March 25, 2011 marked 1 year of The Leaky Boob. One year! So much has happened in the past year, a lot of exciting developments and most importantly, supporting a lot of breastfeeding moms. I feel honored and blessed to help support women and families.
When I started The Leaky Boob it was really just kind of on a whim. I had read some disparaging comments on a news article about breastfeeding in public and for days it bothered me. Eventually I sat down and wrote this post as a satirical response. I posted it on my now terribly neglected personal blog and got an interesting and enthusiastic response. An idea began to simmer of a blog that would be primarily about breastfeeding but open to other topics related to parenting, a place to support and find support. Thinking of a pub as a spot where friends meet and swap stories, dispense advice, hand down local bits of wisdom and where travelers find safe haven and refreshment along the way I began to envision a community as an online pub for breastfeeding moms and the people that support them. Where the good, the bad and the ugly would be shared equally. Where the reality that we’re all in need of support meant condemnation and arrogance were left at the door. Where someone could “cry into their beer” and someone was always around to listen. Where humor was an important part of relaxing. Where disagreements could be had but friendships remain intact. Where what we had in common brought us together more than what we didn’t could drive us apart. And where the sounds of laughter, the aroma of honesty and the comfort of good friends made everyone welcome and called out to those passing by. A place where everybody knows your name…
It wasn’t long before I was humming the Cheers theme song and coming up with ridiculous booby puns as I went about my day. I’m pretty sure my family thought I was crazy.
Eventually, after celebrating The Storyteller’s birthday on that March 25th I decided to do it, to make it happen. The name had been bouncing around my head for weeks at that point, a story in and of itself that I have to credit my children for, and it was just a matter of creating the blog and making the first post.
I didn’t think it would go anywhere. While I had been blogging for years on my own various blogs, I knew nothing about promoting or marketing and I wasn’t sure how much I even had to say on the topic of breastfeeding. Originally I thought I’d have 2 or 3 blog partners and hoped we’d get to the point where we’d be doing reviews and maybe a few giveaways and sharing cute stories. I never thought it would do much more than that if it even got there. Plus, I wondered how much I could possibly have to say on the subject of breastfeeding. I was pretty certain I’d run out of ideas for material in 6 months and would be reduced to sharing those terrible booby puns I was coming up with.
But friends shared it and one helped me create the Facebook page right around my birthday, two weeks after creating the blog. I can’t remember how fast it happened but I was shocked to see 300 people had fanned our page. Shocked and excited. Then 500. Then 900. Then 1,000. It hit me, people needed this. Really, really needed it.
So I decided then to see what I could do with it. How The Leaky Boob could help more and more women. I didn’t know what I was doing and had no idea how to go about what I thought I wanted to do but I knew one thing for sure: building up women and developing community is something I’m passionate about. I could do that. Whatever The Leaky Boob could be or would be as long as it did those 2 things I would be happy.
And so here we are. A little over a year later now and over 19,000 “Leakies” on Facebook and a global community supporting women and families. I started The Leaky Boob but it’s the community that made it. Every time I think I’m in over my head and am overwhelmed with all that I can’t get done, someone shares on The Leaky Facebook page how this community saved their breastfeeding journey or helped them develop confidence in their parenting and I am encouraged to keep figuring it out.
Today things continue to grow and change and breastfeeding moms and the people that support them continue to find support and encouragement through The Leaky Boob. I’m proud to say we’ve been through a lot already this 1st year but in demonstrating the power of community and the strength of women, we’re better for it. I’m better for it. My deepest gratitude to so many that have helped along the way; Sheri Wallace from Organic PR, her husband Chuck with Core Data Recovery, Silencia and Kathryn from Motherlove Herbal Company and the Nurturing Life Foundation, countless twitter and Facebook friends, encouragement from Bettina Forbes, so many amazing blogging friends, Dandelion, and all of the incredible sponsors that support The Leaky Boob. Most especially to the volunteer admins that go above and beyond helping to run the forums and the Facebook page, my husband Jeremy who endures me talking about TLB constantly, my children for giving me great material to write about and above all the 19,000+ breastfeeding women and the people that support them that make TLB what it is.
I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!
P.S. You know what I think would be a great way to celebrate TLB’s 1st birthday? Follow us on the Google friend connect and/or Networked Blogs, thanks! Then, share with a friend so they can find support as well. Thanks!