Mum's Journey: Introducing Lauren and Maverick
Lauren is a beauty, health and wellness enthusiast, and a mama to the gorgeous Maverick. Medela has recently partnered up with her company Markot, a world-first curated marketplace for the baby brands you love where you can buy and sell in a way that’s easier than ever before. We sat down and had a chat talking all things Motherhood, Medela and Markot!
Let’s start with the basics. What’s it like being a mum?
It’s incredible - it can be overwhelming and at times exhausting but I always wanted to be a mama and the bond that I have with my little boy is so special. As I write this, I’m feeling extra sentimental because Maverick is turning 1 tomorrow and I’m filled with all the memories of the biggest change of my life - I can’t believe how quickly this year has passed!
We know you love Medela products, tell us which is your favourite and why.
My Swing Maxi Pump - I use it all the time! Closely followed by the Easy Expression Bustier - it means I can pump and have the use of both my hands to do my makeup to get ready in the morning, or write emails at the same time! I also love the Purelan™, it’s a saviour for the sore nipples that happen in the early stages of breastfeeding (and the occasional bite now that he has teeth!) and doubles up as a lip balm. I keep a mini stashed in the nappy bag at all times.
Breastfeeding. We all know it’s hard but tell us why you found it hard and how you overcame those issues.
I think it’s especially tricky because you can’t really practise it until you’re in the throes of it - and cluster feeding is exhausting! I had no idea how it would go for me - I did speak to a lactation consultant from the hospital before the birth but I couldn’t really offer much, I just knew I wanted to give it a try.
Because of all the COVID protocols when I gave birth, no midwife came to our house when we eventually left the hospital - I’m pretty lucky that I had no major issues despite having a very difficult recovery from birth. Although there were moments that it did hurt in the beginning, it got better and easier.
However - mastitis really took me by surprise a couple of times and it’s shocking how quickly it sends you downhill! As mamas, (even new mamas), we’re so used to pushing through the rough moments that we tend to ignore those flu-like symptoms of fatigue and aches, and then by the time you realise you’ve got mastitis, it kinda hits you like a freight train.
*Please note mamas, if you are displaying symptoms don't hesitate to contact your GP for advice.
When did you decide to start your pumping journey? Before or after birth?
I did some hand expressing of colostrum before birth but I didn’t start pumping until about a week before I went back to work when Maverick was about 4 months old. It took a little bit to figure out how to be the most comfortable and work it into my routine (all the sterilising, setting up my pump bag for work etc) but now I have it down pat!
I’m grateful that there are a lot of easy-to-follow guides and tips out there for mamas in the same situation because it can seem a little daunting at first.
When did you get your first pump and why did you choose that particular one? Returning to work or wanting your baby to receive the best nutrition all the time?
I was actually gifted my Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump from a friend of mine - I hit the jackpot as it’s amazing. Looking back, that’s the one I would have chosen anyway, because you can get more milk by double pumping and it only takes half the time. I also have a second pump that’s cordless for when I’m on my way to an event and want to pump in the car. Originally it was so that my little one would have the best nutrition at daycare but he’s refused a bottle for a while now (it’s going to be tough to ever get him off the boob!). I want to keep up my supply until it’s time to wean him so I pump at work and donate the milk through an informal milk bank.
You are doing an amazing job as the mother of a young kid and you’re killing it at work. Tell us all about Markot and its origins, and how have you found that sweet spot of balance.
I was actually on maternity leave when I connected with an old boss of mine who was starting an amazing tech-backed, premium marketplace for new and preloved baby goods. At first I didn’t really have the capacity for anything other than trying to keep my mini human alive but the more he told me about it, the more it resonated with me - not only as a fantastic idea but also being extremely relevant for this stage in my life.
He and his fiancée started Markot for two reasons - firstly they were frustrated at trying to find all the best quality baby things (everything from prams, cots, toys, clothes, baby care, mama care, feeding and everything in between) in one spot. It was all in different locations or some brands you could only really find via word of mouth or on social media - so they wanted to bring it all under one roof.
Secondly, when their little one grew out of things so quickly, it was a tedious process trying to sell stuff on other marketplaces, and they didn’t want to be giving out their address to strangers on the internet to come and pick it up. They designed Markot so that the buyer could list an item and when it’s sold, a courier will come and pick it up, take it to the Markot warehouse where it’s checked, cleaned and sanitised before being beautifully repackaged and sent out directly to the buyer.
I’ve struck a balance (re: juggle) of working 3 days a week so that I can still spend some beautiful quality time with my little boy while he’s still so young. All of the daycare sicknesses this year have made it incredibly tough for a fair few months on end (when they’re sick, they just want to cling to you at all times) but I still really cherish those moments!
What’s in your Back to Work bag? What is in there that you just can’t live without, we do know you love Purelan™!
I’ve learned to always pack it the night before because mornings are always a bit of a juggle. Along with my work laptop and notebook, I pack two milk storage bottles, my pump and pumping bra, baby wipes, nipple cream (Purelan™ is the bomb), a water bottle and some snacks. Breastfeeding and pumping makes me really thirsty and often quite hungry.
Tell us three words you would use to describe Medela.
Pumping Mama’s BFF ❤️
If you can give the mums out there reading this interview one piece of motherly advice you wish you had known from the start, what would it be?
Advice is great, but take it with a grain of salt while you do what is best for you and your family. It can be daunting and lonely if you feel like you don’t have your “village” but honestly, most of us are just trusting our instincts and winging it! I had my baby in lockdown, so I completely understand - I am an open book if anyone has any questions!
And make sure you download the Medela Family App to keep track of everything your baby needs!