Hello & welcome to the jay elle BLOG! This is Sarah Gray and I’m one of the founders of jay elle and owners of J.L. Childress. When we started jay elle a few years ago, we spoke with so many working and breastfeeding/pumping moms to understand their needs and wants, and it led us to develop four founding principles for jay elle: COMMUNITY, ORGANIZATION, DISCRETION and ENCOURAGEMENT. Our hope is that this blog provides you with a sense of COMMUNITY by the sharing of personal stories, advice and more to help you through your journey, and provides ENOURAGEMENT so that you truly believe you can do whatever you put your mind to, you are amazing and you’re not alone! Being a working mom and/or pumping mom is definitely not easy and trust me, we’ve all struggled along the way BUT have also experienced some pretty amazing triumphs. Through the good, bad, funny and not-so-funny moments…we’re here with you, we get it, and we’re #withyoueveryounce. To kick things off, here’s my personal story of working & pumping with my son, Daniel…and since I’m expecting his little sister in just under 2 months, I’m sure I’ll have lots more to share soon! Thank you for joining us, and welcome to the jay elle community!
When I had my first child (Daniel) I was incredibly lucky that he latched quickly and well, and ate a TON! For the first few weeks and months of my maternity leave, breastfeeding came pretty naturally to both of us, which I was VERY thankful for. Around 2 months after he was born, I started thinking about pumping and honestly it terrified me. I felt like there were SO many little parts to the breast pump, different sizes of weird looking ‘things’, so many options…and I had NO IDEA what would work for me. When the day came to return to work, I had my bag packed and had pumped a few times to build up a supply, so I was starting to get the hang of it; however, I definitely didn’t realize how it would impact my day as I was planning to pump at least 3x every day (slightly disruptive, to say the least!). I stayed on my pumping schedule while at work and eventually got into a rhythm and was feeling pretty good about the commitment I was making for my son…but then realized my extra supply was being greatly depleted because he was drinking SO MUCH MILK! Yay and nay! I ended up pumping 3x at work, at night after his ‘night cap’ feeding AND for about 6 weeks woke up around 3am to pump (and yes, my son was sound asleep while I was pumping) just so I’d have enough supply for each day plus a little extra in case I needed a night off. I researched galactogogues like my life depended on it, ate oatmeal every morning for almost 6 months and ate at least one homemade lactation cookie everyday (so yummy!). I tried essential oils but quickly stopped after realizing the necessary oils smelled like black licorice and when I rubbed them on myself, I was walking through the office and EVERYONE smelled me and wondered…why does she smell so strongly of black licorice? AWKWARD! (& I totally hate black licorice) Let’s just say I tried every galactogogue in the book and eventually just found a happy medium of what I was able to pump and limiting my son’s daily milk allotment (trust me…he got more than enough!). I promised myself that I’d make it to one year of breastfeeding and pumping, and I MADE IT!!!! It was NOT easy, but it was a personal goal that I had for myself. Once my son was 1 year old though, I was SO ready to be done with pumping though breastfeeding was a bit harder to let go of. At the end of the day, I was proud that I accomplished the goal I had set out for myself even amidst challenges and sacrifice…but hey, what’s being a mom if it doesn’t include challenges and sacrifices? And SO much love xoxo – Sarah G. #withyoueveryounce