MINNEAPOLIS -- A 40-foot-long RV, known as "The Breast Express," is traveling across the country to provide resources and support for breastfeeding mothers.
The nursing and pumping suite on wheels stopped in Minnesota Tuesday at Blooma Minneapolis.
The company behind the bus is pumpspotting—a company known for its app that connects nursing moms.
"We really believe that by bringing women together who have been through the breastfeeding experience, they can support one another, they can get the resources they need and they can actually make it further in their breastfeeding journey," said Amy VanHaren, founder of pumpspotting.
The tour started in Boston in April and will end in San Francisco during the first week of August—covering more than 40 cities and 12,000 miles. VanHaren said they've had more than 1,000 moms on the Breast Express so far.
"I was a breastfeeding mom and I was also working and traveling. So I was pumping in airports and in bathroom stalls, and I was feeling really alone. But the one thing that made me feel better was talking to other moms," she said.
Yesenia Barcenas of Richfield stopped by the RV on Tuesday afternoon. She's donated her breast milk to 15 babies and is currently donating to her friend's triplets who were born as micropreemies.
"She tried really hard to nurse but when you have three kids and they're in the hospital, I think the stress is really hard," Barcenas said.
"The journey looks different for everyone. So for some people, breastfeeding comes easy. For some, breastfeeding comes hard. Some are able to do it, some aren't, and we support all forms of nourishment. But certainly all the studies prove that there's so many health benefits to breastfeeding that if we can help moms in any way, that want to breastfeed or that want to breastfeed longer, then that's what our mission is," VanHaren said.
The topic of breastfeeding made headlines this week when the New York Times reported Sunday that United States delegates pushed to weaken a World Health Assembly resolution this spring that encouraged breastfeeding. The Times reported that the resolution would limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
In response, President Donald Trump tweeted, "The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty."
VanHaren said, "Certainly for us we hope that everyone on a national level, on a global level, really understands the benefits of breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding women. I think it just makes us more fired up than ever to continue this mission and to get this boob bus as many places as we can to help more women."
VanHaren said they like to partner with local groups at all their stops. In Minneapolis, they stopped by Blooma—a local yoga studio and resource center for new moms and moms-to-be.
You can still visit the Breast Express on Wednesday, July 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 5315 Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis.