How to Effectively Pump Breast Milk While on Vacation

How to Effectively Pump Breast Milk While on Vacation I’m going on a week-long vacation without my 10-month old.  I have plenty of stored breast milk for him and I plan to pump while I’m away.  But do I need to pump as often as I would normally feed him?  I fear that will not be possible during vacation.

Congratulations, first of all, that you have so much stored breast milk at home.  I understand your fear of keeping a tight pumping schedule on vacation—so often vacation time is unstructured! Depending on where you are going and how flexible your plans are, you may be surprised how easily it is to express your breast milk.  If you are going out of the country, make sure you find out if the electric outlets in your hotel will fit your breast pump or if you need to purchase an adapter.  Also, if you have a double set-up breast pump, use it for a quick, efficient way to express your milk. Cutting down pumping time makes it easier to take a break from your vacation plans without missing anything.

If you cannot plan your pumping times around the times your baby typically nurses, try to express the same amount of times in a 24-hour time period you would at home.  For example, if you normally nurse your baby 5 times a day, try to pump the same number of times in a 24 hour period. You might have an easier time expressing your breast milk if you try to stick to the same time schedule you would at home, but it’s not necessary to match the times exactly. You may find that you can sneak in a pumping at 2 am instead of the 2 pm time slot.  Remember that as long as you are regularly expressing breast milk, you should not experience any trouble breastfeeding again once you’re home.

You may also want to give some thought to storing your breast milk.  Many hotels provide their guests with refrigerators in the room and breast milk may be stored for up to eight days in a refrigerator.  If you don’t have the luxury of refrigeration, you may want to invest in a portable ice chest.  Just remember to check the breast milk and make sure it’s been properly cooled. You may also want to consider putting the milk on dry ice and shipping it home at the end of your trip.  Enjoy your vacation!

 

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