Breast pumps—depending on our situation, they can seem like a miracle or an annoyance. But there’s little debating that breast pumps could use some major updating. Sam Rudolph and her engineer husband did just that when they created The Pump by Babyation — a hands-free, quiet and discreet pump. We spoke with Sam about her inspiration for the pump, her #ImAlsoAMother campaign, and how to raise a feminist son.We spoke with Sam about her inspiration for the pump, her #ImAlsoAMother campaign, and how to raise a feminist son.
Sam, congratulations on the upcoming launch of Babyation! Can you tell us what inspired you to create this product?
Long before I got pregnant, I read an article about breast pumps that lamented how outdated they were. I’m pretty sure I had never even heard the term breast pump, but my feminist sensibilities immediately came out. I woke up my husband to vent. Luckily, I’m married to a gifted engineer who said, “Breast pumps aren’t that complicated. I can build one.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t actually expect me to make him do it!
You worked with your husband to design the Babyation breast pump. What was that process like for you as a couple?
We met working together in college at the campus TV station, and we’ve always worked in different aspects of the same industry. In fact, we’ve collaborated on projects at different points in our professional lives, so working together comes naturally. We’re very good at staying in our own lanes and not stepping on each other’s toes. There’s something incredibly special about knowing your business partner has your back and that your goals are perfectly aligned and in sync.
What’s next for Babyation?
We opened our reservation list a few weeks ago, which was a very exciting milestone for us. As part of that, we also launched our #ImAlsoAMother campaign on social media to celebrate moms and all the roles they play. Even if you have never pumped, we’d love for you to join our mom tribe and help us recognize the amazing things moms accomplish every day. Next up for us is transitioning to the actual product launch and getting our pump into moms’ hands!
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Making dinner! I love to cook, but I no longer have time, so it’s always a scramble to figure out what to eat at the end of a long day. I love prepping meals on the weekends, but we’re often too busy. I just bought an Instant Pot, so hopefully that will help me get my act together!
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
TV! Or curling up with a good book if I need a break from screens.
What is your best parenting hack?
Breastfeeding! I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s really been successful for us.
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
I try really hard not to lie to him, but when we’re on a plane, I tell him to be quiet because babies are sleeping – regardless of whether there are other kids on the flight.
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
I’m making a new, hyphenated word: the-best-thing-I-ever-did!
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
I’m proud to be Exton’s mom literally every second of every single day!
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
I only have a son, and I’m very cognizant of raising him to treat women equally and to embrace strong women. Every night before he goes to bed, I tell him how wonderful he is, and I include the line, “You know girls can do anything boys can do, and you can do anything in the world.”
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
It’s hard for everyone, and we’re all doing the best we can. There’s no need to judge each other…or ourselves.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
We have to accept there’s no such thing as balance. I’m a big believer in prioritization, and recognizing those priorities will change and shift. The best and worst part of having my own company is that I can figure out how to spend the 24 hours in each day in the way that best suits my life. I generally feel good about the amount of time I’ve spent with my son and the progress I make on Babyation. Of course, the trade off for making those things my priority is that I’m perpetually sleep-deprived!
What was the last book you read?
I love to read trashy romance novels. Aside from those, the book I read most recently was I’m Fine and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings.
Favorite Beauty Product: Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil
Favorite Form of Exercise: Pilates or spinning
What is on your DVR? So many things! I watch everything from “Game of Thrones” to “Greys Anatomy.”
Favorite App: Any news app, and the Park Mobile app
Favorite Kids Store: Cotton Babies and Imagination Toys in St. Louis