Travelling and breastfeeding

Souyenne - posted on 09/19/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi I am a first time mom, I am worried about my milk supply and my relationship with my newborn as I am scheduled to travel for 4 nights and 5 days at his 3 month mark. Will this affect my milk supply? Will it affect my relationship with him, will he not want to breastfeed when I return? Is it too soon to leave him?



Thanks for any advice you can share.

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Margarita - posted on 10/03/2012

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Have you introduced the bottle? If he's used to a bottle (I'm guessing he has since you're probably working again if you have a business trip, but perhaps you work from home), this should be no different.



I highly doubt he will prefer the taste of formula to that of the breast if you run out of stored milk (breast milk is sweeter and always the right temperature) but he might like the ease of the bottle (even at the newborn stage, they get a lot more for a lot less effort, plain and simple). Either way, you should definitely store as much as you can before you leave and make sure you introduce the bottle as soon as you can to make sure he will take it while you are away, and try to go for the ones with nipples that most resemble the breast, like the Tomee Tiptee or Evenflow's Breastwave (I think that's the name of the Evenflo ones). Regardless, I don't think it will make a difference whether you're away for 4 days or 4 hours, if he's going to prefer one to the other, it will happen regardless. All you can do is keep up your supply, encourage feeding and bonding time, and let things take their course.



Check with the airline to see what their policy is on transporting breast milk. You can probably put most of the milk you pumped in a cooler in your checked luggage, but you should definitely check. Try to get a room with a mini-fridge for this purpose. Worse case scenario, you'll have to pump and dump which is not great, but at least you'll keep up your supply. If you're able to transport it, you'll definitely want to use it as soon as possible, or freeze it when you get home and put it at the front of the line for use as it won't last nearly as long as it would if you had frozen it right away.



As for your relationship, it might be a little off for a day or two, but I suspect you'll be fine. At this age most kids haven't developed separation anxiety (mine did, but the docs and friends all say it's unusual), but either way, he will be glad to see you when you return. Just make sure you schedule some extra bonding time before and after the trip.



Good luck, the trials and tribulations of motherhood are many, but I'm sure you will pull through.

Bronwyn - posted on 10/02/2012

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Does he take a bottle atm? My kids never would, so I HAD to take them everywhere with me. Even when I had surgery, I got someone to room in with me and pick up bub etc so I still breastfed, he was 7 weeks. Is there someone you can take with you to look after bub so he is near you? If at all possible that is what I would be doing, good luck :)

Melissa - posted on 09/30/2012

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If you pump when he would normally breastfeed he will probably go back to it and the pumping should keep up your milk supply.

Stephanie - posted on 09/25/2012

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As long as you have a good pump schedule while away you should be fine. I went away when my LO was 8 weeks for 2 nights and three days. I had stored enough milk so she never needed any formula. She's now 11 1/2 months and still breastfeeding. Another thing are you flying or driving? Only ask b/c I'm not sure how you would fly with stored breastmilk.

Shelly - posted on 09/25/2012

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I would explore all options for taking him along. I'm assuming this is a business trip. Have you talked to your employer about this? How much of your day will be spend in meetings? Is it possible to get a babysitter at your destination? Or bring a friend or relative along? A three month old is very young to leave for 5 days, whether or not you are breastfeeding, but even more so since you are.



If there is no possible way to take him along, then you should talk to a lactation consultant to get professional advice about keeping up your milk supply. You will need to pump milk in advance to get your baby used to drinking from a bottle, hopefully getting him used to switching back and forth. Preferably you would freeze enough of a supply so that he doesn't have to get used to formula. You will also need to pump the entire time you are gone, probably at least 4 times a day. But this would definitely be my second choice. Try to take him along if at all possible.

Stephanie - posted on 09/25/2012

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Hi hope you haven't left for your trip yet. I suggest that ÿöü either buy or rent a breast pump. You need to make sure you are leaving at least 4-5 oz per feeding which is 8-12 times a day. So you need to Breast feed first and then pump. After ÿöü pump with the electric pump then ÿöü need to hand express as much as ÿöü can. Massaging while pumping. Feel around on your breasts and the little lumps are pockets of breast milk massage them and empty your breasts.

Then ÿöü can store your breast milk in storage bags and get a bottle that has a wide base that mimics the breast . Some examples are tomme tippe and breast flow. You also need to pump while your away from baby to maintain your milk supply. I recommend pumping in the morning before ÿöü leave , a 15 minute session at around 10am at lunch then mid afternoon , early evening , before bed. Hope this jepls

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I never had to do this, but my recommendation would be to pump as much as you can before the trip so that your baby drinks breast milk while you are gone. Avoid formula! It would be a bummer if he got used to formula while you were gone...then he probably would resist the breast when you came back because the taste difference.



As the other moms said, make sure to pump while you are gone to keep your supply up!



Our pediatrician said the best time to introduce a bottle is between 2-4 weeks of age, if possible try to bottle feed him breast milk on occasion so that you can find what type of bottle nipple he likes best and to help ease the transition. If he used to switching between breast and bottle I'd think it'd make the switch after your trip easier. Even if he resists the boob initially after your trip, try to pump and bottle feed so he still gets the benefits of breastmilk!! It might take a little while but you can probably get him back on the boob even if he resists initially.



Are there lactation consultants in your area? They are trained to help women with breastfeeding issues.

Lise - posted on 09/19/2012

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Any other caregiver? A grandparent or family member?



Some babies return to nursing; some babies don't. You never know in advance what will happen. My mom left my brother for a weekend when he was 1, and he never nursed again. She left me for a WEEK when I was 18 months, and the first thing I said when she came home was, "Nurse?" It could be age; it could be personality. I left my daughter for 2 nights (3 days) when she was 2.5 and it didn't slow her down at all!

Amy - posted on 09/19/2012

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I had to go on a business trip when my daughter was 7 months, I know she was a bit older than your daughter but I had returned to work when she was 4 months old so she was used to going back and forth between breast and bottle. You need to pump as often as you would breastfeed while you are away to keep up your supply. It was difficult for me because I was in meetings all day but I snuck away when possible and pumped and dumped.



I don't know if your relationship will be affected by it, it's one of those unknown. My daughter was happy to see me when I returned and resumed breastfeeding as if I had never left her. Make sure that the bottles used are similar to breast, and they should be using the slowest flow for the nipple so your baby still has to work to get milk.

Souyenne - posted on 09/19/2012

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No no way the hubby can take time off to join me. That's exactly what I'm worried about. I don't want him to lose interest I'd like to BF as long as possible. Any other advice besides just trying to get out of the trip. I'm feeling so highly torn with this.



Thanks for the hugs I need them

Lise - posted on 09/19/2012

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Any way you can take the baby with you? My husband took time off of work when I had to go out of town for work. He came with me and it was awesome - he'd bring the baby to me during my breaks, and I didn't have to pump or leave my baby behind.



Some babies, left that long at this young age, will be forcibly weaned by the separation. (hug)

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