L.P. asks from Aurora, CO on March 19, 2010
Travel Without the Newborn and What to Do with Breastmilk
Hello, so we will be having a baby in May and want to go to mexico in July for a family wedding but without the baby. My question is, how do you go about nursing? I know I could pump extra milk before we leave for him and we'll only be gone about 5 days but how do I handle pumping while in mexico and what do I do with the milk? Has anyone been in this situation before???
So What Happened?™
Thank you moms!! I really wasn't thinking but after reading the responses I can see how insane it would be lol! Just for starters having to pump all day and throw it out would be too hard and I'm sure I would feel horrible leaving my boy, guess I needed a reality check and that's why I love this site! Thanks so much for your advice. We'll plan a trip once the babies are older and we'll just have to see the relatives later :)
K.B. answers from Salt Lake City on March 20, 2010
Also, every time you pump, you have to wash the pump pieces. I don't know that you can trust the sink water in Mexico for that. I would definitely dump any milk I pumped under less than 100% sanitary conditions. I'm voting with taking the baby.
K.C. answers from Barnstable on March 19, 2010
A two month old is very young to leave as a nursing mother and I would strongly advise against it if you have a choice. You would need to pump about every 3 to 4 hours. Milk supply isn't really established until 8 weeks of age and babies that young may not be able to switch between the bottle and breast. Five days is a very long time to be away from a breastfed baby who is that young. It assumes you will be able to pump well (some moms simply can't) and that your baby will take a bottle. It also assumes that your child will be able to switch back from a bottle to your breast when you return home.
You can usually bring your milk on the plane, but it will have to be checked into the hold in a cooler (we have a mom in our group who just got back from Grand Caymen - it was her first 5 days away from her breastfed son, but she waited until he was 20 months old - yes he is still nursing at nearly 2-years-old). It is critical that you keep it frozen.
Save your money and go to Mexico when your child is much older. Going when a baby is so young is to risk your nursing relationship with your baby.
1 mom found this helpful
G.T. answers from San Francisco on March 19, 2010
Congratulations for the baby!
My first advice would be to make flexible plans.
Having a baby is life changing and you could change your mind all together about this trip after having the baby.
I had to travel a little when my son was still an exclusively breastfed baby, but never more than 3 days. It will very much depend on your situation ion Mexico. In anyway, you will need to pump enough milk in advance for your baby and to continue pumping while in Mexico to get your supply flowing.
If you will be very much like at home, then try to pump as much and often as you do at home. To get more milk and avoid a drop in supply, try to pump while looking at your baby (a picture or a video) or while talking about your baby. This triggers more milk.
I am not sure if you will be able to save and bring the milk back with you. Depends on the airlines regulation and how long is the flight (the milk will need to be and remain frozen)
Another option is to donate the milk in Mexico to the local hospital/milk bank. You should first check with them how it works there. Each community/country has its own regulations.
Or you can throw it away. I can tell you it will feel like throwing gold away! But the advantage is that you will be able to drink without remorse.
In my case, I was on business trip, in a huge conference hall not at all breastfeeding friendly. I had to escape when my breasts were too heavy and hide in the bathrooms to pump, then throw all away. I wanted to cry when I saw this wasted milk! I guess a wedding environment will be much more friendly!
All the best!
A.T. answers from Denver on March 22, 2010
While you've gotten great responses I thought I'd share my experience with breastfeeding travel sans baby.
My daughter was ~ 10 months old, and I took a weekend trip. Had plenty of milk in the freezer for Papa to use, and set up to pump the whole weekend. Had quite an adventure finding dry ice to pack with the milk I was pumping to take home, I just could NOT bring myself to toss it, and dry ice will keep things firmly frozen handled correctly. Then for the flight home, they tried to tell me I couldn't take it on the plane---I almost started crying! All that energy, all that time...but the baggage handler told me if I checked my tiny carry-on with the milk inside it'd be okay to fly back with.
Anyway, it was a successful trip, and I'm so glad I didn't waste any milk!
I vote take iddy-baby with you for sure, 2 months is too too little to be with out mama for a week! Good job mommin'!!
A.P. answers from Pocatello on March 20, 2010
What a fun summer you have planned! It will be important to have a high quality pump. Since you might not always have access to electrical power, plan to pack batteries for your pump, too. It's recommended to replace batteries every 1-2 days when pumping. Your milk can be refrigerated for 5-8 days. It is safe in an insulated bag with frozen inserts for 24 hours. Most hotels will provide you with a small refrigerator at no charge upon request. Plan to have a good supply before you leave for your baby to eat while you're gone. Then while you're away, pumping will primarily be for maintaining your supply since you will be nursing when you get home (hence you might choose not to save it). Pumping about as often as your baby eats is the first choice; pumping at least 6-8 times (10-15 minutes per side) would be okay. Your supply might dip a bit, but it will likely bounce right back when you get home.
It will also be important to choose a bottle nipple that will support breastfeeding. www.BreastandBottlefeeding.com has information on pumping and choosing a bottle nipple for a breastfed baby, as does the book Balancing Breast and Bottle.
T.W. answers from Denver on March 22, 2010
In reality the milk is only good for 24 hours in the frig but good for quite some time in the freezer. I am not sure how you could freeze your milk while in Mexico. I know you can get a little plug in cooler but I am not sure if there is a plug in freezer. You may want to check it out. Another thought is to pump and dump while you are there to keep you milk flow or just stop nursing all together. 5 days is quite a while for a newborn and he probably won't pick up nursing when you get back anyways.
Have you considered taking him with you? It wouldn't cost you any additional money. Another thought is, my husband and I took our newborn on a trip and paid for my mother-in-law to go with us. It was great, I could keep nursing and we could get out and enjoy the vaca without having him with us every moment.
D.M. answers from Denver on March 19, 2010
I've had to travel for work when I was still pumping. Keeping it fresh/frozen/cold while travelling is tough. Especially since you can't bring it on the plane w/o the baby (I think that's still the rule). I would pump and unfortunately dump it. I'd hate to risk giving the baby spoiled milk. But you will need to pump to keep your supply up. Enjoy Mexico!
P.R. answers from Boise on March 20, 2010
I have left my second and third baby while exclusively breastfeeding. The first time my husband and I went to Mexico for a week. I pumped a ton of milk and froze it. I had about twice the milk I thought he would eat! It is a lot of work but well worth it. Then while in Mexico I pumped. I had a good pump and made sure I pumped every few hours. Then I just dumped the milk out, that was the hardest part. Just be careful to pump often so you don't decrease your supply or get Mastitis . Enjoy your trip!
L.W. answers from Nashville on March 19, 2010
I had to leave my first for 24 hours when he was one month old, and I'll tell you, that early it's difficult to get enough out to prepare for an extended trip, and I produced a lot of milk. Then to keep up supply while your'e there, you'll have to pump every three hours, night and day, and probably have to dump it. And it does feel like dumping out gold. I think there's a good chance when the baby gets here, you'll change your mind about a wedding. It was torture to leave mine for 24 hours! You think it will be ok, but when you see that little face, hands, feet, etc, you won't want to leave for anything. Good luck with whatever you decide.