TIPS FOR PUMPING WHILE TRAVELING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Adapted from an original post written as a guest post for Belibea (not sponsored, but because their nursing cami saved me on a daily basis and I want everyone to have that.) This post contains affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission from any purchases you make from the links. To skip right to the FREE DOWNLOAD pumping while traveling checklist, click here!
BEING PREPARED FOR PUMPING WHILE TRAVELING OVER THE HOLIDAYS
So the holidays are upon us and you’re making lists and filling your calendar and probably feeling a mix of excitement and overwhelm.
If you’re traveling, that’s an added layer.
Pumping?That’s an added layer.
If you’re PUMPING AND TRAVELING, woo girl buckle up. Okay, I’m kind of kidding, but also I know it can be a mental, emotional, and physical strain and I want to help you be best prepared.
When you feel extra stress or lack of routine and schedule, your milk supply can be compromised during this time. I want to help you ensure that you can both enjoy the holidays with your baby and family and maintain your feeding goals and health.
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KEEP STRESS LOW, THE SCHEDULE CONSISTENT, AND THE BAG PACKED.
When considering holiday travel, there are a few factors to think about. How are your emotions and stress levels during travel and extra activities? What logistics do you need to think about beforehand to ensure you have the gear and space you need?
The following tips will help you to prepare for and enjoy the season so that you can focus on making memories with your baby and family.
5 TIPS FOR PUMPING WHILE TRAVELING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
1. TALK WITH THE HOST PRIOR TO THE EVENT TO DISCUSS WHERE YOU CAB PUMP.
Knowing that there is a quiet, private space for you to pump will allow both you and your host to be prepared. If you want privacy, communicate that and ask that your host have a room accessible. Discussing this beforehand can take away the awkward conversation in the moment (hey can you pass the turkey AND my boobs are about to explode!) and give you peace of mind and less stress entering the gathering.
2. DRESS FOR EASY PUMPING.
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Save time and stress by dressing with your pumping in mind. The Belibea Nourish Tank allows you to have a comfy stylish undershirt while also making nursing or pumping very accessible. I had two of these tanks throughout my year of pumping and basically wore one every time I went out of the house and knew I would need to pump. No thinking about the “double shirt’ method or strapping a pumping bra on awkwardly. EASY. (You can use CHELS20 for 20% off any Belibea purchase. Wohoo! You’re going to want to wear this baby everyday!)
3. HAVE A PLAN FOR MILK STORAGE.
Again, this is a good conversation to have with your host beforehand.
Is there a refrigerated space you can store your milk during your visit?
If you will be staying in a hotel, ensure that a minifridge will be provided in your room.
You also want to consider long car rides or plane rides. If you are traveling by plane, make sure you know your rights for traveling with breastmilk. For any long ride (plane, car, train) be sure to have means to keep your milk cool and follow milk storage guidelines.
4. WRITE OUT YOUR SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
This is a balance, and no one is going to do it perfectly (have grace momma), but doing your best to stick to your schedule without letting it stress you out, can be vital to supply and routine for both you and baby. The schedule tells your body when and what to produce and helps maintain your milk supply. Skipping feeds or pumps can lead to clogged ducts and possibly mastitis- which is not how you want to enjoy your holidays! Write out your schedule beforehand and plan for when you will “sneak away” to pump. Perhaps you won’t need to have privacy, but hey, it might be nice to get a few minutes to yourself.
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5. MAKE A CHECKLIST OF ALL THE GEAR YOU WILL NEED AND DOUBLE-CHECK IT BEFORE LEAVING HOME.
Write it out (or print it out) and double-check before you leave! Many of these items are things you may be using day-to-day so it can be hard to pre-pack everything. Double-check the list before leaving home so that you won’t need any middle-of-the-night store runs during your trip!
HERE ARE PUMPING PACKING LIST IDEAS TO GET YOUR LIST STARTED:
Download this checklist for FREE here!
Car adaptor: Allows you to plug your electric pump in so you can pump in the car
Battery Pack: If you don’t have a battery-powered pump like the Spectra S1 or Medela Freestyle, you can use a battery pack to make your pump portable (I used this for my Medela Pump in Style and Spectra S2)!
Breast pads: There will probably be a time your feed/pump is delayed and you want to preserve your shirt!
Sterilizer bags: This makes it quick and easy to sterilize pump parts and bottles
Quick clean wipes: Especially helping during travel- these wipes give you a way to clean your gear without soap and water
Easy feeding system: The Kiinde system allows you to skip milk transfer and quickly go from pump to feed.
Bottle cleaner and soap: For when you get the chance to do a good scrub on your pump parts and bottles!
Nursing tank: The Belibea Nourish Cami is my go to because it’s so easy (and extra cozy!)
Cool/heat packs: In cases of engorgement or the need to help milk flow, these little tools are so helpful!
Cooler bag: For when you’re traveling and not able to refrigerate, cooler bag to the rescue!
Nipple cream: Because we have to take care of the girls!
Milk bags: Easily cool and store
Cover: If you prefer privacy, might as well make it stylish.
Pump: Don’t forget your pump! It can be helpful to have a manual on hand even if you regularly directly nurse- sometimes babies don’t eat as much during travel and visiting and you still need to get that milk out!
Hand sanitizer: For when the soap and water aren’t available but you need to keep those hands clean!
Download this free checklist here so you can put it on your door and double-check before heading out!
So sister, you can do this. The biggest work is in making sure you get everything packed up and on the go with you and then communicating your need to step away. Enjoy those breaks, sneak some extra apple pie with you, and shoot me a message to say hello while you’re pumping over the holidays (Don’t worry, I don’t think it’s weird if you message me while your boobs are being milked. I’m cool with that.)
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