By Jenn Foster MA, IBCLC
Trying to pack for a trip is always stressful. One of the hardest parts of traveling away from your little one, especially when exclusively pumping, is planning ahead to ensure you have everything you need. We are here to help you be prepared for your travels and melt away some stress for traveling away from home while pumping exclusively.
A checklist can help you make sure that you have everything you need when you leave the house. But even with a system, there’s a good chance that one day you’re going to be in a hurry and forget something crucial, like breast shields or collection bottles to pump into.
Here are five quick tips to make pumping on your trip easier.
- Bring extra sets of pump parts with you on your journey.
Ensuring that you have everything you need and more can help you when traveling. Pack extra breastshields (flanges), collection bottles, duckbill valves and backflow protectors. Just in case you misplaced some pump parts, you will be prepared by having extra sets of everything you need to pump.
- Tricks of the trade when on your journey.
One trick of the trade can be to pack two storage bags and breast pads in zip lock bags for each pumping session you will do while on your trip. Keeping breastmilk storage bags and breast pads in ziplock bags help you plan ahead for every pumping session. You will be able to have everything together and stress less about not having enough. For example, you pump 8 times per 24 hours and will be gone for 5 days. Plan ahead by packing 45-50 ziplock bags. Extra sets of these items help you not only plan for what you need; but, will also help you keep them together in one safe place.
- Get a hands-free pumping bra so that you can do other things while you pump.
With pumping so many times while away, getting a hands-free bra can be a game changer. This way, while you pump, you can work on a laptop, take notes while you’re on a conference call, or take a break and read a book or magazine. Instead of holding your breast shields during the time you spend pumping can be very liberating!
- Ensure to prepare to wash your breast pump parts daily.
CDC recently issued guidelines stating that pump parts should be washed as soon as possible after each use. (More about the new guidelines here.). To avoid spending a lot of time washing pump parts – and deal with getting access to a sink, bring enough sets of pump parts to get you through a day. Then you can wash them all in one batch at the end of the day.
- Make friends with the other pumping moms.
Having a relationship in place can be really helpful when your planning a trip away from your normal comfy pumping environment. However, it can be very helpful by having the support of other moms who have been in your shoes. Look for moms who have also pumped away from baby. Look for a support group online for moms who exclusively pump.Spectra Baby USA has an amazing of group exclusively pumping moms.