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Being away from my baby is emotionally challenging.  I miss his cute little faces and his funny noises; I miss his snuggles and his drool smiles.  But being away is physically challenging, too, because I breastfeed.  Here’s what has worked for me so far (I’ve been away overnight twice, so I’m still trying to figure a lot of this out – also, a lot of the specifics about breastfeeding are so unique to the mom, so what works for me may not work for you!).

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First things first:  logistically speaking, if you’re physically separated from your baby, you must remove milk as you or your baby normally would.  The reality is that you just can’t take a breastfeeding break; our bodies aren’t designed for it – after all, in ‘the wild,’ you would never leave your baby for an overnight business trip!  You continue to produce milk, your boobs become ginormous, and it hurts like heck.  If you don’t maintain your normal schedule, you can get an infection or clogged duct, and your supply can diminish.  If you’re traveling without baby, this means that you must pump as you would normally breastfeed or pump.

 

Breastfeeding in public is a rather hot debate.  There are many people who think breastfeeding should be a private experience and want moms to cover up or retreat to a private space.  On the other hands, there are those who feel that breastfeeding is normal and natural and should be treated as such, and thus they openly breastfeed in public places.  They’ll breastfeed in malls and restaurants, on planes and trains, in the movie theatre or the doctor’s waiting room.  Breastfeeding can be discreet even without a cover, especially if you’re smaller-chested and/or wearing appropriate clothing. 

 

I can understand why public breastfeeding makes some people uncomfortable – after all, breasts are normally covered – but on the other hand, I think we’re far too uptight about nudity in general, it’s just a breast, and a baby’s got to eat.  Breasts may be sexual in some circumstances, but breastfeeding is not.   Plus, if our society wasn’t so skittish about breastfeeding, more women would probably do it and for longer amounts of time.  Now, of course, I switched to exclusive pumping around 8 weeks, and one of the reasons was that I found public breastfeeding slightly embarrassing, but I really wish that I hadn’t felt that way.  I am totally supportive of the concept of public feeding if others want to do it.  For what it’s worth, public breastfeeding – even without a cover – is a legal right in the vast majority of jurisdictions and circumstances.

 

That being said, I feel very weird about pumping in public.  I know some mommas feel okay about putting on a cover and pumping in public, but it makes me feel strange because 1) pumps make a lot of noise and 2) everyone knows what breastfeeding is, but not everyone knows what pumping is, and I certainly don’t want to field questions about it from a stranger while my boobs are hooked up to a machine.  Awkward. 

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So, when I travel alone, the issue becomes:  how and where can I pump discreetly and privately, and what do I do with the milk when I’m done?

 

Car Travel:  When on a road trip (or even when I’m just running a lot of errands), I pump in my car.  Most pumps have a battery pack option, but I imagine regularly using batteries would get expensive fast.  I use an adaptor that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter; the adaptor allows me to plug in the pump and get full power.   Pumping in the car with the adaptor is no big deal – I have automatic privacy and a reliable power source.

 

Air Travel:  Flying is another story.  When booking flights, I am very aware of how long the flights and my layovers are, as I can’t go much longer than five hours max during the day without pumping.  My first piece of advice, therefore, is to build time between your flights to pump.  That’s because pumping on the plane is very difficult and annoying.  Some plane bathrooms have outlets, but you don’t get full power, so the pump only operates at half speed.  Furthermore, if you pump on the flight, you are stuck in a gross airplane bathroom for 10 – 30 minutes. 

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One option is to use a manual pump while traveling; one disadvantage to this is that most (all?) manual pumps are single pumps, so you can only do one breast at a time unless you bring two, and manual pumps  aren’t as efficient as electric pumps.  The big advantages, of course, are that you don’t have to worry about finding a power source, and the pump doesn’t take up as much space in your suitcase.

 

Speaking of power needs, some of the airports that I’ve been in have dedicated nursing rooms that have outlets and provide total privacy.  However, the few nursing rooms that I’ve encountered don’t have chairs, which makes no sense!  When I can’t find a family restroom, I can always find a ‘special needs’ solo bathroom.  I asked an airport attendant once if it was appropriate to use the special needs bathroom for breastfeeding, and she said it was fine.  There are airport maps in every terminal, and special needs bathrooms are always labeled on the map.

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Washing Pump Parts / Transporting Milk:  The burning question, of course, is what do you do with the milk once you’ve pumped it?  I think this really depends on the mom, the baby, and her frozen milk stash at home.  I have a decent milk supply, and although I haaaaaate to pour milk down the drain, Henry has frozen milk at home to eat while I’m away, and it’s easier than keeping thirty or forty ounces of pumped milk cold for a long stretch.  I have a friend who struggles to keep up with her baby’s milk needs; while on a business trip, she dry-ice packed and overnight shipped her pumped milk to her baby (it was really expensive!).  If you’re going to keep all the milk you pump while away, be sure to book a hotel room that has a mini-fridge and bring a cooler and ice packs.

 

If I’m gone for an overnight trip, I’ll toss everything I pump except whatever I pump immediately before getting home.  There is a LOT of conflicting information about how long breastmilk can be left out without needing to refrigerate – I’ve seen everything from one hour to eight – but I tend to be pretty relaxed about this and follow a six-hour rule.   To transport my last-pumped bottles, I buy two large cups of ice from a fast food place and pop the bottles in.  It keeps it chilled for a bit, especially if I refresh the ice on board, and although it would be much easier and more convenient to carry a small cooler, I am just not that organized (yet!).  This works in a pinch.

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In terms of washing my pump parts, I know some people sterilize their parts every day (either by boiling, using a microwave sterilizer, or putting them in the top rack of the dishwasher), but I am also pretty relaxed about this (American recommendations are much stricter; European guidelines say this is perfectly fine).  I rinse the pieces off every time and just scrub the pieces with very hot water, unscented/dye-free soap, and a hard brush every two or three pumps.  If I’m pumping and dumping while traveling, I don’t bother to give the pieces a good wash until I know I’m going to keep the milk.

 

Airport Security:  What about bringing milk through airport security checkpoints?  After all, there’s that whole ‘3 ounces’ of liquids rule.  Thankfully, this rule does not apply to breastmilk (and formula or the water associated with preparing formula).  All you have to do is declare the milk to the TSA agent.  They may (externally) test it for explosives, but I have not had this happen yet.   There’s also no limit to how much milk you can carry through security.

 

Random Pumping Tips:  One awesome trick that blog readers told me about was that after pumping, you can put the bottles and pump parts in a Ziploc bag and pop them in the fridge. No rinsing required – the refrigeration prevents bacteria growth – and all you have to do is wash them once at the end of the day. This is an especially handy tip for women who pump exclusively or everyday while at work!

 

Another trick is to look at a picture or a video of your baby as you pump.  It really does make it easier and WAY faster, and it reminds you why you are doing it in the first place. 

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So – that’s how I manage to travel {alone} while breastfeeding.  Honestly, it is quite complicated – it’s this whole sub-culture of mommyhood that I never realized existed until I entered it.  But like so many things relating to parenting, if you plan ahead, it’s not too bad.

 

I’d love for you all to weigh in!  Are you a breastfeeding mom who travels for work?  Got any travel tips?  And how do you feel about breastfeeding in public?

{ 107 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Inna November 14, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I don’t mean this to be judgmental at all (and I really hope it doesn’t come off that way!) but as a momma who struggles with very low milk supply, it KILLS me to hear you’re dumping your milk. I know given the circumstances you may have no choice, but it just breaks my heart. Have you looked into donating the pumped milk to milk banks instead of dumping it? You probably don’t have time to go out of your way, but if there’s one somewhere not too far from where you’re speaking/staying maybe you could drop the milk off there?

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:02 pm

      This is a great idea! I have never thought of finding a nearby bank when traveling to donate to. It might be logistically hard to pull off but it would totally be worth it. Thanks for giving me this idea!

      And yeah – dumping sucks so much. It’s like watching liquid gold disappear down the drain.

      Reply
      • Christy November 14, 2012, 1:25 pm

        Milk banks require testing and a slip from your doctor before donating. Human Milk For HumanBbabies (HM4HB) has local facebook pages. You can post a notice that you’ll be in town on whatever day and the milk is available if someone wants it. I donated thousands of ounces through HM4HB. It’s a great group, and the mom will usually drive to you so you don’t have to go out of your way.

        Reply
        • Lissy November 14, 2012, 5:55 pm

          Milkshare.com is another great resource. I donated thousands of ounces to several moms in return for more bags to store the milk in.

          Reply
    • Ashley November 14, 2012, 3:30 pm

      ah, dang! I didn’t read this comment and I left a comment at the bottom saying basically the same thing! : )

      Reply
      • Jill November 14, 2012, 7:54 pm

        I’ve donated milk with no hassle through my local (Chicago) Eats on Feets group that I found on facebook. It’s worth a shot!

        Reply
  • lisa fine November 14, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Wow, so much information! I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I’ll definitely have a lot to keep in mind.

    Living in northern Vermont, which is very liberal as a whole, I notice women breastfeeding pretty often. It’s great that it’ seen as normal here, at least among many.

    Reply
  • Jenny @ For Your Consideration November 14, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Wow! I just wanted to share that I never thought about any of this stuff (re: pumping while traveling without baby), and I am so glad you just covered all this information. Also, thanks to first commenter Inna for the milk donation tip. I’m still a month away from delivering, so who knows what my situation will be, but having all this info here makes me feel at least a little less clueless. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:46 pm

      Good luck with delivery!

      Reply
  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution November 14, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I’m not even a mom, but I just devoured that post! Thanks for the very informative and interesting post! Thanks Caitlin!

    Reply
  • natalie @ will jog for food November 14, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Wow! I never thought about all that stuff!

    I’ll be flying with my baby cross country when he/she is about 5 months old. I guess I’ll be breastfeeding on the flight? Sounds fun, haha.

    Reply
    • Jill November 14, 2012, 2:03 pm

      That’s awesome – I’m sure it’ll keep baby happy, and help with any ear irritation they might experience otherwise.

      Reply
  • Devon November 14, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Been there! My daughter was born 2 months early and I exclusively pumped for 14 months. Way to make that effort and make it happen for your little one. Milk banks are awesome I ended up donating 15 gallons! YAYAYA for breast fed babes!

    Reply
    • Tammy Root November 14, 2012, 2:29 pm

      Hi Devon,
      I just saw your post and have a question you might be able to answer. :) I pump exclusively and right now my 6-month old eats approximately 30 ounces a day. I pump that each day and I have ~380 ounces stashed up. My question is, what does a typical 8-12 month old baby eat in breast milk? I am not sure if it is less because of solids or if it stays the same or increases. I am trying to figure out how best to maintain or increase my pumping schedule to be sure she has enough. Thanks!

      Reply
  • Lisa November 14, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I still breastfeed my 17 month old. Ive NEVER used a cover. HATE THEM.
    While he was a Baby I had no issues doing it in Public. I tried to be discreet and sit in corners or with my back turned. Now that hes a toddler I would never do it in public. I would feel very uncomfortable doing that (He only gets 2X a day nap and bed).

    I have pumped and dumped before….. Sucks! But, mega engorged hurting boobs suck more!

    Also, most milk banks make you have X amount and go through screenings so as the comment above suggested you donate I dont think it would be possible.

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:45 pm

      Aw too bad. :(

      Reply
  • Dominique November 14, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I love your posts about breastfeeding – especially since I usually read you blog while nursing or pumping – which I’m doing now. I’m a grad student without my own office so I find myself pumping in semi-public spaces frequently. I’m currently pumping in an office with other grad students. I’ve also pumped in bathrooms while using my battery pack as well as infrequently used stairwells and supply closets. I bought rechargeable batteries for my pump to cut down on expense. I agree that pumping in public is weird and I try to avoid it as much as possible. Doing it in the graduate office is not too bad because I know all the other students and they all at least said they were cool with it. I have no problem, however, breastfeeding in public. In Flagstaff, where we live, it is fairly common and I haven’t had any problems with it. People either don’t notice or notice and don’t care.

    I haven’t traveled at all since my baby was born, except yesterday. I drove to Phoenix for a conference and was there all day. Thankfully, the conference was in a really nice hotel and all the bathrooms had power outlets. I pumped about 20 oz over the course of the day, which is how much the cooler that came with my pump will h0ld so I didn’t have to throw any of it away or figure out another way of keeping it cold.

    Reply
  • Chelsea November 14, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Another idea for you and other Mom’s out there is getting the hotel to put the milk in their freezer for you and then bringing it home with iced packed around it. As long as the flight isn’t crazy long it has worked for me pretty good.

    Reply
  • Kelley November 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I was hoping you’d do a post on this! I was curious! Also wanted to point out that the Medela Freestyle has a large rechargeable battery that doesn’t require a car adapter or batteries. You can pump wirelessly on full power for two full days without running out of juice. Just another option for someone on the go, traveling or at work.

    Girl, you are so lucky you have so much milk. Don’t ever take that for granted! I’ve shed many tears in frustration over my supply. But you’ve been a huge inspiration. I bet you can’t wait to get home to Henry!

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:45 pm

      Oooo I didn’t know that about the Freestyle – SCORE! Thanks for letting everyone know. And thanks for your kind words <3

      Reply
      • Tammy Root November 14, 2012, 2:31 pm

        I have the freestyle too. It is awesome and the battery lasts a long time!

        Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:45 pm

      Oooo I didn’t know that about the Freestyle – SCORE! Thanks for letting everyone know. And thanks for your kind words <3

      Reply
      • Emily Malone November 14, 2012, 5:57 pm

        I was just going to leave this same comment. You NEED the Freestyle! I can’t believe you are plugging in every time! The battery lasts a long time too. I charge it like every 25 times or something ridiculous.

        Reply
  • Sarah@KidsHeartRealFood November 14, 2012, 1:51 pm

    Great post Caitlin! I just recently went away for the weekend for the first time since having my son. It was a “girls weekend” getaway and I was having so much fun that although I brought my pump with me, I was not very diligent about pumping (usually once I started to get really full and sore) so I was definitely not keeping on schedule. As a result, my supply was lower when I got home as my son was basically on the boob for 2 days straight!!! So retrospectively, I really should have made the time to do it at the normal intervals of when he would have eaten.

    Great idea about the milk banks Inna. That is something I should look into for next time.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 14, 2012, 1:53 pm

    oh my goodness, this is way more complicated than I’d ever imagined! And nursing rooms without chairs?!!? People are so weird, or just not very thoughtful…

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 1:53 pm

      for serious.

      Reply
  • Jessica November 14, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Great post! I’m so lucky that I haven’t had to travel for work so far – I can’t imagine being away from my baby for so long – it would break my heart! :( It’s hard enough being away at work each day, let alone overnight. My 11 month old still nurses multiple times a night and I’m no where ready to nightwean, so I don’t think I could even do a overnight business trip at this point. I’ve got a trip planned in the spring but my husband and baby are coming along! Good excuse for a little vacation. :)

    Dumb question – in the post you say you breastfeed, but I thought you pumped exclusively? Have you gone back to breastfeeding? I know a few moms that did that – started out pumping exclusively but a few months in were able to transition back to the breast and had long successful breastfeeding careers with their babies.

    As for milk storage guidelines, I go by KellyMom.com, which is the gold standard (really the BEST RESOURCE for moms!): http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/ which says 4-8 hours at room temp. I also follow the guideline of refrigerating my pump parts all day at work between pumping sessions. I then wash them at night on the top rack of the dishwasher; having multiple sets of pump parts as a working/pumping mom is essential! (I have 3 sets of horns/membranes and like, millions of bottles, ha.)
    I’ve heard too that most hotels will have a fridge/freezer you can use to store your milk. And I can’t imagine dumping all that milk! I have trouble pumping (usually only 2-3 oz per half hour session) so dumping all that milk sounds awful!

    I also have no trouble nursing in public, especially now, almost a year into breastfeeding. It’s just no big deal at all and I don’t think anyone has even noticed what I’m doing. It really says something sad about our society that someone like you, whose JOB it is to make women love and feel comfortable with their bodies and have high self-esteem (Operation Beautiful, which I love!) feels like she can’t even use her body in the way it was intended. :(

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 2:03 pm

      I still pump exclusively! In my original pumping post, I wrote that I felt bad saying that I BF when I pump, and there was like 10 comments in the post that told me I should be proud to pump and I can call it breastfeeding even though I’m not feeding the baby right from my boob :) So I do now. :)

      Reply
      • Morgan November 14, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Breastfeeding= feeding baby with milk from your breast. Doesn’t matter how baby eats it (bottle or boob), IMO!

        Reply
      • Becky B. November 16, 2012, 10:07 am

        What in the world would someone call it otherwise? She expresses milk from her breast and feeds it to her baby, AKA Breastfeeding. What she isnt doing is NURSING.
        After reading this post yesterday, and some of the comments, I went through the day a little annoyed at readers. Having breastfed 2 children for more than a year each, one with multiple food allergies that I must avoid as well, and pumping while at work at least 3 times a day for nearly 2.5 years of the last four years, I feel no one can say a thing about how you choose to feed your baby, or manage your milk, or anything elseabout the whole situation unless they have been in your shoes. Breastfeeding is one of the most intense physically and mentally and emotionally challenging things a woman will ever do. THATS WHY SO MANY WOMEN IN THE U.S. FAIL! There is little support, few accomadations (Caitlin’s experience in the airport!) and so much predjudice and taboo surrounding it. Caitlin, you are doing amazing. I am amazed you fit it all in. And also amazed that you pump full time without a FreeStyle Pump! I would go insane plugged into a wall all the time. If you have extra milk you should look into Human Milk for Human Babies on Facebook. There is a large community of women who would especially love milk that is gluten free and dairy free. I have developed an ongoing doner relationship with a woman in my town who has low supply. She supplements with my milk and the baby went from 5% to 50% in weight in two months- I am so happy to help. We have become friends, and I love seeing my milk that would otherwise be overflowing my freezer going to help someone else, as well as getting to see him grow and finally start sleeping well for her. Best of all, I made a new friend!

        Reply
        • Caitlin November 16, 2012, 10:36 am

          thank you <3

          Reply
    • Amy November 14, 2012, 2:38 pm

      Jessica, re: the last part of your comment, I noticed that, too. How could anyone say they’re embarrassed?!

      Reply
      • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 2:48 pm

        Well, just because I run Operation Beautiful doesn’t mean I have 100% perfect self esteem in every way, shape, and form (I would love to see someone who does all the time!). I talked about this a little bit in my exclusive pumping post, but I think my embarrassment with it really stemmed from the fact that 1) i have ginormous boobs that are not easily hidden by a cute little baby head (seriously, ladies, if you have tiny breastfeeding boobs, be grateful) and 2) i had to use a nipple shield due to my nipple shape (now you know far too much about my boobs), so it wasn’t very easy to latch Henry without basically flashing the entire world. Honestly, I’d rather keep it real with you guys and say I feel uncomfortable doing something than lie and be like “I AM SO AWESOME, I ALWAYS HAVE THE BEST SELF-ESTEEM AND OUTLOOK” because that is so. not. true. Just trying to keep it real.

        Reply
        • heather November 15, 2012, 9:27 am

          I don’t think being uncomfortable breastfeeding in public has anything to do with self esteem or body image. Just because it is okay to breast feed in public, it is pretty ridiculous to assume everyone should feel the same way about doing it.
          I fully support breastfeeding in public, but I have always hated doing it for many reasons. Some women are more modest than others, so what? Doesn’t mean a darn thing.
          I think anyone that needs how they feel about breastfeeding in public validating by having everyone else feel or act the same way is the one with the issue, not the person just being honest about their personal preference.

          Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie November 14, 2012, 2:04 pm

    I’m totes into public breastfeeding. I do it all the time. It’s not sexual, it’s not gross or inappropriate. I’m discreet and don’t ever use a cover. I have no qualms at popping a boob when I need to, where ever I am.

    Reply
  • Jayce November 14, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I love breastfeeding, and I feel totally comfortable doing it in public. I just wear a nursing cami under my shirt and lift the shirt. I’d say it’s super discreet. Now that he’s almost 5 months old and easily distracted, I hold a blanket or burp cloth near his face to cover up/catch squirting if he unlatches. It’s hard for me to understand feeling embarrassed about it, but then breastfeeding was totally normalized for me by my sisters, who exclusively nursed all their kids, 11 total. Hopefully, I can be an encouragement to moms hesitant to nurse, especially in public, just by doing my thing confidently.

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 2:06 pm

      WHOA! 11 nieces and nephews!! Lucky you :)

      Do you have any tips for distracted babies? Henry does the same thing when eating and it is. so. incredibly. frustrating. sometimes.

      Reply
      • Jayce November 14, 2012, 2:47 pm

        A nursing necklace (which I think you have) can sometimes help. But, like any toy, they can get sick of them ;). Talking/singing to him and making eye contact while he nurses helps. I try to nurse in a calm, quiet environment when I can. When that’s not an option, we tend to end up nursing for shorter periods closer together. He makes up for it with extra night feedings right now.

        Reply
        • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 3:58 pm

          oh joy lol. i find it helps if i face a wall or something, and sometimes i put a white noise app on my phone to block out the other noises.

          Reply
        • Claire November 14, 2012, 4:42 pm

          Yes, we got lots of nighttime nursing to make up for distracted daytime nursing! I would say for us that started around 5 months and lasted until after the 9 month sleep regression (when we went back to wake-ups every hour, ugh!). I find that she’s much less distracted now at 11 months and she’ll only nurse once or twice at night, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for that, for sure.
          At the time, the best thing I found for distracted was nursing side-lying on the bed in our darkened bedroom, without any talking or other distractions. And forget about checking anything on your cell phone or laptop while nursing from this point on! Kellymom.com has a great article about it: http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/distractible-baby/

          Reply
  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life November 14, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Thank you for all of this information! I appreciate the time it must have taken you to get it all down! I exclusively pumped with my son so I know what you are going through. I have a little girl due in January and will be leaving on a biz trip soon after returning from my maternity leave so all of this will be bookmarked for later down the line!

    I hope your trip went well!

    Reply
  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker November 14, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Good post, Caitlin. Back when I was pumping more, I always used a manual pump. It only took me 10 minutes to get the milk from both sides. I tried an electric pump and it took the up to 30 minutes you describe. That’s why whenever I have needed it, I just go manual. That being said, doing it day after day, though, would certainly get tiring. had I needed to pump more, I probably would have done more electric. These are great tips!!!

    Reply
    • Megan November 14, 2012, 3:32 pm

      I’ve never owned an electric pump, either. All the girls are work still talk about “How fast Megan could pump! She’d leave to pump and be back in 5 minutes with bottles full of milk!” My mom really wanted to buy me an electric pump for my 2nd child and I wouldn’t let her bc I knew I didn’t need it!

      Reply
  • Jen November 14, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I haaaate how noisy the pump is! I had to pump on a plane once and felt so awkward.

    The Medela wipes are the best things EVER (if you’re like me and think washing your pump in an airport bathroom is gross).

    Reply
  • Erin @ WholsomeRD.com November 14, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Such great info! Thank you so much! I was actually reading this while pumping at work :)

    I used to be more relaxed about cleaning and sanitizing my bottles and pumping supplies until I found mold in one of my pumping pieces. It scared the crap out of me since I thought there might be mold present that I couldn’t see in other bottles! So just be careful! I diligently wash and sanitize now! :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 2:45 pm

      Ew grosssss. I got mold in my tubes once (not due to cleaning really, but due to them getting wet and not pumping them dry), and I was SO disgusted. Mold is icky.

      Reply
  • Grace @ Grace Dishes November 14, 2012, 2:47 pm

    This is such a great post for someone who has never been a mom! I can’t imagine how you feel being separated from your baby! I had anxiety from leaving my brother (12 y/o) when I had to attend a wedding in Vegas a few weeks ago and he’s (pretty) capable of taking care of himself!

    Great tips!

    Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 14, 2012, 3:01 pm

    This was such an interesting post to me, and honestly something I’ve never even thought of! I appreciate your tips and talking about an issue that isn’t talked about much!

    Reply
  • Jess November 14, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I’ve traveled extensively for work without my daughter for up to 5 days at a time. My company has paid for me to ship milk home because it’s a medical necessity for my daughter to have it. It is expensive, but hey, it’s worth anyone traveling for work to ask their employer about.

    I also always get a mini fridge in my room. I freeze most of the milk and keep my ice pack frozen. You are allowed to bring hard sided ice packs (like the one that comes with the Medela Pump in Style) through security. That way when I travel home I’m all good and the milk stays cold enough.

    I’m one of those nurse/pump in public people. I have to do it and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I pump/nurse in my seat, at the gate, I’ve pumped in convention center halls, you name it I’ve pumped there. I’ve even nursed at the finish line of races. I’ve never had anyone say a word to me or ask me a question about what I was doing. Well, except once, a middle aged man asked how old my baby was and told me how wonderful it was that I was so dedicated to pumping even as a full-time working mom. That was nice to hear because it is not easy working out of the home, traveling, etc. and exclusively breastfeeding for going on 16.5 months now.

    Also Medela makes great wipes for cleaning parts on the go. I always use those when I travel.

    Reply
  • Erika November 14, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I’m okay with women breastfeeding in public. I did it but I used a cover because that’s what was comfortable for me to do. I still feel like there is something private about it. It’s okay to feel embarrassed about it – that’s doesn’t mean you have low self esteem.

    I wish there were a way you could not dump milk. You might think you have enough saved up now but later on when you are weaning from pumping and breastmilk to cow (or whatever type you choose) milk you might run out. I thought I had 2 months extra worth and once we started transitioning to cow milk by mixing it with breastmilk and I stopped pumping it only last about 2 weeks! Save up as much as you can.

    Reply
  • Kayla November 14, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I really don’t think using a special needs bathroom to pump is appropriate, regardless of what the airport employee told you. I have a little girl with special needs, and when she needs a bathroom, she NEEDS a bathroom. If you’re tying up the closest handicapped bathroom for 10-30 minutes to pump, what are the disabled people who need a restroom supposed to do during that time? It’s not always possible or easy for a person with special needs to get to another bathroom. Also, I am completely supportive of breastfeeding; I have nursed all three of my children and I understand how complicated it is to pump/nurse while traveling. However, pumping IS something you could do in public if you ABSOLUTELY had to. Using a restroom is not.

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Hmm interesting point, definitely something I will consider in the future. Part of the problem with pumping in a regular bathroom is sometimes there are no outlets! You never realize how hard it is to find an outlet in a bathroom until you need one. But there’s always one in a family/special needs bathroom. Like I said, I definitely wouldn’t have gone in there unless I had the okay, and there also was a changing table in the Denver one, so I suppose it’s also a family bathroom.

      Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) November 14, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I have taken several trips since having my daughter so I have pumped in many an airport bathroom. I have even pumped on the plane with my cover. Totally prefer the bathroom though!! I always wonder what the lady in the stall next to me thinks since it can get so loud! Ha.

    I also follow the 6 hour rule for leaving breast-milk at room temp. Great tip about refrigerating the pump parts to prevent bacteria growth – I’m so going to do this!

    Reply
  • Ashley November 14, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I realize this is a hot-button issue, but for Moms who are “okay” with milk-sharing, I would TOTALLY recommend to donate your breast milk while away rather than doing a pump&dump. Breastmilk is like liquid gold and for those who struggle with supply but prefer to feed their baby breastmilk, milk-sharing programs may be the only way they are able to avoid formula. Tons of milk-sharing programs exist and, although “selling” breastmilk is not allowed through the programs, often times recipient-Moms will “reimburse” donor-Moms by replacing their storage bags, etc.

    Reply
  • Angie November 14, 2012, 3:34 pm

    One quick comment about TSA rules. You can bring breastmilk AND freezer packs to keep the milk cold. I just traveled for the first time without my baby and printed out the page from the TSA website in case there was any question about either the milk or the freezer pack. The TSA agent unzipped my cooler to verify that it was actually milk and a freezer pack and then sent me on my way. If you are in a hotel where you have access to a freezer, it is easier and less messy than using actual ice.

    Reply
  • Rachel November 14, 2012, 3:35 pm

    I’ve always struggled with the whole breast feeding in public debate. Honestly, it grosses me out. I am not against breast feeding–I think its natural, a good thing, and I don’t have a problem with nudity. However, it makes me squeamish. Breast feeding just feels private to me. As I was reading your article it hit me that while it’s natural, etc. that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done in public. For example, we all go to the bathroom, but I would be extremely offended if a man whipped out his penis to go to the bathroom! I’m not sure how breast feeding is really that different. I feel like if you need to breast feed you should try to be as inconspicuous and tucked away as possible. That being said I don’t condemn women who do breast feed in public and I understand how sometimes logistics, etc. can make it inevitable…I just think there needs to be some consideration for people around you, while at the same time, we also need to “get over it”.

    Reply
    • Amanda November 14, 2012, 4:13 pm

      You eat your food in public, why should baby be any different. For those who say baby should eat under a cover, I ask, do you eat your dinner under a cover? If you are uncomfortable around breastfeeding, I would suggest possibly considering why does it make you uncomfortable and think about how you could change that. Using the restroom is not in any way even close to the same as breastfeeding an infant.

      Reply
    • Sheryl November 14, 2012, 4:44 pm

      I can’t believe I’m actually responding to this… but please, don’t ever compare feeding a child to urinating in public. No woman should EVER have to feel ashamed for feeding her child.
      You eat in public. Babies should get to eat in public too.

      Reply
    • Anne November 14, 2012, 4:50 pm

      hmmmmm, except breastfeeding is just feeding your baby, not urinating or defecating–not sure there’s a parallel there.

      Reply
    • Tess November 14, 2012, 5:29 pm

      Rachel, here’s how I think breastfeeding is different:
      (1) an adult can wait until finding an appropriate place to go to the bathroom; babies do not understand why they have to wait and will scream if they are hungry (something that also makes a lot of people VERY uncomfortable in public places);
      (2) there are many public bathrooms but very few comfortable places for women to nurse their babies (nursing in a public bathroom is NOT pleasant or even viable, unless there is a chair/dedicated space)
      (3) peeing in public makes the surrounding area gross; nursing does not.

      Very few breastfeeding women try to be “in your face” about nursing in public. Most do their best to be discreet. But realistically, if someone is exclusively breastfeeding there will be times that she has no choice — unless she opts to be housebound until baby weans.

      I get that it makes people uncomfortable, and I certainly always tried to be pretty discreet. But I think if we take into account the relative importance of (a) encouraging breastfeeding for emotional and physical health, and (b) saving adults — who have the option to look the other way! — a little discomfort, I would always go for (a).

      Reply
      • Rachel November 15, 2012, 11:24 am

        After re-reading my comment I realized I made it sound like I was saying breast feeding in public is the same thing as peeing in public, and I do not think they are in anyway comparable. I was more thinking about the use of the argument that if something is natural than that means it is okay to do in public. I really just wanted to get at how breast feeding make me uncomfortable (and I don’t know why!). I was not trying to suggest that I would shun (or give the stink eye to) a woman breast feeding in public. I just wish there could be discretion and understanding on both sides!

        Reply
  • Megan November 14, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Great post, Caitlin! I agree that you are still a breastfeeding momma, but I think it important for other mommas who are reading this and going to be leaving their baby an extended time for whatever reason needs to realize that pumping is not always as effective as it has been for you. I only pumped when I was working (12 hour shift, 3x a week) and never had any trouble at all. But others of my friends have plenty of milk if their baby is nursing but have trouble getting just a few ounces from a pump.

    Kudos to you for making it work!! Also, as you start traveling more and more I would highly encourage you to figure out a way to bring your milk home. I had over 300 ounces in my deep freezer and it stopped working and I didn’t realize it for a few days. It was awful to dump that much milk out! Luckily, my baby was nearly a year, I had 100 ounces in the freezer inside and was pumping more than she was eating while I was gone. I would have been devastated if the circumstances were different and I was regularly using my stash. You just never know when something might happen and you’ll need extra milk.

    Reply
  • Amanda November 14, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Kudos to you to still pumping that much! Logistically it just didn’t work when I had a 13 month old needing to be taken care of and an infant that I was trying to feed. It was just too stressful for me to try to pump on top of that. I have giant boobs (not really but when you’re trying to get a tiny baby head attached to them they seem large) and she was having issues so I tried to do the pumping thing and it just didn’t work.

    I’m sad bf’ing didn’t work out for me but I think its more of a society making me feel guilty for not doing it more since a lot of blogs out there preach it as if you don’t succeed you just didn’t try hard enough. I’m sorry, but if I’m dealing with super bad post partum depression and have two babies to take care of all day, I’m not going to go out of my way to stress out about breastfeeding. My girls have never been sick a day in their lives, the oldest is 20 months and only had three weeks of breast milk. The youngest is almost 8 months and had it for six weeks or so and is already almost as big as her older sister and also has never been sick.

    I don’t really mind people breastfeeding in public at all, but I too was just uncomfortable doing it due to the large boobs and a small baby who wasn’t really a fan of my boobs. If there wasn’t a place for me to do it then I’d go in my car.

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 3:55 pm

      i soooo agree with what you say about the pressure to do it. No one should ever feel pressured to do something if its not in their best emotional interest – a happy mommy = a happy baby regardless of what that kiddo eats.

      Reply
  • Abby November 14, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Great post! Hope your trip went well!

    I feel like I have been breastfeeding forever, not really but since February 2011 with a 2 month break in between.

    I have no problem breastfeeding in public. Most of the time I use a coverup, I have a really nice one given to me as a gift. 2nd time around I have a more laid back approach, have to get her fed so I can attend to the 20 month old!

    Except when we are at my in laws I always go somewhere different. After a horrible situation with an uncle I won’t ever breastfeeding in front of them again!

    When I was working as a teacher pumping at work I pumped in the bathroom inside of the janitors office, better than the room with the nasty cleaning supplies they originally wanted to put me! One day they knocked on the door asking when I would be done so they could get the fire drill done!!! :)

    Reply
    • Amanda November 14, 2012, 4:01 pm

      OMG Its so weird to be “bothered” while pumping at work! Whenever I pump and someone knocks on the door, I get this strange feeling because I am ignoring them, but sure they can hear me in here rustling around (or typing and pumping) like now :)

      Reply
  • Amanda November 14, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I pump at work every.single.day and it SUCKS. But yeah, we do it for our babies. I luckily have my own office, but the pump is loud and I’m still not used to having my boobs out in my professional office. I, like you, can pump very quickly – in about 7 minutes I get 4 oz. on average, thankfully a full feeding. I also keep the parts in a plastic baggie on ice packs so I don’t have to rinse them until I get home at night.

    As for feeding in public, my guy is 6 mo old now and I still have no problem feeding when needed. Although, at first, I was terrified of nursing in the restaurant, at the doc, or around family. I think that just goes away with having done it a few times. I simply don’t care now! Baby has to have his milk, and we actually live in a progressive town where it is very common to nurse babies. I found nursing in public and around others was easier when he was only a couple months old. Now, he is much more distracted and I basically have to feed in the rocker in his nursery where it is quiet and nothing going on to get him to take a full, appropriate feeding. If he hears dad, unlatches immediately to look at him :)

    I also had mold in my tubes! I am on my third set of them and think I have it down now on how to keep them dry. I just keep the pump on for a bit after I unhook the hoses.

    Reply
  • Sara November 14, 2012, 4:24 pm

    This is great! I want to breastfeed my baby (due in May) and only get 10 weeks maternity leave so I was trying to figure out how I’d work out pumping while traveling (I have to do a day trip or two per month and sometimes an overnight trip.) Good to know!

    Reply
  • olivia November 14, 2012, 4:28 pm

    way to keep up the pumping while away on business! i know it can be stressful.. i have the medela freestyle and it is great with not needing an outlet/power source to pump.. at the same time sometimes i would be lazy and let it slide and not charge it and be in trouble b/c i leave my ac adaptor plugged in at home.. luckily i work at a large office where my friends use the same pumps so i can borrow their chargers..
    i have noticed that in hotels, the mini fridge is not to regular fridge temps and so i have taken the ice bucket full of ice and stored the milk bags in there inside the mini fridge, which works very well..
    also, i started to pump directly into storage bags by carrying around a roll of scotch tape. i would tape the top of the bags around the neck of the pump cup parts above where you screw in the bottle and it saved me some washing (every bit of washing counts!).. the only thing is it takes practice and requires u to hold the bags b/c if they get heavy/full they can fall off.. i have not paid attention a few times and had the milk leak out b/c i didnt tape the bag securely around the pump cup part.

    Reply
  • Morgan November 14, 2012, 4:59 pm

    I breastfed regularly in public but I always used a cover. We were living in Mississippi at the time and no one there breastfeeds so the cover made me feel more comfortable. We live in the Pacific Northwest now where covers are practically condemned so I am not sure what I will do if we are lucky enough to have a second baby. I doubt I will ever be ready to nurse without a cover but GG size boobs are almost impossible to hide lol. I only used a manual pump and I could get 5oz per side in less than ten minutes! I am a huge fan of the hand pump. Unfortunately my daughter refused to ever take a bottle, so most of that milk went to waste.

    Reply
  • kim November 14, 2012, 5:01 pm

    funny story about airport security and breast milk. my guy cousin was traveling with his son and TSA asked him to drink some to prove it was breast milk. this happened at the London airport.

    Reply
  • Rebecca Van Drunen November 14, 2012, 5:04 pm

    I breastfeed my 6 month old and I find lately that the only way to get her to eat while in a public place is to use a nursing cover. She is easily distracted by almost anything and I find that at least with the nursing cover I can get about 10 minutes of concentration out of her!

    Reply
  • Samantha November 14, 2012, 5:09 pm

    This is a great post Caitlin! Thanks for taking the time to write all this out. Both my kids are past the breastfeeding/pumping phase, but I could nod my head at everything your wrote here. Crazy what we do for our kids! ;) I’m sure this post will be so helpful for a lot of new moms!

    Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery November 14, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Random question but is the first picture of the arrival signs from DIA? As a Denver native I saw that and thought it looked realllly familiar :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 14, 2012, 5:46 pm

      yes!

      Reply
  • Laura @ She Eats Well November 14, 2012, 5:25 pm

    I am no where near having children but find this post so interesting (as well as all the posts around babies and mothering). It’s amazing all that you are doing!

    Reply
  • Amy @ Eat Workout Succeed November 14, 2012, 6:03 pm

    I take my hat off to you girly! I breastfed my son for 8 months, once i got to grips with feeding i didn’t mind feeding him in public, i was very discreet, most of the time people thought he was sleeping but he was snuggled in feeding (oh how i miss those days!)

    I think it is wonderful that you are not letting being a breast pumping mom restrict you from carrying on with your life… i have to say i felt very limited when i breast fed on where i could go and how far from baby i could go as i just could not get on with the pumps. You have proven that you can be a good mom and a career woman at the same time with a little bit of fore planning – well done hun x

    Reply
  • Katie November 14, 2012, 6:43 pm

    I am a working pumping mom and have done my first trip away from baby. I put all of my milk into storage bags (they take up less room), put in the fridge at the hotel, then brought home in a cooler with an ice pack. In the next couple of months I will have to go to our office in Switzerland and travel with single male colleagues, I am already anticipating the international flight time and how I will pump on the plane–the airport doesn’t have me as worried. The things we do for our babies!!! Thanks for the post and tips. Planning is the key to pumping success.

    Reply
  • Jess@atasteofconfidence November 14, 2012, 7:41 pm

    I went to a nutrition conference over the summer and a lot of it dealt with breastfeeding in society and how to encourage women to do more of it — so I really enjoyed this post! People are definitely pushing for more breastfeeding rooms (like they have at Babies ‘R Us) at more businesses, which I think would really be cool.

    Reply
  • Leslie November 14, 2012, 7:52 pm

    I wonder if you could find I more private airport location to pump in one of the airline sponsored suites. Some airlines offer these places to frequent fliers as a luxury during layovers etc. I don’t travel for work but ny husband has mentioned the “admirals club”. These places offer quite spots to get away from airport crowds to make a phone call or work on computer, etc. Most have comfortable couches, chairs and even free coffee, juice etc. You might check to see if this may work for you.

    Reply
  • Cassidy November 14, 2012, 7:53 pm

    I always breastfeed in public, and feel no need to cover up. It is way easier to feed your baby when they are not fighting a silly cover. I know people are uncomfortable with it, but I just remind them that this is my child’s FOOD, not something sexual. Actually, people are usually very nice, and I’ve nursed on the plane on every flight (about ten) since my daughter was born. Nobody has given me any grief.

    Reply
  • Katie November 14, 2012, 7:58 pm

    I wouldn’t personally breastfeed in public (well I would sit out in public with a cover up for sure but not just “bare” for lack of a better word) but I think everyone has a right to make that decision for themselves!

    Reply
    • Jayce November 15, 2012, 8:55 am

      Yeah, wait til you’re trying to cover up and the baby thinks it’s a game to thrash around and pull the cover off. Calls much more attention. You’re not necessarily “bare” when you don’t use a cover. Layering shirts is great, with coverage for the belly and the top of the breast.

      Reply
  • Marie-Sophie November 15, 2012, 3:01 am

    I don’t have kids yet but in Germany people are a LOT more relaxed about breastfeeding in public! I keep hearing that you guys in Germany use those breastfeeding covers … and I have actually never seen any of my friends use one! If you visit someone in the hospital who’s just had a baby, here it’s the most natural thing in the world if she starts to breastfeed. When I have friends over who are breastfeeding they either sit down in a chair or on a sofa and do it while we’re there or if it’s a party they use another room. In public, people just sit somewhere and breastfeed. Fascinating how things are so different, even if we’re all “Western civilisation”!

    Reply
    • Marie-Sophie November 15, 2012, 3:02 am

      And yes, I meant “you guys in the States” … gosh, it’s early in the morning here! ;-)

      Reply
  • Megan November 15, 2012, 5:24 am

    This post couldn’t have been posted at a better time! This is perfect! I’ve been struggling with pumping in public. I just went back to work 2 weeks ago and have been having a hard time pumping while away. Week 1 of work was orientation. We’re were given VERY short breaks (so I couldn’t pump then) but a nice long hour lunch. On that lunch, one day I went back to my car and pumped. I really need to invest in tinted windows. I felt so awkward sitting there with a machine hooked up to my boobs with no tint to at least shade me. Other days I hid in a bathroom stall and pumped. Pumping in the bathroom made me a lot more uncomfortable than pumping in my car did! For one, it’s a gross bathroom – I work at a VA Hospital that was built in the 30′s. So the bathrooms are old and outdated. Two – like you said, the machine is LOUD and not everyone walking in will know the sound when they hear it.

    I’ve finally been given my own private office that I can lock. However, being an inpatient social worker, I AM BUSY. There are always doctors and residents knocking at my door with an issue. So I’m trying to adjust to that and all the interruptions. I need to get it through my head that I don’t have to handle the crisis whatever it may be (unless it’s a suicide threat of course) at THAT VERY MINUTE. I need to just lock my door and pump away. After I’m done, then I can attend to whatever crisis arises. :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 7:31 am

      You should make a sign for your door :)

      Reply
  • Ashley November 15, 2012, 8:23 am

    I know you had issues with oversupply, so it all works out just fine, but ahhhh!! As someone struggling to pump enough to go back to work it kills me to see you dump it all! :) Good for you for sticking with it for sweet Henry!

    Reply
  • Presley @ Run Pretty November 15, 2012, 8:39 am

    I’ve pumped at work for about four months now. Most days, it really isn’t all that terrible. I have my own classroom (I teach third grade), so I have a laaaarge space with all my things in there, including a fridge. The biggest problem for me is that I have ONE chance to pump all day at work. Sometimes I get busy on my break and then FREAK when I remember what I need to do, haha. We’ve been on two field trips so far, and those were both very interesting. I’ve pumped in some pretty weird places now. Traveling is the hardest, though, for sure. I get severe anxiety when I haven’t pumped in a while. I think I put too much pressure on myself to “keep my supply up”. I keep all the parts in the fridge instead of cleaning them multiple times a day. LIFESAVING.

    Reply
  • Lauren November 15, 2012, 10:05 am

    I had issues with oversupply as well. I was the pumping queen for about 4 months. I had a TON of milk stashed in the freezer. Much to my dismay and efforts my little lady would NEVER take a bottle. It was so sad for me to look at all the hard work of pumping every time I opened the freezer. My lactation consultant suggested this site. http://www.eatsonfeets.org It’s a really interesting concept of trust based sharing of milk. Giving my milk to someone else helped me feel good about not dumping that liquid gold down the drain and helping someone in need who didn’t produce enough.
    I have been EBF my baby for 8 1/2 months. At first I really wasn’t crazy about feeding her in public, but considering she won’t take a bottle and it was the only way for her to eat I got over it pretty quickly. I admire your dedication to pumping, I know that it’s hard work!

    Reply
  • Melissa November 15, 2012, 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for blogging about this! I just found out that I will have to travel for five days in March when my still yet to be born little boy will be about three months old. I had just started to freak out about how I would manage this. All of this information is so helpful!

    Reply
  • Natalie November 15, 2012, 11:53 am

    Have to comment to say thati read this post while pumping at work! I’m not shy about nursing in public, as I’m pumping nearly full time and want to nurse her as much as I can.

    Reply
  • Sarah November 15, 2012, 1:24 pm

    I stored my pump parts in the fridge and washed them once or twice a day. I brought my manual pump to work for my 15 minute break and I was able to go home and pump on my lunch break because I lived nearby. Traveling by car was always tricky and I have pumped while driving, using the hands free bra. They have those handy wipes you can buy to clean off your parts. I stopped pumping about 2 months ago and I don’t miss it at all!

    Reply
  • Carina November 15, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Weird question and not sure if it was asked and answered above — you said you have to pump while you’re gone or it will hurt — what happens when you just want to stop pumping because your baby eats real food? Does your supply just go away after 6mos – 4 yrs, whenever the kid is ready to eat food? Or do you just have to stop and have pain? Could you just pump forever? Like until the kid was 20 and donate it all?

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 6:36 pm

      lol I think in theory you can breastfeed as long as you remove the milk? Well until you go into menopause? Some women breastfeed one baby for 5 years!

      Reply
      • Carina November 19, 2012, 4:32 pm

        So does it hurt then when you stop breastfeeding? Or would it only hurt if you stopped for a few days while traveling? Just curious, and this is the only place I’d dare ask…

        Reply
  • Shallin November 15, 2012, 5:18 pm

    This post ROCKS, Caitlin! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Emily November 15, 2012, 8:22 pm

    I pumped at work (and in the morning and at night) for the first 9.5 months and am still nursing (at bedtime) at 14 months. At the point I stopped pumping regularly, I calculated that I had enough milk in the freezer to get me to 1 year. As it turns out, I had way more than I needed and we are still giving from the freezer stash for his sippy cups during the day. My goal had been to have enough to get him to 1 year when I changed jobs at 9 months if I needed to wean at that point. I went on a few overnight trips (and work overnight about 1x/week). I pumped on the plane with a cover, and only dumped what I pumped on the flight out there. Everything I pumped on the trip went into a fridge in the hotel room (or into my pump bag with ice packs) and I carried it back (~150oz at most) with ice from the hotel machine every time. It amounted to 1 extra carry on in the form of a soft sided large cooler bag that I just put on top of my wheeled carry on. No big deal to do it that way. Then it went straight into the freezer. I couldnt bring myself to throw it out when it had been such an effort.
    As for the feeding in public, I found it was situational. At a mothers group or at a friends house? Sure. In a park–fine—with a cover. Even a busy restaurant if I sat in a booth in the corner away from most of the action. But around my dad and brother, or at a family gathering–I was more comfortable going to another room.
    Good for you for doing whats right for you.

    Reply
  • Marci November 15, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I pumped on an overnight trip once and packed my milk in a cooler. I kind of wanted to do it as a fun challenge. It was not fun to wake up in the night to pump when there was no baby!
    Other question–how do you find time to pump at home when you’re alone with baby? Isn’t it double work to pump and then give a bottle?

    Reply
    • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 10:57 pm

      I pump pretty fast so it’s not too inefficient. I have a playmate in my bathroom and we pump + play.

      Reply
  • Karen February 8, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Thank you so much for your post! I am getting ready to go on a trip away from my son, who will be 9 months old at the time. I’ll be gone for a half day as I fly out, 2 full days, and another half day as I fly home. I am SO nervous that he is going to use that time to self-wean. Granted, he LOVES breastfeeding now and I love it! I’m just not ready for it to end. Any advice you (or your readers) can offer me?

    Reply
    • Caitlin February 8, 2013, 9:08 pm

      Oh it will be fine! Does he take a bottle normally?

      Reply
      • Karen February 13, 2013, 1:32 pm

        Yes – he does when he is at daycare during the day, so he’s used to it! I just don’t want him to stop nursing!

        Reply
  • Lydia July 27, 2013, 5:44 pm

    Found you through google search on traveling for business while breast feeding. I’m terrified of leaving my 12-mo old daughter overnight in September for the first time and didn’t know what to do about storage or pumping … This was really helpful. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Tonje Elisabeth Aaroe April 26, 2014, 4:08 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s inspiring and makes me think I can cope with traveling at work :)

    Reply