Jan Lane Martin, founder of PumpPal,
was awarded 'Volunteer of the Year 2019' by Friends of Breastfeeding, and has been featured in:
I established PumpPal in 2018 as a not-for-profit initiative to support breastfeeding mums of sick and premature babies in Irish hospitals because I have been through the experience of having a seriously ill child and I know how difficult it is.
My second son was diagnosed with heart defects at two days old and transferred to Children's Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin for emergency heart surgery in December 2016. I wrote more about my experience here for mummypages.ie but in summary: I was extremely lucky to be from Dublin myself and have family close-by to bring me the items I required to take care of myself and to use a breast pump safely.
I met many parents who were transferred from outside Dublin and had no belongings with them, let alone the tools required to continue their breastfeeding journey.
Six months after my son left hospital, a staff member asked me why I had been able to continue expressing and successfully resume breastfeeding after my son's heart surgery when so many cannot. The answer I kept coming back to was my family's support.
This is where the idea for PumpPal began. It started out as a hamper of gifts and advice for breastfeeding mums of sick children. I worked with staff in Crumlin Hospital and with my family to develop it into what it is today. The contents of the kit are essential to breastfeeding mums of hospitalised babies; but even more important is the reassurance it gives mums that someone has been in these shoes before: someone understands what you're going through and they want to help.
I appreciate all the support PumpPal has received so far. I look forward to your continued support in helping mums of sick and premature babies in Irish hospitals.
Jan Lane Martin
"When you cannot look on the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark."