Melissa Portunato MPH, IBCLC, RLC
Are you ready to hit the road with your breast pump this summer? Planning ahead will eliminate unnecessary stress so you can enjoy the time away and make long-lasting memories. Read on for our practical and easy-to-follow guide to pumping while on vacation.
Ring Before You Go
When booking a hotel, make sure you have a freezer you can use. Ideally, there will be one in your room. However, you may be able to use the hotel’s main freezer if there is no other option. If you’re struggling with hotels, opting for a private home or condo may be a great option.
Have a Good Flight
In case you were wondering…YES, you can absolutely pump on a plane! And your breast pump does NOT count as an additional carry-on. Find out more about the TSA guidelines on carrying a breast pump and breastmilk here. Don’t pump in the restroom! Most airports now provide private pumping pods where you can nurse or pump in a clean, quiet space. Download the app to plan ahead and find the nearest pod if you need to pump before boarding.
- Rechargeable Breast Pump – A portable breast pump like the S1 or 9Plus will give you more flexibility when pumping on vacation. We recommend charging your Spectra rechargeable pump for 3-4 hours; leaving it to charge overnight can ultimately damage the battery.
- Grab a Car Charger! Spectra has car chargers for both the Spectra 9 Plus (9 volt) and the Spectra S1/S2/SG (12 volt). In addition, if you’re traveling abroad, Spectra baby USA beast pump power cords are internationally compatible, which means all you need is the country converter, and you’re all set!
- Cooler Kit – Keep your breast milk cool when a refrigerator is unavailable. Transport refrigerated/frozen milk by placing breastmilk in an insulated bag or cooler with a frozen cold pack. According to the CDC, milk should be refrigerated or frozen within 24 hours. Instant ice packs are nice to have on hand!
- Extra Parts – It’s recommended that you wash your pumping parts (except tubing) after every use in a designated basin with warm soapy water. The CDC recommends sanitizing parts once daily for extra germ removal. If you know you won’t have access to a sink, bring enough sets of pump parts to get through the day. Placing pumping parts in the refrigerator in between uses is not recommended.
- Hand Pump – Every mom should have a hand pump as a backup. They are lightweight, convenient, and can be your lifeline in an emergency! Throw it in your pump bag and never get left without pumping if you run out of battery or can’t find an outlet.
Pump and Chill
Go ahead and sleep in or enjoy a late-night dinner! It’s OK if you don’t pump at the same time every day! Skipping a pumping session or going over in-between times occasionally shouldn’t have a drastic effect on your supply. Pumping every 3-4 hours should be the goal, but you don’t have to be a stickler with exact times. Pump before you head out; always pump before bed and in the morning when you wake up. If you miss a pumping session, pump as soon as you can but most importantly, cherish the time away and the memories that will last a lifetime.
Pumping Packing List
✔ Pump Bag
✔ Power cord
✔ Breast pump
✔ Car adapter
✔ Extra accessories – duckbills, backflows, flanges, bottles, caps, and disks
✔ Wet bag for used pump parts
✔ Milk Storage Bags
✔ Cooler kit with an ice pack
✔ Hand pump
✔ Nursing Cover
✔ Paper Towels or Napkins for spills
✔ Hand Sanitizer
Have more questions before your epic vacation? Email us at IBCLC@spectrababyusa.com!
We’re here for you, and we support you!