Robin Kaplan helped to birth this blog just over 1 year ago and nurtured it through its infancy. She recently resigned her duties at Lactation Matters to pursue some new opportunities, including serving as both host and producer of The Boob Group, a weekly podcast dedicated to supporting breastfeeding mothers. We recently caught up with Robin to find out a bit more about how she, as an IBCLC, is pioneering a new form of support for breastfeeding mothers.
How did The Boob Group get started?
Last December (2011), I was connected with Sunny Gault, the host/producer of a podcast called Pregtastic, when she was looking for a breastfeeding expert to interview for an episode about Breastfeeding while Pregnant. I had never done anything like this before and was intrigued and absolutely petrified! About 10 minutes into recording the episode, I totally felt like I had found my groove and soon after the episode was released, I contacted Sunny to thank her and let her know that I would love to be on the show again in the future.
Well, the stars must have been aligned that day! Sunny immediately called me back, sharing that she was in the process of expanding her show and wanted to launch a brand new podcast centered around breastfeeding AND she wanted me to be the host/producer. New Mommy Media (our umbrella organization) was created in February 2012 and The Boob Group podcast launched in July 2012.
How do you feel that the online podcast format is uniquely equipped to support new mothers?
To be honest, I had never even downloaded a podcast until a week before I was interviewed on Pregtastic. I am more of a blog reader. Yet, what I love about both blogs and podcasts is that you can really bond with the authors and hosts. Each has her/his own style and charm, which draws me in day after day.
What I have found is that many of the breastfeeding mothers I work with LOVE podcasts. They listen to them in their cars, while on walks, while they are nursing, etc. The format is often short, sweet, and to the point, like a blog, which is about all a new mother has time for when learning how to maneuver motherhood. And, if they are going to listen to someone talk about breastfeeding, I know that our show can provide reliable, research and anecdotally-based content that offers support and guidance.
What has been your favorite topic/speaker so far? What made it especially impactful?
My goal is for The Boob Group podcast to share all sides of breastfeeding, both the beautiful and the challenging. I want our show to be a non-judgmental online breastfeeding support group for all breastfeeding mothers. My favorite aspect of The Boob Group is that in addition to the weekly expert, we always have three breastfeeding mothers as panelists, who are able to provide “real life” relatable breastfeeding experiences.
I have a few favorite episodes. I loved interviewing Dr. James Ochi, a local ENT, about how tight frenulums can affect breastfeeding. While I knew most of the information he shared during the interview, I know that there are so many mothers out there who have never heard of a tight frenulum, but are dealing with the symptoms on a daily basis. My hope is that this episode will provide some answers for breastfeeding mothers dealing with tongue-
tied children and constantly wondering “what am I doing wrong?”
Another episode that truly had an impact on me was the one we released recently with the lovely Diana Cassar-Uhl and three mothers dealing with breast hypoplasia. We have so little research to refer to on this topic and many mothers have no idea why their bodies have “failed” them. Diana’s knowledge combined with the mothers’ powerful testimonies of perseverance and determination truly changed the way I will now approach this topic with the mothers that I work with.
How can mothers and IBCLCs stay connected with The Boob Group?
There are many ways that mothers and IBCLCs can stay connected with The Boob Group. We have a very comprehensive website, filled with episodes, blog posts, giveaways, etc. All of our episodes have featured segments, where you might hear advice from some of your favorite IBCLCs/LECs (Amber McCann, Denise Altman, Wendy Wright, JonaRose Feinberg, Lara Audelo, just to name drop a few!) We actively use social media outlets, which include Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We have free apps on the Android Market and iTunes store. We also love when our listeners call in to our hotline (619-866-4775) or send us an email with their questions or favorite stories. Lastly, we are always looking for panelists and experts to participate on our show. So far it’s been a blast and I feel so lucky to be a part of it!