S1E16 Jessica’s Story | New Little Life Breastfeeding Podcast

More Places to Listen

Show Notes

In this week’s episode, I am joined by Jessica, a mom of one and owner of the lactation cookie business, Milk Bliss. She discusses both her own breastfeeding journey with lip/tongue ties, nipple shields, pumping, and more as well as how she’s using her business to help other moms breastfeed.

Helpful Links

Connect with Jessica

Links from Allison

****Let’s Connect! ****
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/newlittlelifebyallison
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newlittlelife
Website: https://www.newlittlelife.com
Be on the Podcast!: https://www.newlittlelife.com/podcast

Even more helpful links here: https://linktr.ee/newlittlelife

*** If you’re able, consider supporting the show on Patreon. Thanks to all our current Patrons. You make this podcast possible!

Episode Transcript

Allison (00:06):

Hey everyone. It’s Allison here with New Little Life. I’m an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a nurse, a doula, and a mom of three little boys. Here on the New Little Life podcast, we’ll talk with real moms about their breastfeeding experience– the good parts and the bad– and share real and practical advice about breastfeeding. Connect with and learn from other moms and professionals to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Welcome back to the podcast. Today our interview is with Jessica. And Jessica is a mom of one and the owner of Milk Bliss. I actually found her on Instagram. She’s killing it over on Instagram. And she’ll tell you a little bit more about her business at the end of the interview. It’s super cool, but she has a crazy story to share with us today that is extremely relatable for a lot of moms out there. She has a really non-judgemental way of thinking, and I loved hearing her explain some of the things she did with her daughter and why she did them. It was super interesting to listen to her. So I know you’ll enjoy this interview today. If you have a second and you’d like to support the podcast, you can visit our Patreon, which is linked in the show notes today. Even just a small donation helps cover the cost of the podcast and helps it keep going. It helps me be able to find guests and to do some really awesome fun things for you. So you can also go and check out a lot of resources that we have over on Instagram. We’re growing a lot over there and there’ll be links in the show notes to all of that stuff and to Jessica’s stuff because I know you’re going to want to check out more about her after you listen. So let’s jump over to the interview. Here’s Jessica. Well, hey Jessica. Let’s start this chat. We just been talking for a bit and you’re the kind of person I could talk to all day. So this is going to be a really fun. Cool. All right. Let’s just start out. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family, your business and all that stuff?

Jessica (02:06):

Yeah, absolutely. My name is Jessica. I am 40 years old now, which is crazy to say.

Allison (02:15):

You look like 20 years younger than that.

Jessica (02:17):

Oh, no, I don’t. I have like lighting and makeup and all this stuff. I have a three and a half year old with my husband Greg. So I was 36 when I got pregnant with her and actually I got pregnant as a surprise on our honeymoon.

Allison (02:38):

Oh, congratulations. Very big surprise. And welcome to marriage.

Jessica (02:42):

Yes, exactly. It was like our wedding gift from God. So that was nice of Him and also shocking. I wasn’t expecting pregnancy to be that simple at that age. And since then pregnancy has been much more difficult. So we’ve been wanting to have another baby for a long time and that has not worked out.

Allison (03:02):

Isn’t it crazy how that happens?

Jessica (03:06):

It’s so bizarre. Yes, life. But yeah, that’s me. I started my business, Milk Bliss, where we sell lactation cookies and lactation cookie mixes. Maybe about six months after I had Cora, my baby at the time.

Allison (03:24):

Wow. What a big undertaking.

Jessica (03:26):

Yeah, I would recommend if you’re going to start a business to try not to know anything about it before you start it. Because otherwise you probably wouldn’t do it. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t do it. Being naive can be really beneficial.

Allison (03:41):

I can totally relate as I’ve accidentally created my business. Yeah. Had I known the work load that goes into that? You’re right. I’m not sure I would have started it. I’m glad I am here, but

Jessica (03:52):

Me too. Me too. I’m so glad that we figured it all out, but there was definitely a lot, especially with a new baby. I had a business partner account to start. So that helped because we shared the time. But we were going to a commercial kitchen and baking thousands of cookies and then taking breaks to go pump in our cars, you know?

Allison (04:14):

She had a baby, a new baby too?

Jessica (04:15):

Our kids are six weeks apart.

Allison (04:17):

Oh, my word. You guys.

Jessica (04:18):

Yeah. I know. It was like, what were we thinking? We really did think it was going to be easy. We didn’t think it was going to get as big as it did. So that was part of it too. But yeah, I think we just didn’t know.

Allison (04:33):

And it sucks to have to kind of sacrifice your personal goals and desires just because you’re a mom. So good for you. Go get it.

Jessica (04:40):

Yeah, yeah. Again, we just had no, no idea. We were in too deep when we realized that we might be in too deep, you know? And then it was like, “Well too late. Can we make this work now?”

Allison (04:54):

Oh, that’s so cool. All right. Well, I would love to know about your little one and kind of your breastfeeding experience. Had you planned on breastfeeding? Did you grow up around breastfeeding? What was your experience? Before you got pregnant?

Jessica (05:07):

I did. I wouldn’t say I grew up around breastfeeding necessarily, but I have an older sister who’s six years older than me and had her children young. So she breastfed both of her kids. She’s like a full-time career woman. So she was working and doing it. I guess I never really questioned whether or not I would do it. I always thought I would. I just didn’t see any reason not to. I had nothing against it, but I also wasn’t necessarily passionate about doing it. I think I was looking forward to it. Having children later in life, I wanted to have the whole experience and do all of the things so that I wouldn’t look back and think, “Oh man, I really wish I would have done that.” But my mom breastfed my sister and I, and was very sort of open about her experience with me. And we talked through a lot of things, especially as I started having some issues, I would say, like hiccups with it. And so having her be supportive was really helpful.

Allison (06:21):

Yeah. I bet. Did you take any classes or anything? Did you YouTube? I think people go on there to find information. Did you do anything to prepare for breastfeeding?

Jessica (06:32):

Not really.

Allison (06:35):

Just kind of winging as you go kind of thing?

Jessica (06:37):

Yeah. I mean, I think I was depending on the lactation consultants in the hospital to kind of teach me what to do while I was there. Which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend now. I know so much more now. Not only just having done it, but being in the lactation space and working. I work with a ton of lactation consultants and IBCLCs and do all sorts of different things with them. And so because of that, I’ve learned a lot. But it also made me realize that there’s so much to know that people don’t know. I mean a lot of us go into it knowing almost nothing.

Allison (07:19):

Yeah. It’s such a catch-22 because like, you can take a class before, but it’s like learning to ride a bike, but they haven’t given you the bike yet. You know? Like how do you teach practical, telling you this stuff? And you’re like, “Oh, I don’t have a baby. Like, I’ve never tried this. Like, this is hard.” But then again, you do have some knowledge so when you do have that baby, hopefully you can draw on a little bit. So kind of you know, catch-22.

Jessica (07:46):

It makes me curious about what things were like before we had all the resources that we have now. Like you can answer almost any question that you have about almost anything on YouTube. Like YouTube is so amazing for that reason. And I found you on YouTube. But what did people do before that? And I think that they just, there was more community, more face-to-face interaction with other moms. Like I know my mom was a part of a Bible study group that was mostly young, newly married, younger children group. And I would imagine that that’s where she got a lot of her information because my mom was 20 years old when she had my sister. So maybe she was 22. But you’re like a kid when you’re 22, you’re trying to figure this stuff out. You know, she had no idea what she was doing. Okay.

Allison (08:44):

Yeah. I think you’re right. I think the community just looked different. They had an actual community of face-to-face people. Because women have been helping women breastfeed for forever, you know? And if something’s wrong, you don’t have milk, like you bring in your friend, bring in your wet nurse, you know? And that’s just like what you do. And so, yeah, I think you’re right. I think our community just looks different. It’s a lot more online, lot more virtual and then even more with all of this COVID stuff.

Jessica (09:08):

Oh yeah. 100%. I think it’s almost all completely virtual now. So thank goodness that we have that opportunity. There are Facebook groups that you can join where you can receive or donate milk. In almost every single city now. I think it’s called Human Milk for Human Babies or something like that. And you can go on there and if you’re drying up and you want to make sure that your child gets breastmilk, you can get it. Like, how incredible is that? But like you said, maybe you went to your neighbor or something 30, 40 years ago. Yeah. Crazy.

Allison (09:51):

Okay. So tell me what breastfeeding was like for you then after you had your baby. So the first few days, week. Start wherever you want.

Jessica (09:59):

Yeah. So I actually had a ton of colostrum. So I didn’t know at the time that you potentially could pump that off and save it or kind of hand express it and save it. And I wish I would have, cause I had plenty.

Allison (10:15):

Like while you were pregnant or after delivery?

Jessica (10:16):

While I was pregnant, but it was about the same after it delivery too. I was making lactation cookies before I had the baby. Not because I thought it was going to start a business at all, but because I knew I was going to breastfeed and I wanted to have some things in the freezer. It was like prepping.

Allison (10:33):

What a good idea. Did you freeze your cookies? This is totally off topic.

Jessica (10:37):

Yeah. Oh yeah. I had a ton of stuff in the freezer ready for when I came home cause we don’t really have a ton of family around and so I just wanted to be prepared. So I had cookies that I saved. But while I was making, you know, I was eating them too. And I don’t know if that’s why I had colostrum like a decent amount or not. Maybe I just naturally did, but regardless I did.

Allison (11:00):

Some women do for sure.

Jessica (11:02):

So I had some. Initially that was fine. The first couple of days with the baby, that was fine. And then when my milk came in, it was like insane. I would have this like insane letdown that would squirt everywhere. It was so watery. And when I would try to feed the baby, she was like choking on it. It was everywhere. It was crazy. I didn’t know about the haakaa or like anything.

Allison (11:39):

It’s crazy. Even three years ago, four years ago, it like did’nt exist. It was different.

Jessica (11:43):

I don’t even think they had that back then. I don’t even know the Haakaa existed then, but I was soaking up all that milk on the other side with like burp cloths, you know? And now I’m looking back like, “Oh my gosh, I could have saved all of that milk.” And it was like soaking through a burp cloth, but that’s what I would do. I would like shove it in on one side while I was feeding her on the other side and I had to use a shield simply because otherwise it was just coming too quickly and she just couldn’t drink it. So that was kind of initially. I don’t know how long that lasted. Everything’s such a blur.

Allison (12:20):

Isn’t it crazy? In the moment it’s like, “Oh my gosh, it’s overwhelming my life.” And then now you’re like, “Ah, I don’t really…”

Jessica (12:29):

It had been like a month or a couple of weeks. I remember exactly what I did to use the shield. Like I would fill up a cup with hot water and after I finished feeding her, I would like put it in that. So that the next time when I came out in two, two and a half hours later, I could just get it out. But that’s how I like sterilized it. I would just stick it in a thing of boiling water. So I did that for a while. And then once my milk started to regulate, I think that’s when I started to realize that there might be an issue. Because I was having a lot of pain and cracking and I always felt my let down. I guess some people don’t. If I think about it hard now, I feel like I can still feel what it felt like.

Allison (13:14):

I’m the same way.

Jessica (13:16):

I think I could bring it on mentally at the time. And, but once my milk started to regulate, that’s when I think I started to realize like, “I don’t think at this point I should still be having so much discomfort.” And I think I talked to the pediatrician about it and they looked in her mouth. And so it was a while before they realized that she was lip and tongue tied. And my sister has a son who’s severely tongue tied too. So I don’t know if it’s genetic or kind of like you just won the crappy lottery or what, I don’t know. But my daughter has both. And so we took her to see an ENT, like a pediatric ENT and they said they could do a revision. I didn’t know at the time too, that you can see other people for this. Like you can see a dentist too. A pediatric dentist I think can do a revision. But we were told that we should see an ENT. So that’s what we did. And our insurance wouldn’t cover the revision. None of it. And it was going to be like a couple thousand dollars or something. And we couldn’t afford it at the time, so we didn’t do it. So she still has it to this day. Her tongue tie isn’t that bad and she can stick her tongue out a decent amount. But her her lip tie is a little tight. Now I’m concerned about that with her teeth at some point in the future. But it definitely affected our breastfeeding journey for sure.

Allison (14:55):

Is she speaking now? Does she have any speech issues?

Jessica (14:57):

No, no. She speaks perfectly fine. She doesn’t have any issues with speech. And I think if she had back when she started talking. She started talking really young. But when she started talking, we probably would have considered doing a revision at that point in time. I’m terrible. She hasn’t been to the dentist yet and she’s three and a half. I know I need to do that.

Allison (15:20):

Dude. I just took my kids. He was like six. We have moved so much in the military and I’m like, “So sorry.” And she was like, “He has like nine cavities. So I’m going to have to fill these.” I’m like, “We brush his teeth, I swear.” You’re not as bad as me.

Jessica (15:36):

Oh no. That’s my sign to just make the appointment.

Allison (15:42):

My four year old he didn’t have to have any, so maybe yours is golden. But yeah, I waited too long with my six-year-old. I shouldn’t admit bad things I do on my own podcast.

Jessica (15:52):

Well, it’s relatable because I think that a lot of people are probably in the same position and you just don’t think that they need it. You know? I don’t know why you just assume that like, they’re just baby teeth anyway, they’re going to fall out.

Allison (16:02):

I know, but she’s like “He has nine of them and these baby teeth are going to be until he’s 12. Like you have to fix it.” “Okay. I’m so sorry.” All right.

Jessica (16:11):

Well maybe I’ll go.

Allison (16:14):

But everyone should take your kids to the dentist.

Jessica (16:16):

Go to the dentist. Yeah. I think it would be between three and four is when you typically do it at least. But maybe when we take her, the dentist might say this is going to affect her teeth, you know? Cause she has a pretty significant gap between her front teeth. And so I don’t know. We’ll see at that point. But I did have pain and discomfort the entire time I was breastfeeding. Yes. It never went away.

Allison (16:42):

Did you use the shield the whole time?

Jessica (16:45):

No, no.

Allison (16:45):

So that was just in the beginning until you got your letdown figured it out, and then you took that away. And that’s when you noticed this is uncomfortable for me?

Jessica (16:54):

Pretty much. Yeah. It may not have been right away, but yeah. I kept asking my mom, “At what point does it stop hurting?” And she was like, “I don’t know. Like maybe some people it’s just always is uncomfortable.” Like it always felt like someone was sort of like pinching.

Allison (17:16):

Probably from the ties, just a really shallow latch.

Jessica (17:19):

I could physically see that she had a shallow latch. So yeah, that’s kinda what it felt like. Like someone was sort of just pinching my nipples the whole time. This is going to be controversial, I’m sure. My mom told me this too. And I took it like to the grave. But I never, ever, ever nursed her for more than 15 minutes on either side. I always did both sides every single time. And I never did more than 15 minutes. And my business partner at the time was like, “Oh my gosh, my son will nurse for like an hour.” And I was like, “I would never do that.” Like 15 minutes, even though she was still eating, I’d be “Okay, time to switch sides.” After that was done. And usually it was 10 minutes. I would time it and be like, “Okay, that’s it.” And then if she wanted to eat again in like an hour, then that was okay. I would do that. But I would never sit with her for more than a half an hour.

Allison (18:15):

Was that based on the advice you got or was it like a pain thing? Like you didn’t want her on there because it hurt?

Jessica (18:21):

No, it was definitely based on the advice I got. My mom said that’s what she did. Basically she was like, “Don’t be like a pacifier for them, you know? There’s no need. They should be able to eat what they need to eat in that amount of time.” This was just her advice. I am not giving this advice to anyone else.

Allison (18:40):

This happens a lot. I think you get this kind of thing that someone told you, that’s just how it is. So what do you think about that advice now? Like, would you do that way again?

Jessica (18:48):

Probably because it did work for us. My little girl has always been a very healthy weight, like high on the curve of weight. So she’s never been like a small child. And so I just assumed she was getting everything that she needed from that amount of time. And I guess she was. It ended up working out. I don’t know that I would do it again. There’s a lot of things I would do differently, you know? I would find the money and go get the revision. So if we have another child, which I guess is probably likely that they would have another tie. Then I would, I will get it revised. While they’re young still, and they don’t have to be put under anesthesia or it’s like nothing major. Yeah, I definitely would. And now I have so many more resources now, too. Like I know physical therapists that work with kids that have ties to make sure that it doesn’t reattach. And I didn’t know any of those people before.

Allison (19:50):

Yeah, man, that’s just crazy. Isn’t it? You learn so much and no one tells you how to do this, you know?

Jessica (19:57):

No. And you don’t think to seek out any of this type of thing. I mean, you could take a breastfeeding class. I think a lot of people take breastfeeding classes while they’re still pregnant. And I don’t know exactly what’s all covered in that because we didn’t really have access to that. So we didn’t do it. We just took like the standard birth class. But I know that breastfeeding classes exist for preparing for it. I think most of the time you kind of seek out the exact problem that you’re having instead.

Allison (20:39):

Yeah. I agree. And even like a breastfeeding course, like the ones I teach is really just the basics. Because there’s a lot. It’s a lot, you know what I mean? Like I’m an IBCLC. Like I’ve studied this for years and I still only know this much. There’s just so much. So in a breastfeeding class, we really just cover the basics. Like how do these hormones work? How does your milk supply work? How do you latch your baby? What signs to look for mean that you need more help and that’s it. We don’t cover tongue ties and mastitis and all this stuff because it’s like you said. When you have this problem, go find some help. And then we’ll help you.

Jessica (21:15):

And I think a lot of times too, with an IBCLC they need to see you, you know? They need to see the latch and examine you as a patient. So, you can say like, “I have this incredible, crazy letdown that’s spraying and choking my baby.” And if I was an IBCLC would say, “I need to see you. Like I have to see this for myself to help you.” So that’s part of it too, right?

Allison (21:47):

Yeah. That forceful let down is interesting. A lot of moms have that as well. And you’re right. The baby is kind of just choke and they’re not choking, but it’s just like a lot of milk in your face.

Jessica (21:57):

Especially in the middle of the night, like they’re kind of just waking up, and they’re hungry. For me, the shield just helped to control that flow. And I do think it helped her with her oral issues too, but I didn’t know really that at the time. And I didn’t want to continue to use a shield forever. It’s inconvenient, you know? And I had read a whole bunch of negative things about them. Like you don’t want them being sort of reliant on that. But it could have possibly helped me like later, I guess. Honestly, a lot of the time I just thought this is just the way that it is. We also had a little bit of an issue. Like we tried giving her formula when she was like around three months old, we went to visit family and we wanted to go out for the night. So I had some formula that we brought. And I never had a lot of milk extra, because I was exclusively breastfeeding. So she was emptying me. And so I was like, “If she gets hungry, just mix up some formula, give it to her.” And we were traveling, so I didn’t have my freezer stash with me, you know? And we wanted to go out. So anyway, long story short, she ended up having like a really bad reaction to it. She’s always kind of had some issues with milk. We don’t really give her a ton of dairy, but she like projectile vomited, shortly after drinking the bottle. And then we tried again that same visit. We just thought she was sick, maybe an upset stomach or something. We tried again that same visit, maybe a few days later to do it again. And the same thing happened. I went upstairs to check on her. She was asleep and she had like vomited all over her entire pack and play, like soaked. Her clothes were soaked. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, what is this?” And here she had thrown up all that formula. So that was when she was like three months old and I was so scared to ever give her formula again, that I was like, “Okay, we gotta make this breastfeeding thing work.” And I almost like, sort of tortured myself, forcing myself to do it. So I totally can have such empathy for however you want to feed your baby. You know, I really support whatever. Obviously I’m in the breastfeeding space and I do believe that breast milk is probably what’s best for babies. But I completely can relate to all the different issues that people have and why they might choose to not breastfeed, you know?

Allison (24:53):

Yeah. There’s a variety of reasons why you would either be an exclusive pumper or you combination feed with some formula and breast milk or you strictly formula feed. Everyone’s scenario is so different.

Jessica (25:05):

And most people go through trying out different things. After that initial time, we tried a bunch of different formulas to see if those would work. You know, we did those really crazy ones that smell really bad that are for whatever issues the baby might be having like sensitive stomachs. There was one that you can buy that’s like pre-made. But it was like $11 or something like a day. It was crazy. We tried that, she wouldn’t even touch it. She wouldn’t even drink it. You know, she smelled it and was like, no. So we tried a bunch of things too. I wasn’t against supplementing with formula because I was looking at going back to work too. And I was kind of freaking out like, “How am I going to do this? Like, what are we going to do?” I went back to work full time when she was eight months old. And I was like, I don’t know, it was a crazy time.

Allison (26:03):

So what did that look like when you went back to work? Did you pump at work? Are you able to make enough for her? What was your schedule like?

Jessica (26:10):

Yeah, it was I was able to, but it was really stressful. Yes, I did pump at work. I live in New Jersey and where I worked was a little bit of a drive on a normal day. But New Jersey traffic can sometimes be like LA traffic, it’s crazy. It would sometimes take me two hours to get home when without traffic, it would take me a half an hour to get to work. So on those rides home, my husband would be calling me saying like, “Where are you? She’s screaming.” He had already given her what was left in our freezer, which was usually only one or two pouches. I was definitely one of those moms that would look on Instagram and somebody would show their whole freezer full of milk and be so envious like, “Oh my gosh. I see that as freedom, you know, like freedom from stress.” And that was never our situation. We never had more than maybe five two-ounce little pouches in the freezer and we would go through those and then I would be so panicked, trying to get home from work, knowing that she’s hungry. And then as soon as I walk in the door having to feed her. Not being able to really eat anything or sit down, you know? Like it was just immediate. Like it felt like going from one job to another job.

Allison (27:38):

Oh, totally. Wow. Yeah. How long did you, how long did you end up breastfeeding her?

Jessica (27:45):

Fourteen months. Yeah.

Allison (27:47):

And you were still working at that point?

Jessica (27:50):

Yeah, I started working when she was eight months and I wasn’t able to switch over full-time to my business until she was like three.

Allison (28:01):

Yeah. Okay. Do you remember what the weaning process looked like for you? Were you ready for that? Did it go well? Talk to us about that.

Jessica (28:09):

Yeah. So when she turned one and we were like allowed then to give her milk, then we kind of went through that same process of trying to find milk that would work for her. And ultimately we got lucky and she was able to drink Lactaid with no problem. So I don’t know if she kind of grew out of some of her dairy issues that she had when she was a baby or it was a lactose specific thing or like, I’m not sure what happened. So we started messing around with that and then obviously she was eating solids too. We kind of did like a combo of baby led weaning and purees. So for the most part, between all of the things like me pumping, her having solids, cereals and sometimes having milk, like weaning her from even just 12 months to 14 months, she just wasn’t interested anymore. We had dropped down to pretty much I was really only nursing her in the morning and at night, and then just at night. And then around 14 months, she almost didn’t even want that. You know, she just didn’t. So I would have done it longer, but it seemed like she wasn’t interested anymore. I don’t know. It was strange.

Allison (29:28):

Yeah. Just kind of self weaned, some babies do that. And then some babies, if you let them self wean, they’ll probably be still breastfeeding in kindergarten.

Jessica (29:35):

Totally. Yeah. I have friends and I know people who are still breastfeeding their four year old. That would be like me still nursing her now. And like, sometimes I kind of wish we were. Like when I hold her and stuff, I’m like, “Oh, I wish that we still had that sort of closeness.” But she would never do that. She’s very independent. There’s not interested.

Allison (30:05):

But then you remember the freedom that comes with not breastfeeding. Yes. Oh my gosh. That’s the hardest part of breastfeeding for me is how tied down and like not stuck, you know, but you just can’t leave your baby.

Jessica (30:18):

Right. Exactly. Yeah.

Allison (30:21):

If you do, you gotta deal with milk.

Jessica (30:22):

Yeah. That’s what I meant about when I would see people with the freezer stash. To me, like that looked like freedom too. Like being able to leave her with my husband without having to worry. That all he would need to do is heat up one of those pouches and feed her and everything would be fine. And I would be able to go shopping. Even when I would go shopping, I would have to bring her with me. She had to come with me everywhere unless I was working. She was always with me because I couldn’t afford to leave her. And also there wasn’t some of these newer pumps where you can just go about your day and put them in your bra. That wasn’t a thing. Even three and a half years ago. So now I feel like it would be easier. And maybe I’m wrong about that. I’m not breastfeeding currently, so I don’t know. Maybe you can answer that if you think it’s easier, this time than your first.

Allison (31:22):

There’s just a lot more options for moms. And I think it’s still hard, you know? Like you still have all these obstacles, but there are a lot more resources and new things that are geared to help make moms lives easier. Yeah. So I think like for your situation, yeah. There are some things that could have made that easier now. I agree, three years ago doesn’t seem like that long,

Jessica (31:47):

But like the Willow pump and the Evie pump, the ones that are cordless, those did not exist. Even three years ago, three and a half years ago. Like they just didn’t.

Allison (31:59):

And for working moms or commuting moms, like you, that would be gold money. You know what I mean?

Jessica (32:03):

I didn’t even know. Like, I think you can plug something like into your car. Yeah.

Allison (32:10):

I’ve seen some like cigarette adapter for your pump.

Jessica (32:12):

And like, I didn’t even know that that was a thing, cause that potentially could have helped too. There were times where I fully brought my whole entire pump. When I would be pumping in the car with my gigantic pump like sitting on the seat next to me if it was charged or whatever. But yet it was like very, you know, you’re like driving and the thing is hanging off of you.

Allison (32:37):

Especially in New Jersey traffic. I can just picture someone looking over like a trucker during the traffic jam. Ah, the truckers are the worst. They’re so high and they can see right down.

Jessica (32:49):

Yes. It’s very odd. Super awkward.

Allison (32:53):

I wonder if they have like pumping mom jokes or something around the trucker world, like my gosh, that’s gotta happen. Crazy stuff. Yeah. Looking down into people’s cars. I got to find someone who’s in that business to be on the podcast.

Jessica (33:07):

How often do you see moms? Like trying to breastfeed while they’re driving?

Allison (33:11):

Okay. I would love to know your favorite part about breastfeeding. I’m also probably going to ask you the hardest part about breastfeeding, but let’s do the good one first. Like what’s your favorite part about breastfeeding?

Jessica (33:27):

I love like knowing that I can provide whatever my child needs. I think the science behind breastfeeding is so interesting. So that, and then also that I’m the only one that can have that relationship with her. That felt special to me and that felt important. I miss it.

Allison (33:54):

It’s home. To be like their person. Like the one person that they just like want and they can get the milk. Yeah.

Jessica (33:59):

You’re the only one that they can live off of.

Allison (34:05):

And is there anything in your mind that sticks out as kind of the hardest part of breastfeeding? Or maybe your least favorite.

Jessica (34:08):

Yeah, for sure it was the freedom aspect for me. I just felt like it more than anything else felt like a job. And I felt resentful about that a lot of the time.

Allison (34:24):

Is there any advice or something that you would give to a new mom who’s wanting to breastfeed? Anything from your experience that you think could help someone that’s planning on doing this?

Jessica (34:36):

Yeah. I would say if you don’t have a lot of support from women around you who have been through it and can help you with some issues that you might come across, then join a Facebook group. Because there are a lot of great ones for whatever situation you’re in, there’s like a group for that. And Facebook’s the easiest place to find it. You can join one today, you know, and, and you can be as active on there as you want to be. And I’ve noticed that those groups are very active and people are so willing to help. And I would say that that’s such a great resource and do that. Like even if you’re not having problems, you should do it. Find the support and kind of your little mom community. Like if you’re dedicated to exclusively breastfeeding, there’s a Facebook group for that. If you’re exclusively pumping, and you know you want to do that and you want to be held accountable for that, there’s a Facebook group for that. Whatever you want. You just want support no matter what your choices are, there’s a group for that too, you know? So and Instagram too, although I think that groups are just a better platform

Allison (35:56):

For that kind of thing, I agree. Because you know, Instagram is hit and miss. Some of the accounts I follow are like Insta-moms and I ended up kind of feeling bad. Some of them are super helpful and uplifting, but it’s hard to weed it out. So I agree. The Facebook groups is a nice place for community, asking questions, kind of just being in the same place as other people.

Jessica (36:21):

Being able to get answers like almost right away. You know?

Allison (36:25):

Those moms are always up in the middle of the night, they’re out. Right. It’s crazy.

Jessica (36:30):

You never know where they are, they could be all over the whole world. So like you could type something and someone could get back to you right away. And there’s your answer. It’s incredible. It’s a great resource.

Allison (36:37):

That’s so cool. I would actually like to know a little bit about your business and what you do over there. Actually before we started, I was stalking your Instagram, which is really, really cute. Oh, I love it. So I would love for you to tell us a little bit about your business. Kind of what you do, what your goals are currently?

Jessica (36:54):

Yeah. So basically out of everything that I went through as like a breastfeeding mom, I ended up developing a lactation cookie recipe that I was really excited about. And I had a friend who lived across the hall at the time who had a baby six weeks after me. So our kids were super close together and she had a lot of the same issues that I had with breastfeeding. I’ve always been a Baker, it’s been a passion of mine my entire life. So after I sort of developed this recipe, I just shared it with her. And I was like, “Here I’ve made these cookies, try these and see if they help you.” She was looking at, going back to work and her supply was dipping. And they helped her too. And she was like, “Oh my gosh, these are so much better than everything else that I’ve tried.” And I was like, you know, cause they’re homemade. Like they were, you know, obviously better. And so I started thinking about it more and more and more after talking with her. And she is still a corporate lawyer. So I just messaged her and said, “Hey, you know, I’m thinking about maybe making like a little hobby business out of this. Could you give me some legal advice on how to set it up?” And she was like, “Sure. Do you have a business plan?” I was like, “You know, I’m kind of working on one.” So I went over and met with her and we had this whole meeting where she walked me through what she thought I should do as far as setting it up legally. And then at the end she said, “Is there any chance you might be interested in a partner?” And I was like, “Whoa, yes. You know, that would be…”

Allison (38:29):

Yeah, sign me up. I want you to partner on that.

Jessica (38:33):

It happened very naturally. She really believed in what I was doing. And so we sort of started by sharing them with other friends that we had that were pregnant or breastfeeding and kind of did this whole little community outreach to just really do research. And we had really good results. And so we decided to just like launch a Shopify store and try to sell them to whoever wanted them at the time. And it really just grew from there very slowly, like very organically. And we kind of developed some more flavors and then some more products and tried to make things a little bit easier by developing a mix that you can make whenever you need it. So the mix can stay in your pantry for 18 months. So it’s like a great thing to just give somebody that you know wants to breastfeed or is breastfeeding. So “Here just in case and kind of keep this and then just make them in 10 minutes, whenever you need them.” And they’re exactly like homemade cookies. They don’t have any preservatives, they’re all natural. So instead of going out and buying all the ingredients, all you need to have in your house is a stick of butter and two eggs, and then you can make them so easily. So that’s actually become our best selling product. Because of that reason. It’s just so flexible, you know? So yeah, that’s what happened and it’s been fun and challenging and all of the things. And I feel very blessed because now I’m able to do it full time and be able to be home with my little one, which was kind of always my goal.

Allison (40:12):

Yeah. That’s awesome. I do not enjoy baking, so I’m super glad for people like you that do it for me and put it in a mix so that I can have some.

Jessica (40:21):

It’s my favorite. I like to cook too, but I love to bake. Baking is such a science experiment. Like if you do the smallest thing wrong, you will literally ruin whatever you’re making. But I like that about it. I don’t know. I like to fill the house with like the warm, you know, I don’t know. I don’t just bake cookies. I bake everything. I bake all the time.

Allison (40:44):

Oh my goodness. I don’t know how you stay so thin and in shape doing all that because I’d probably be eating sweets like every other day.

Jessica (40:55):

We’ve had a challenging year and my weight has like, you know, everyone has, right? COVID has been a challenging year and my weight has been all over the place. And it’s frustrating. As you get older, that gets harder. But especially if you like to bake. But now I bake healthy stuff. I try to stick with gluten-free and try to stay low on sugar and you could still bake and do it in a good, healthy way.

Allison (41:20):

That’s cool. I bet in your science experiments, you’re like, “What can I replace the sugar with?”

Jessica (41:24):

100% Yes. Luckily there’s a recipe for everything online, you know, so I mostly just follow other people’s recipes. I don’t try to like reinvent the wheel.

Allison (41:35):

So where do I find your cookies and your stuff? Like, I think I kind of need some of those in my life. I have a six month old, so we’re good.

Jessica (41:43):

I will send you some for sure. But we are on Amazon in the United States. So that’s probably the easiest place or our website is milkbliss.com. So M-I-L-K-B-L-I-S-S.com. And I am super duper connected with anyone who reaches out to me on Instagram. So if you’re hearing this and you need me to connect you with any resources or help with your breastfeeding journey, I’m happy to do that. You can reach out to me on Milk Bliss just @milkbliss on Instagram. Milk Bliss Cookies on Tik Tok. I talk to people on there all last time.

Allison (42:25):

I’m not brave enough for Tik Tok, but I’m going to go check yours out.

Jessica (42:30):

You’re probably going to see a lot of your own ideas in my videos, because I take a lot of inspiration from you.

Allison (42:35):

Oh, awesome. Keep it up. You can totally have all my little nuggets throw up on your Tik Tok.

Jessica (42:39):

Oh my gosh, I will do it.

Allison (42:40):

I don’t want to do it.

Jessica (42:42):

When you do it eventually, we can collaborate on something. And also I’m in Clubhouse too. That’s a relatively new platform as we’re recording this now, but I think on there we’re just Milk Bliss as well. And we’re going to try to start putting together some type of like regular room on Clubhouse. That’s can support and connect moms to some resources that they need. So that’s not quite up and running yet, but hopefully by the time this launches it will be.

Allison (43:15):

That’s cool. I I’m really sick of like Zoom get togethers, you know what I mean? But new moms, they need connection. And if that’s all we can do right now, then like we need to do it. So that’s really cool that you’re doing that. Yeah.

Jessica (43:28):

Clubhouse is a great application. If you can get on there, and you just type in breastfeeding as one of your interests. I’ve seen a lot of support on there and you can just kind of go and listen. You can ask a question too, but nobody can see you, which is what’s nice. Like you can just show up in your pajamas and if somebody has a room that’s open, it’s almost like a chat room except for it’s talking. So it’s a really interesting new way to be able to connect people to resources that they might have to pay for in a normal world. And be able to just say, “Hey, here’s my issue.” And a lactation consultant might be there and say, “Hey, look, here’s what you do.” So it’s very interesting.

Allison (44:12):

Oh, interesting. Okay. Thanks for explaining that because I have not ventured into learning much about Clubhouse yet.

Jessica (44:17):

Yeah. I think it’s going to be a big spot for certain industries. But I definitely think anybody in the service industry, or if you’re seeking information or you have a need it’s going to be good for that.

Allison (44:30):

Cool. We’ll put a bunch of these links and stuff down in the show notes. We’ll just going to fill up those show notes with sweet links for you. Nice. I think between the two of us, we can really make it cold out there for good. That’s true. Is there any kind of last piece of advice as we finish up here that you’d like to share with moms? Either some encouragement or a little nugget from your journey. Anything at all?

Jessica (44:52):

I love encouragement. I think that whatever you want to do and whatever, I always say this, whatever works for you as a mom, that’s the right thing for you. If breastfeeding is your journey, there are tons of us like me and you and other people who will support you in that. And if it’s not, that’s okay too. Most moms are doing the absolute best they can for their kids and they’re making it work in whatever way they can. I am here to support whatever it is that you’re doing. I’m like a super nonjudgmental, no shaming type of mom because we all are doing the absolute best we can in our circumstances.

Allison (45:35):

Yeah. I love that. We need more encouragement like that for these moms out there. And your Instagram and your business is a great place for that nonjudgmental support. I’m trying to do that the same over there. So hopefully we’ll see all of our listeners on this episode over there. Jessica, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today. I know you’re busy. You’ve got a little one too, but I really appreciate it. This was a great chat and I think it’s gonna really help a lot of moms.

Jessica (46:01):

Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Allison (46:03):

You can find– like I said– everything down in the show notes for today. You can also see more about New Little Life on my website, which is newlittlelife.com. And don’t forget to check out Jessica as well on milkbliss.com. And we’ll see you guys on the next episode. Bye Jessica.

Posted in ,