It's no secret that I have a bit of a fixation on infant nutrition. My first son had colic and reflux, and the second one had food intolerances and a tongue tie. Who would have imagined that the simple act of feeding my children would be such a gigantic headache?
After an unintentionally-natural birth, the third kid surprisingly latched on with a vigor. My milk supply was low, as always, but I took an array of nutritional supplements to keep up with his every-two-hours around-the-clock demand. I gorged on massive amounts of calories like a sumo wrestler and watched in awe as I was able to sustain my own child for the first time. All was right with the world!
And then he got sick. Tubes were shoved down his nose and a breathing mask serving as a barrier between us. My chest ached as we bounced between various emergency rooms and doctors. Finally, we landed at Children's Hospital. The kind nurses there and the staff of Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital supplied me with a Medela pump to keep my baby's nutrition flowing while he remained strapped to an infant gurney for days.
I'll never forget the way that mechanical sucking machine looked to me at 3 o'clock in the morning. Its boxy yellow presence came wheeling in my direction like a bright ray of sun. I hooked myself up, slumped against a wall and literally cried with relief.
The Ronald McDonald House Charity in San Diego provides a huge array of services to families of children in the hospital. They have schooling, bedrooms, a gym, food, hair stylists, chapel, books, computer stations. Everything that visitors could possibly require, they've thought of and worked to find a solution. The needs of each person in the facility are different, as we all handle stressful times in various ways. Some crave an outlet to run the angst away, others just want a pillow and a dark spot to close their eyes. For me – the worrying mother and ever-determined problem-solver – a pump and some storage bags saved the day.
When Medela recently reached out and asked if I would work with them to further their Medela Recycles initiative, I was honored to help make this relief a reality for another parent. The program lets moms print a prepaid postage label to send their old Medela breast pump in for proper recycling. As a way of paying it forward, Medela is then providing brand new Symphony Preemie+ Breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities across the country. This way, moms can feel secure with high-quality, reliable equipment. So far, nearly 7,000 pumps have been recycled!
Breastfeeding is such a personal act, many moms feel something of an emotional connection to their pump. Afterall, it helped sustain their babies during their earliest months of life!
[clickToTweet tweet=”What to do with a breast pump when you're done having kids? Throwing it away doesn't feel right.” quote=”What to do with a breast pump when you're done having kids? Throwing it away doesn't feel right.”]
That's where the Medela Recycles program comes in.
Recycle your old breast pump, and you can lead by example with a gesture of kindness to help another mom breastfeed.
Sometimes, all a person needs is someone to show them they aren't alone in their journey.
It made all the difference for me.