How Can I Keep Up My Milk Supply While on a Business Trip?

Dear SDBFC,

Do you have tips on your first (business) trip without the baby when you're breastfeeding and have to pump (in my case, baby will be 9 mo.)? 

Thank you!

Kristi

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Dear Kristi,

Absolutely!  Taking a business trip, when you have a breastfeeding baby at home, doesn't have to be as daunting as it sounds.

Here are a few tricks to maintain your milk supply and keep your baby comfortable while you are away from him.

1. If you have the opportunity, pump a few extra times a day for a good two weeks before your leave on your business trip.  An extra pumping session in the morning and right before bed can help to build a surplus in your freezer for when you are away.

2. Make sure your little one is used to taking the bottle several weeks before you leave on your trip.  There is nothing more frustrating for a partner or caregiver if the baby is refusing the bottle when mom is gone.  Plus, you won't have to worry about what your baby is going to eat while you're travelling.

3. Bring a double, electric pump AND a hand pump with you on your trip.  The double electric will hang out in your hotel room or accompany you to work.  This will insure that you are truly DRAINING your breasts several times a day.  Try pumping 15-20 minutes at a time, with some breast massage.  

The hand pump is great for the inconvenient times where you only have a few minutes to pump, but you want to relieve the fullness.... like on the plane or during a business dinner that went a lot longer than you anticipated.  This will help so your aren't leaking through your snazzy business blouse or exploding any shirt buttons:)

4. Create a pumping schedule that allows you to pump several times a day while you are away.  Kristi, since your baby will be 9 months old, my guess is he is probably nursing (about) 5 times in a 24 hr period.  If that's the case, try to pump 5 times in 24 hours while you are away from him.  This may mean you have to wake up once in the middle of the night to get in that extra pumping session, but it will be worth it to help maintain your supply.  Plus, this separation is only temporary!

5. Bring a small cooler with blue ice to keep your pumped milk fresh during those work hours.  Transfer it to the hotel fridge when you get back to your room.  Your milk will stay fresh for 24 hours in the cooler with the ice packs and 5-7 days in the hotel fridge.  No need to pump and dump!

Large freezer bag6. Pack a larger freezer bag that zips (think Trader Joe's freezer bags) and some extra ice packs.  This is for the ride home.  You can take all of your pumped milk back home with you.  Just store it in breastmilk storage bags, place it in the freezer bag with ice packs, and pack it in your checked bag.  No need to even have a discussion with TSA about your breastmilk:) 

7. When you get back home, my guess is that you and your little guy will want to take a mini nursing honeymoon, which means just nurse and nurse whenever either one of you wants to.  Reconnect and enjoy one another!

 

Warmly,

Robin

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What tricks have worked for YOU when you went on a business trip away from your breastfeeding little one?

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