TROY — The Breast Express national tour is coming to Troy. The 40-foot RV, which is a custom nursing and pumping suite, will visit Samozrejme in Troy Saturday, Sept. 1, from 5-8 p.m. Nursing moms and their supporters are invited to stop by to connect, celebrate moms and breastfeeding advocates and share stories.
The tour is hosted by pumpspotting, the first app working to build a social network that lets breastfeeding moms connect with one another, find resources, lactation consultants and the best places in any community to pump or nurse. Amy VanHaren launched pumpspotting in 2016 as a working, nursing, traveling mom. She built the app in partnership with Lindsey Witmer Collins, a Troy graduate, new mom, and owner of a software studio based in San Francisco.
“I designed pumpspotting to unite breastfeeding women and to build a community of support,” VanHaren explained. “What better way to further our goal and understand how to serve moms who nurse and pump than by bringing together different communities nationwide?
“Our hope is that this journey sparks a movement and, together, we can change perceptions, places and ultimately the percentage of women who meet their breastfeeding goals.”
The Breast Express hit the road in late April and plans to wrap up its national tour in Los Angeles in November. The RV has already traveled more than 12,000 miles and stopping in over 40 cities from California to Maine. The tour has hosted panel discussions, live chats, prenatal yoga, happy hours and other events designed to connect nursing moms to drive awareness and support for breastfeeding.
Troy is a special tour stop for pumpspotting. Funded with Kickstarter through a campaign led by VanHaren and Collins last summer, a large portion of funders came from Troy.
“It was an ambitious funding goal, and I was pushing my social networks all month. It came down to the wire, and friends and family from back home really showed up to push us over the edge. It was an old friend from junior high who brought us over the finish line just a few hours before the deadline. I’ve been wanting to get this RV to Troy ever since.”
Originally planned for June, the stop had to be delayed for a few months as Collins had her first baby June 12.
“I have a whole new appreciation for pumpspotting and the Breast Express now that I’m a nursing mom myself.
“The community on pumpspotting is a big part of the reason I was able to keep going. Breastfeeding was really hard for me at first, and especially for working women, once you’ve mastered the physical challenge, you then have logistical ones. Like childbirth, I found that it’s tough to understand how hard it is until you’re in it.”
pumpspotting’s RV will provide space for women to connect, nurse and pump, add their name to a wall of boob art, talk with a lactation consultant and experience the pumpspotting app.
In honor of World Breastfeeding Month, The Breast Express may also be making a few surprise stops in the Troy area Sept. 1. Details to come on pumpspotting.com and on social media @pumpspotting.
Joining pumpspotting on The Breast Express tour and in forwarding the mission of breastfeeding support are Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt, Traditional Medicinals, Aeroflow, Milk Stork, Cottonwood Kids, Mother-love, Patagonia Provisions, The Dairy Fairy, Loyal Hana, The Baby Show Series, lot801 and others.
Follow the journey, sign up for events and request a Breast Express stop at pumpspotting.com.