now a little preview into what some may call a crazy life. I have a business called Nature Certified, which makes organic and all natural skincare for families. I started the business a few years ago when my daughter was born. I was motivated by the gap in how few truly natural and organic skincare brands existed that I could trust. It's been hard balancing two young children and a young demanding business. I very much enjoy what I do though. When a large supermarket chain in the northeast asked me to attend their diverse supplier vendor fair I jumped at the opportunity.

While I was concerned about putting my best foot forward in the presentation and making a mark for Nature Certified I was most concerned about my baby and his milk supply. You see, on a side note, I had pumped so much milk that I had to buy a large deep freezer. However a few months ago, my three-year-old daughter unknown to me pulled the plug out (twice!) I can only say I tried not to cry when I saw what had happened to my emergency stock.

My plan for my big sales opportunity was to fly in and out. Being a coast-to-coast flight from California to Pennsylvania, I was losing close to sixteen hours in travel time in and out. I was planning the trip down to the last milk drop.

The plan was to give the baby his last feeding at the airport when he dropped me off. The fridge had enough milk to last two-and-a-half days. In case of emergency, he'd have an extra round of rice cereal, which he had just started a couple of days earlier.

My kids were left in the able hands of my husband and parents who are visiting from out of the country. The D-day came and fiasco ensued.

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