by Jessica Martin-Weber
One of the best parts of The Leaky Boob community is the diversity of experiences. No two stories or perspectives are exactly alike. From breastfeeding to returning to work to our birth stories and introducing solids, our journeys are varied and complex. When it comes to talking about products, this is even more apparent. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. What my family couldn’t live without, yours may find completely worthless. It’s not unusual for me to be asked for my opinion or if I have written a review about a specific product. The truth is I don’t really like writing reviews. Some are a lot of fun and some, well, aren’t. If I actually get the chance to write though, I don’t usually want to write about a product, it’s just not a creative or inspiring outlet for me. Yet within our community be it here, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we often discuss topics that extend way beyond breastfeeding including various products and I discovered I am often giving casual, on the spot reviews anyway. That doesn’t bother me, it’s just a conversation, but it hit me that even though I don’t care to write reviews, people are looking for them and because they already trust TLB as part of their community, it makes sense for them to seek that resource here.
Plus, there are so many great products out there from companies that truly support and value families. Wanting to connect the parents looking and the companies with the product through honest, unbiased perspectives, we began discussing what it could look like. With that, The Leaky Boob Review Program was born. Believing that for a review to be unbiased, the reviewer needed to not fear that they would receive backlash from the company if they were critical. Talking with Jeremy and then Amy West, we determined that we wanted to pay our reviewers independently so not only would they receive the product, they would be compensated for taking the time to evaluate and write a thorough review of the product, free of any pressure to make the company happy. Continuing the approach to reviews already established on TLB, reviewers would go over the good, the bad, and the ugly of each product, to be as objective and trustworthy as possible. Our reviewers were hand-selected by Jeremy and me and represent some of the diversity we see within The Leaky Boob community, communicate clearly in written word, and are able to give objective feedback on their experience with a product. Being parents first, all of our reviewers are able to evaluate a product as any other parent would, not based on insider knowledge of the baby industry (both a handicap and an advantage) and would use it as any parent new to a product would. Each new review launched in our review program is covered by at least 2 of the writers to provide 2 perspectives right off the bat and we encourage anyone to ask questions in the comments section of each review and anyone with experience with that particular product to comment on the review sharing their own personal experience review as well. Together we will grow a resource of trusted, diverse reviews reflecting a wide variety of opinions and experiences. Our review writers include a mom of 2 (preschooler and infant at the time of this writing), a husband and wife with 4 children (ages 6, 4, 2, and infant), a new first time mom of an infant, and occasionally parents of 6 and creators of The Leaky Boob, Jeremy or me. Check out their bios here and get to know them through their reviews.
We’re going to continue our primary focus on supporting families in feeding their children, specifically when it comes to breastfeeding and breastmilk. This new development won’t be taking anything away from our core purpose, merely adding to it. In true TLB style, it’s more than just us, this new extension of our community will greatly depend on the input and connections shared in your own personal stories and support.
Help us make this a useful resource for you and others. What products would you like to see reviewed? How would you like our reviews to be different from others you have seen? Please tell us what is important to you in a review.
I’m excited to see TLB grow in this way. We’ve already been doing it, we’re just making it TLB official.