Ending your breastfeeding journey can be an emotional process. Recycling your pump through Medela Recycles gives you the opportunity to support another mom on her breastfeeding journey as she navigates life with a baby in the NICU. Medela Recycles Ambassador Jenna von Oy sat down with us to share why she’s excited to help support this program, where she finds inspiration, and how moms everywhere can support one another.
We are so grateful for your support of Medela Recycles. What inspired you to join us as a Medela Recycle Ambassador?
I’m equally grateful to be a part of it and I’m honored you asked! The Medela Recycles campaign helps to encourage breastfeeding, recycling and charity work…. a trifecta of things I strongly believe in. Not to mention, I’ve been a fan of Medela products (especially your breast pumps) since my first daughter, Gray, was born. Now you guys are assisting me with my second daughter, Marlowe!
What about Medela Recycles speaks to you?
I honestly can’t reduce it to a single reason. As I mentioned, I’m a huge proponent of charity work, so I think this is an incredible opportunity for moms to give back to other moms. We need to make an effort to stick together! The media places a lot of emphasis on the drama of the “mommy wars.” Meanwhile, most of us just want to do right by our children, ourselves and our fellow parenting peers out there. It’s refreshing to see the spotlight shining on some of the positive work that’s being done.
I also feel the end of breastfeeding is an incredibly vulnerable time for most women. Disconnecting from that sacred aspect of the bond you share with your child can be devastating. I nursed my first daughter for nearly two years, and it was emotionally draining for both of us to give it up! Talking about it still makes me heartsick, even though I’m in the midst of treasuring the breastfeeding bond with my second daughter as we speak. Many other moms have told me they experienced similar feelings. I think knowing that recycling your trusted pump will help someone else on her journey makes moving on from it a little easier to bear.
How does your role as a mother influence your work with Medela Recycles and RMHC?
Being a mom is hard work. It’s the most stunning, rewarding, profoundly inspiring adventure, but can also be crazy, chaotic and all consuming. I can’t imagine how much more challenging it becomes when you have a baby in the NICU. My heart breaks for the moms who are struggling with that worry and adversity, and the least I can do is extend my love and support. I’m grateful Medela recognized the need at RMHC and saw fit to open up their hearts and get motivated to make a difference.
Who is your biggest philanthropic influence or role model who you feel is actively changing the world for the better?
This might sound strange, but… my daughter. My two-year-old, Gray, is one of the most loving, giving people I know. Kids aren’t restricted by the fear of failure, or public perception, or pride; they offer their hearts completely and unconditionally. The other day Gray saw a friend crying. I watched her walk right up, hug the little girl, and ask, “What can I do to help you?” And it made me wonder why we don’t ask that question more often! I’m proud of the fact that my daughter is so generous with her heart, and it inspires me to do the same. My girls are already out there changing the world… even if it’s one hug at a time.
Working with Medela as a Recycles Ambassador, what sort of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I hope this campaign reminds other mothers that we are all in this together. When you’re a mom, it’s not about ego, social status, income, career path, or whether or not you used to be on a television show as a kid. Motherhood is the great equalizer. Medela Recycles is one small way we mommies can reach out to one another and connect on a level we all understand and appreciate.
How can you help? Each pump recycled through the Medela Recycles program supports the donation of new hospital-grade breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities. The goal is to provide moms with the same high-quality equipment they use at the hospital during their stay at a Ronald McDonald House. Learn how you can get involved.
Jenna von Oy is an actress, singer, influential mommy blogger, and mom of two daughters, Gray and Marlowe. She is best known for her roles on hit shows The Parkers and Blossom. Jenna shares her mommy adventures and daily trials and tribulations on her blog, The Cradle Chronicles.