Local moms create monthly breastfeeding subscription box
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) —
Pensacola mother of two, Mia Leitch, thought breastfeeding would be easy. For her, it was anything but simple.
She struggled with both of her babies. Leitch had trouble getting her daughter to latch and was forced to pump milk for an entire year, a very difficult feat. She had a very a hard time keeping her a sufficient, steady supply. Leitch said it was a frustrating, exhausting and expensive blur.
She expanded, "I tried so many things, trying to increase my supply with my daughter, with my first one. And I literally spent hundreds of dollars a month on different products, and so many of them didn't work."
Leitch's friend and now business partner, Jessica Smith, gave birth to her son at just 24 weeks gestation. Smith was on a business trip in Tampa at the time and had to deliver after a complication from an emergency surgery of her own.
Baby "Joe" needed his mother's milk desperately. Smith was on a ventilator in ICU, while Joe struggled in the NICU. She was able to signal to her nurses that she wanted them to pump her breast milk and get it to her preemie. They were able to do that and Joe began to grow stronger.
They're very different, but still difficult experiences put the women on the same path. Both became devoted to supporting and encouraging other nursing mothers.
Leitch said, "I want them to have everything possible to help them reach their goal."
Together, they created a company named after their sons, "Colson and Joe." It's a monthly subscription box filled with nursing products, samples, coupons, crafts, comfort items for mom and easy to read tip sheets.
"Breastfeeding was my passion and having a box like that was something I would've loved when I was breastfeeding," said Leitch.
Little Jax is just two weeks old. The newborn is nursing beautifully, but his mom, Lacy Rose, is already worried about what comes next.
"Once they go to daycare, making sure they have enough that I've pumped and have enough available for the baby throughout the day while they're going back to work," Rose said.
Rose and Leitch are friends and longtime co-workers. Last year, Leitch told Rose about her business plan. Since then, Rose has been telling her friends and family about the concept.
"I told them, 'You know how I got the box for the dogs? It's gonna be a box for me.' They're like, 'that's a cool idea,'" she laughed.
The first batch of "Colson and Joe" boxes shipped last month. So far, they're a hit.
"We've had some really rave reviews and some really happy customers. It's been really nice to hear that," smiled Leitch.
Giving back is a major theme of the new company. From each box sold, a portion is donated to a box for NICU mothers. Smith and Leitch have already delivered 64 boxes to the hospital where Joe was born. It was a full circle moment for the duo that summed up their business motto, "Mommy Owned, Baby Loved."