Breastfeeding is one of the most wonderful yet challenging experiences of being a new mother. Medela Recycles Ambassador Kileen Valenzuela sat down with us to share how becoming a mother changed her, and how all moms can support one another through Medela Recycles.
We are so grateful for your support of Medela Recycles. What inspired you to join us as a Medela Recycles Ambassador?
I am just honored to be a part of the Medela Recycles program! Breastfeeding for me is one of the most wonderful yet challenging experiences of being a new mother. Medela’s efforts to bring awareness to normalizing breastfeeding is something that really resonates with me as so many women struggle with it alone. I love being part of a program that creates such a positive community and brings women together during what can be a very emotional and vulnerable time for moms everywhere.
What about Medela Recycles speaks to you?
I love that the Medela Recycles program gives women something to feel good about when they are parting with their pump and deciding to end their breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding is oftentimes a special bonding moment for mom and child and closing that chapter is a unique challenge for every mom. But knowing that by recycling their pump, a new pump will help support parents with babies in the NICU and providing a support network of other moms who are also ending their breastfeeding journeys can help to make that transition just a little bit easier.
How does your role as a mother influence your work with Medela Recycles and RMHC?
Being a mother has changed me in so many ways that I did not expect and I know my heart has grown a million times bigger when I look at my little boy and newborn girl. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be see your baby in the NICU but I am so grateful that there are programs like Medela Recycles and RMHC to support parents as they go through this trying time.
Who is your biggest philanthropic influence, or role model, who you feel is actively changing the world for the better?
I am constantly impressed with the work that Angelina Jolie does while still balancing her life as a mom, wife and actress. She uses her celebrity status for humanitarian purposes and isn’t afraid to get dirty and expose issues that she sees in less-developed countries. Her courage, selflessness and generosity are definitely one of my biggest inspirations!
Working with Medela as a Recycles Ambassador, what sort of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I hope more women will choose to stick together and help each other out as moms. With so much comparison and judgment that can be found in parenting these days, I think we are all just trying to do what’s best for ourselves and for our families. Medela Recycles is something we can all stand behind and I hope that it serves as a starting point for new support groups and mommy friends!
Each pump recycled through the Medela Recycles program supports the donation of new hospital-grade breastpumps 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.
Kileen Valenzuela is a blogger and creator of cute & little, a personal style blog for petite women where she also writes about adjusting to life with little ones. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Adrian, two year-old son, Dylan, and baby Kennedy (born in January, 2015).