By Sandra Sims
Editor’s Note: One of the greatest things about the LA Baby Show is being able to help expectant parents feel more confident about raising children by connecting them with local brands and influencers in the childcare world. That’s why we’ve named The Pump Station & Nurtury® as one of our special honorees this year, because, for 30 years they have served new and expectant families at their Santa Monica and Hollywood locations with a combination of education and support classes and top-tier retail offerings. Additionally, founder Corky Harvey will be moderating our “Journey from Pregnancy to New Parenthood” seminar on Saturday, November 5, at 11am. Click HERE to learn more the Baby Show’s programming schedule.
For three decades The Pump Station & Nurtury® has served new and expectant families at their Santa Monica and Hollywood locations with a beautiful—and practical—combination of education and support classes and top-tier retail offerings.
“Many [customers] come not just for the education, but for the community” says the co-founder of the Pump Station & Nurtury Corky Harvey.
In fact, one those customers and community members now runs the place. The Pump Station & Nurtury’s® CEO and owner Cheryl Petran actually started out as a client who took a breastfeeding class and Mommy & Me class in 2007 with The Pump Station.
During a recent stop at the Santa Monica location, Petran expanded on the term “community” with an example of a “Twitter Party” that kicked off the store’s 30 year celebration. This event brought parents and experts together to discuss issues such as breast feeding and natural baby foods. Petran expressed that these online resources are very well received by families who participate.
“More moms and dads need to have access to services and support,” Petran says. “So it’s amazing to know that we provide something so helpful for so many people.”
Originally, as Harvey—who’s also a Lamaze teacher, lactation consultant, and registered nurse with a Master’s degree in maternal and newborn nursing—explains, the Pump Station was birthed out of the tremendous demand for mothers needing breast pumps and overall support as new parents. Harvey recalls that in the beginning she started out of her kitchen, and eventually the first Pump Station was opened in Santa Monica. The current Santa Monica location is the second Pump Station resource center, and this expansion allowed for more families to receive baby care products and services.
Presently, The Pump Station provides services, products, consultations, and education not only to parents but also to physicians. “Being here where people can come in and out with their difficulties and questions has kept so many women breastfeeding over the years,” Harvey—who also lectures at hospitals and was formerly on the faculty for the UCLA Lactation Educator and Consultant programs—explains.
And when it comes to The Pump Station’s Childbirth Education and “Mommy and Me” classes, a sense of serenity prevails. “Mindfulness is the underlying current of the entire program,” Petran notes, adding that the “Mommy and Me” class she took helped her build a community because of the shared milestones. “To this day I’m still best friends with people in those classes,” she says. The Pump Station has also added groups for working moms in the evenings and Mommy and Daddy groups on the weekends.
The sense of community that both Harvey and Petran remark on is apparent when observing Harvey leading her baby care classes. She is very engaging and the courses she offers are highly interactive, making the classes are fun for all involved. During one of Harvey’s classes called “BabyCare 101” she teaches parents “How to Wear your Baby” (which focuses on baby safety while wearing baby carriers) at the Hollywood location the fathers in the group were just as active in the process as the mothers.
Petran also notes that the Pump Station also offers Pre-Natal courses in Breastfeeding, CPR & Childbirth Education. She points out that what makes the Pump Station so unique is that parents can choose what classes they want; they can choose the eight-week program which culminates with a graduation or just take individual courses from their “Hot Topics” offerings which include courses such as developmental play, baby sign language, toilet training, car seat installation, immunization, and more—plus, parents can always rest assured that courses are taught by experts and professionals, like licensed lactation consultants, a psychologist who also provides consultations on postpartum adjustment and stress reduction, and more.
Toddler classes are also on the menu. The Music Program Melody Day Music & Play has an educational element that ties back to the “Mommy and Me” classes. The key, Petran says, is for parents to provide the “same messaging” with all the programs. The resource center has also launched a new preschool program entitled “PlayCreations Kids.” This program includes singing, dancing, as well as arts and crafts—all with a focus on development and sensory play.
Finally, the retail element of The Pump Station offers many top baby care products. Petran explains that The Pump Station selects products that are appropriate for various development stages, adding that the store’s in-house experts (including Harvey) test out the products to ensure that they are appropriate and safe.
As Harvey and Petran look back on 30 years of essential service to new and expectant parents, their goal going forward is to expand the brand by adding more classes and educational components to its roster. The company hopes to meet this need by providing more online services and partnerships. “We’ve been there educating not only parents but also physicians through the years,” Harvey says. “It helps to have a place for someone to go to get the help they need.”
For more information about The Pump Station & Nurtury®, visit PumpStation.com!