January 6th, 2010 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • GeneralInside Snugabell

Meet Pumps 4 Mums - Our First UK Retailer

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Ameda pump & accessoriesI recently had the opportunity to interview Richard and Janette Cassidy, owners of Pumps 4 Mums - the exclusive retailer of PumpEase in the UK.  I have to admit, I kinda liked writing the interview questions, so this may become a regular feature on our blog (I'm just nosy is all).  Please read on to find out more about this amazing couple running this amazing company.  I was wow-ed (and I don't wow easily).

Wendy:  How long have you been in business selling breast pumps?

Richard:  We are into our 3rd year of selling breastpumps.

Wendy:  Have you always been in the same location?

Richard:  We've always been located in 'The Midlands'.  Currently, we live in Aldridge - a town on the edge of England's 'Black Country'.

Wendy:  How did you come about being in this business?

Richard:  By accident! Jeanette's first experience of pumping was with our daughter Alexandra. Alexandra had been born 8 weeks early due to mum's pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, and spent a long time in special care. She was unable to feed normally, therefore Jeanette expressed in hospital but later managed to establish breastfeeding. On returning to work, Jeanette expressed at home. She was already an experienced NHS nurse, but her experiences in hospital motivated her to train for an additional Health Visitor qualification where her practice was more 'baby' orientated. More recently, Jeanette retired from her role within the NHS for health reasons. Having recently given birth to our 2nd daughter, Jeanette suffered quite badly with PND. I had already formed the company and was buying and selling bankrupt stock. We first became an Ameda agent for no reason other than so that Jeanette had something to do.

Wendy:  What is your company mission/vision?

Richard:  To be the best at what we do. We don't mis-sell, we try to establish exactly what it is that the mum is trying to achieve by owning a pump. When a customer calls us with a problem, I reassure them that I'm glad they bought their product from us because we will help them. If it's physiological, Jeanette will take charge, if it's mechanical I'll get it sorted - fast.

Wendy:  How is the breastfeeding culture in the UK? Is breastfeeding encouraged? What about breastfeeding in public?

Richard:  At present in England, mothers do not yet have an absolute legal right to breastfeed in public. However, a mother who is nursing a baby of 6 months or less cannot be asked to leave an establishment. New laws (The Equalities Bill) are making their way through parliament and should come into force in October this year.

"Discriminating against a woman breastfeeding in public has been unlawful (under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) for more than 30 years, however, this Bill makes it explicit that it is unlawful to force breastfeeding mothers and their babies out of places like cafes, shops and public transport."  Source:  babyfriendly.org

Jeanette thinks that breastfeeding culture is changing for the better, with more shops and public places offering breastfeeding areas, as opposed to directing mums towards the nearest toilet!

Wendy:  What are the breastfeeding initiation rates in the UK? Are they increasing?

Richard:  There are more breast feeding clinics, supoort groups, helplines and breastfeeding counsellors/infant feeding coordinators than there have ever been, however, it remains that a majority of UK mums have given up by the time the baby is 8 weeks old.

Wendy:  What does Pumps4Mums do to promote breastfeeding?

Richard:  Most mothers who call us have already made their decision to use a pump to help them continue to breastfeed.

Wendy:  How long do moms get for maternity leave in the UK?

Richard:  Statutory entitlement to maternity pay is 39 weeks. The earliest one can claim is 11 weeks before due date, although many mums choose to start their maternity leave much later.

Wendy:  What is the best part of what you do?

Richard:  Probably when we've helped a mum whose milk had stopped to re-establish a supply.

Wendy:  Tell me about your family. How old are your child(ren) and if older, do they help out with the business?

Richard:  Our children are 13 (sometimes helps with the packing) and 4 (she answers the phone occasionally and she knows she's not supposed to)!

Wendy:  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Richard:  Yes - I'm really sorry to have taken so long to do this!

Richard, your answers were definitely worth waiting for and I can honestly tell you that I am very proud to have you and Janette representing PumpEase "across the pond".  The way in which you conduct your business aligns perfectly with Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear's corporate vision.

Did you enjoy hearing about one of our retailers?  Would you like to see more interviews in the future?  Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

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hands free pumping bra says:

Love your discussion. It really encourages moms to have their own pumping bras. I really concur that it is helpful to have one.

Posted on January 18, 2010

Wendy Armbruster Bell says:

@hands-free pumping bra - thanks for your comment!

Posted on January 18, 2010