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” It felt amazing. We co-slept. The bond.. Some people say the bond happens at birth, I feel like breastfeeding is like where, the first nursing session is where the bond takes place. For me, at least. To be totally honest, childbirth is an amazing experience, it is like: Whoa!! what just happened, I just gave birth to another human being. When you are breastfeeding, there is a quietness, a presence to it that keeps happening every 4 hours, it’s that little bubble that you are in, just the two of you. .”
Episode 82 Kate Torgersen is mom to three amazing kids (including twins), Jackson, Finn and Zoe, and founder and CEO of Milk Stork™, the first and only breast milk delivery service for business traveling, breastfeeding moms.
Background History: Grew up in Palo Alto, CA in 1973. Her mom was a SAHM and a dad who worked in Silicon Valley. Kate describes her mom as someone who had wonderlust and was always looking for adventure and frequently took Kate along for the ride. This helped give Kate a wonderful role model and gave her a sense that anything is possible. Her mom did not play by the rules and while she is not as adventurous as her mom, but she made her comfortable with taking the risks.
Future Goals: Being a Mom never even entered her mind, never mind owning a company that provided breast milk delivery service.
Did her mom breastfeed her: Yes! She had a natural childbirth and breastfed for 7 months. Her mom told her that she did not want to take a bottle.
Preparing to breastfeed: All of her babies were conceived with IVF. She felt she wanted to do everything just right. Once she was 12 weeks pregnant, she signed up for all her classes – childbirth and breastfeeding. Her first interaction with an IBCLC was during the breastfeeding class. The class was a real eye opening experiencing for her husband.
First baby: Breastfeeding came easy as her baby latched on easily, with very little soreness. She described her experience as Rainbows and Unicorns with her first, but definitely would not say the same about her twins. She breastfed her first baby for about 18 months. It felt amazing. She describes the beauty and wonder of early breastfeeding. She slept with her baby and feels like that is how the bonding took place. Kate enjoyed co-sleeping and it felt right for her and her husband. It provided an opportunity to be close to their son, who still winds up in their bed sometimes.
Breastfeeding with twins: She conceived the twins with IVF. She weaned her first son at 18 months before beginning the IVF process. She has no regrets as she feels he was ready. Breastfeeding twins was very hard. She went to 37 weeks, one didn’t have coordinating sucking down so when she nursed both babies at the same time, her daughter was very effective and would cause the let down to happen, but her son was just “there for the ride.” He was not very effective and had quite a few challenges. He had a small mouth, he was tongue tied, he had a bad latch, he showed breast preference and was also losing weight. She would nurse on one side and pump the other side, so her son would get milk in a bottle. When they were 4 months old, they both got RSV, became very congested and stopped breastfeeding. She started exclusive pumping (EP) for another 12 months. With twins and a toddler, you are getting a lot of help, just to get sleep and to be able to eat.
Switching to EP for both babies: This was very hard. She felt bad and so she kept trying to get her babies back on the breast. She tried using a nipple shield, She tried to get them back to the breast and even at 7 months, they still just would not. The only good part is that this gave her time to bond with her older son as he would sit down next to her every time she pumped.
Twenty minute increments: Her business was built in 20 minute increments – The time she was able to build her business, during pumping sessions.
The last time she pumped: Life is so busy with 3 kids. She just does not remember the exact last day. She does have one last bag of pumped milk that she holds onto like it is a trophy.
Funny story: She spent the first few months at home walking around topless. One day her son asked her if she can see out of her other eyes! LOL
Breastfeeding confessions: Kate is proud that she was able to feed her babies her milk for as long as she did.
In her Business: When the twins were 7 months old, she was pumping about 1 gallon every 2 days. She was faced with the challenge of having a 4 days business trip. She was looking at needed to get her 2 gallons of milk that she was going to pump while away, to get this milk safely back home. There was no good way to carry her milk home. She lugged her milk back and says that Milk Stork was born in the TSA line and conceived in her living room. She shares her story of how she got through the lines and the reaction of the Security Agents. She asked her recently retired father for help building her business and he is now the co-founder of Milk Stork and business is going great. She walks us through all the steps in building her company, starting with chain logistics all the way through marketing her business. She did not spend any effort “proving” her business. She just intuitively knew this was a pain point that needed to be solved. There were no doubts in her mind.
One interesting point: It took 40 weeks to birth this baby. She was already done pumping by this time and while she knows that she is providing an outstanding service to moms and that her company is growing my leaps and bounds, she has never had the opportunity to actually use it herself!
Advise to Moms: theres a difference between being a great mom and a perfect mom. There is a margin of error with parenting You dont have to do everything right to be a great mom. Be kind to yourself.
Contact information www milkstork.com
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