We’re teaming up with Blue Shield of California to celebrate local LA moms who have inspired us to seek healthy, balanced lives. This week, meet Corky Harvey and Wendy Haldeman, co-founders of LA’s celebrated Pump Station.
Nearly 30 years ago, Corky and Wendy created an education and resource center devoted to new moms and the challenges that come along with learning to take care of a new baby. Not only did they start a successful business while raising their own children – but continue the legacy with grandkids in the mix.
Red Tricycle: You’re part of a group of moms that are on a serious mission. What’s yours?
Corky and Wendy: Our mission is to nurture, support and empower all new parents with compassionate service, and quality information. We want to be a sanctuary for expectant parents, new parents, and their precious babies at this very challenging and rewarding time of life.
RT: The Pump Station is a widely recognized LA center. What inspired you to start?
W: I moved from working as a pediatric nurse to a Lamaze teacher and then just morphed into the role of lactation consultant. As I personally struggled with breastfeeding I learned a new appreciation for how hard breastfeeding can be and wanted to use my knowledge and experience to help other mothers.
C: In nursing school I experienced birth for the first time and was so moved by the moment that I knew my career had to involve birth and babies. I became a Labor and Delivery and Postpartum nurse. As I fell in love with my baby I also fell in love with breastfeeding; but it became quickly evident to me that my education was lacking in the “how to” area of birth, breastfeeding and baby care.
RT: As you were starting your business back then, how did your kids impact your day to day?
W: I became a childbirth educator prior to becoming a mother so my daughters have literally grown up in the business. Growing up they would stand on a stool in our kitchen and clean breast pumps. Both girls worked in the store during summer vacations. Now, as I watch my oldest daughter parent my 2 ½ year old granddaughter it is very apparent that she has learned a great deal about parenting.
C: When my kids were young The Pump Station was operating out of my home. We would have pump cleaning sessions in the kitchen! My daughter has followed in my footsteps, becoming a Lactation Educator. For her, as a busy mom of two little boys she finds time to run support groups and help the moms in her community with their parenting problems.
RT: Running a resource center like this must have resulted in some interesting (read hilarious!) stories?
W: My favorite story is of my younger daughter who in kindergarten when asked what her parents did for work responded with “My mommy looks at breasts”. I did receive a call from the school principal for clarification.
C: When my youngest son Reed was only three, he and his friend Danny were playing with puppets behind the couch where I stored the breast pumps. They were staging their show and I heard Reed say, “Here Danny, just step up on this breast pump”. It was so funny to me that these three year olds knew and used these words.
Be Like Corky and Wendy! Blue Shield of California’s Wellness Challenge:
Health and wellness means taking care of others just as well as taking care of yourself. So pay it forward by lending your support to new and expectant moms through your local moms group. You’ll gain the emotional fulfillment while helping out others in your community.
Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.