Travel happens. Wherever you find yourself on a vacation to relax or going on a business trip, it may seem impossible to travel without baby while breastfeeding! How will they stay fed away from your breasts?
Well, take a deep breath. Traveling without baby is actually much easier than you think. All you need is a little emotional strength to get through the first night alone and some pre-trip planning to make sure baby doesn’t go without your breast milk.
Travel Tips Away From Nursing Baby
After spending night after night bonding with your baby, a quiet night alone can be a little shocking. It’s perfectly normal to miss your baby, don’t be surprised if you get emotional about it. Just make sure you have tons of cute photos to scroll through and take an article of their clothing with you to help cope with missing them so much. You’ll be back home before you know it.
Also, don’t feel guilty. Other moms may feel surprised that you’re leaving your baby while lactating, but more moms travel while breastfeeding than you think. It’s perfectly fine to look forward to your trip too. Raising an infant is hard work, you’ve earned your break.
TRUST IN YOUR SITTER
Leave baby with someone who you know will do a great job. From a friend to dad, an in-law, or a nanny. Then relax, they know what to do. In fact, this can be a great time for dad to bond with baby while going solo.
Even with all of the instructions you leave, know that no one will take care of baby exactly like you do. They may use the okay diaper cream instead of the good one or throw their own spin on the nighttime lullaby, but baby will be fine. You can take the reins back when you get home.
Start pumping! You need to leave enough milk for your baby to enjoy while you’re going. Breast milk will last in the fridge for about 8 days. If you have enough spill proof, glass or BPA free containers, and fridge space this may provide enough storage for your entire trip.
Just place it in the back of the fridge towards the coldest part, and avoid placing milk containers in the fridge door where they could fall or spill.
You can also freeze your breast milk, just be sure to use a milk freezing bag and label it with the date. Don’t freeze milk in plastic or glass containers. Frozen breast milk has a shelf life of about 4 months, leaving you with a nice stockpile in case of emergencies.
Thaw frozen milk by running warm water over it. You can also leave it in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours. Do not refreeze thawed milk and after thawed milk has been heated for feeding time, discard any leftovers.
PACK EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Make a list of all of your pumping supplies, and make sure everything you need is packed. Even the little pieces. Take the flanges, battery charger, your feeding cover, and more. It may even be good to invest in a manual pump in case something on your electric pump breaks or you can’t find an outlet. However, if something does happen, don’t panic. You can probably find the spare part you need in a local department store.
STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE
You don’t want to have painful engorgement ruin your trip or a weakened milk flow, so stick to your pumping schedule. Plan plane departures and car trips around your pumping times so you won’t have to miss them. Also, carry your pump with you to meetings and activities and casually excuse yourself to a bathroom or private space if you need to take a pump break.
Scope out meeting locations ahead of time to know where to go. You can use the Pumpspotting app to find a lactation room nearby if you don’t feel comfortable pumping in a public area. Also, if you pump in your car use your nursing cover for seclusion and a windshield cover for privacy.
TAKING MILK HOME
If you would much rather save your milk than dump it, then take it home. Use a cooler with insulated ice packs or ice to store your milk for the trip. However, keep in mind that chilled milk in a cooler will only be good for about a day.
There are a few services you can use to ship your milk home for dad or your caregiver that will ship breast milk over dry ice within 24 hours. Research the local options in your area to find the best deal.
You can take your breast milk on a plane in unlimited quantities. Just tell the TSA agent that you have breast milk up front so they can easily test it by wiping the storage containers with paper and placing it in a machine that tests for explosives. Frozen milk doesn’t have to be tested.
ENJOY THE BREAK
You get a vacation! Where it’s for work or pleasure, remember to take some time for yourself to kick your feet up. Not all moms get a break and even though you’ll be missing your baby, make the most of your time-off from total mom duty.
All content published on the Motif Medical site is created for informational purposes only. This information should not substitute as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or qualified health professional with any questions regarding the health of you or your baby.