Trying something new today! Tonight on the blog is guest editor, Taryn Kutches, co-founder of Parker Design, sharing her tips on pumping while traveling. A must read if you’re a new mom returning to work from maternity, travel for work or just want to get away for the weekend. I know a lot of you just entering that stage of returning to work, so I thought this might be helpful. I for one felt the struggle the first year of nursing with my son, so it turned out pumping became a regular part of my life, as it is for many of you. These tips will be life-savers, trust me! So here’s Taryn!:
Are you nervous about keeping up nursing while you are away from your little one for a few days? Don’t worry, I’ve been there too.
I was determined to nurse my little girl for a year. After weeks of struggles in the beginning, we finally got the hang of it and we ended up making it to our goal, but boy did I ever under estimate the commitment, especially when you throw work travel in the mix.
Below are some must haves for helping you continue your nursing journey while kicking butt in the corporate world or having a girl’s weekend away from your little munchkin!
Would it have been so much easier to just skip a pump while traveling or pump when it was “convenient”? Most definitely! But that wouldn’t have been the best for our nursing journey.
Skipping a pump here or two won’t totally kill your supply, but it could be easy to get in the habit of skipping a pump while you are on the road for a few days.
Make pumping a normal part of your day. Your mindset should be not “if” I get the chance to pump, but “when” I make the time to pump.
Think of something you do every day, like brushing your teeth. Do you think twice about brushing your teeth before bed? I hope the answer is no, and that is because it has become a part of your normal routine. Make pumping a part of your normal routine, and the task won’t seem so daunting.
The key to a successful nursing journey is consistency. Make sure you have scheduled times to pump throughout your day. I was always a 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM girl.
During a normal work day, planning your pumping session is fairly painless. You may have to schedule around a few meetings, or tack 10 minutes on to your lunch hour, but throw airports and Ubers in the mix and things gets a lot more challenging.
Most airports have nursing rooms so plan your pumping sessions accordingly. If flight times don’t line up with your schedule, don’t be scared to get a little creative. There has been a time or two that I pumped in an airplane bathroom or in the back seat of a cab (yup, that happened).
Milk Delivery Service
Don’t have enough milk saved at home in freezer, or is it too painful to dump that precious liquid down the sink? Good news is, there’s a solution for that.
You don’t have to stress about getting your little one milk while you are gone a few days. Milk Stork will ship your milk to your doorstep overnight each day so your babe won’t miss a beat.
You can check them out at www.milkstork.com to get all of the details on how this service works. There is also a handy email template to give to your employer to help cover the costs.
Hands Free Pumping Bra
This is a must, especially on the go. A hands free pumping bra allows you to pump without occupying your hands.
Trying to juggle holding the pumps, removing the bottle, and putting a lid on all without spilling can be really tricky when both of your hands are tied up. These bras make it a breeze to remove the bottles and put the liquid gold in its storage container without the risk of spilling.
Most pumping brands like Medela and Ameda have hands free bras available, but you can find generic ones at Amazon that work just as well for less cash.
When isn’t it about accessories? Breast pumps are not the most compact items so it is important to find a bag that can hold your work & travel essentials plus your pump and pump accessories.
Comfort is key. Bags can be heavy on your shoulders with your standard carryon items. Add your pump plus walking through an airport all day and you will be sorry if you opted for something that wasn’t comfortable. Look for a backpack with wide straps and lots of room.
When traveling, you may not always have access to soap and water after you pump. If you have ever let breastmilk sit in a bottle for too long, you know the sticky mess it leaves behind.
Medela cleaning wipes were a life saver. I never left without them in my bag. They are great because they clean the parts and are safe for baby. You can find this in most stores and also on Amazon.
A battery pack is essential for those times that you have to pump somewhere that doesn’t have an outlet. You will be surprised at the number of times there isn’t an outlet available.
Most pumps are AC outlet powered and don’t come standard with a batter pack, but most brands also have a battery pack you can buy to power your pump as an accessory item on their website, or once again Amazon :).
Another tip – keep a spare set of batteries in your bag as well for a backup plan!
Soft Sided Cooler
The last thing you want to do while traveling is lug around another bag. A soft sided cooler will fold to fit in your carry on. Make sure you get one with a zipper so you don’t have to worry about anything falling out.
Grab an icepack and some milk storage bags to dump your milk in during your travel day so you don’t have to toss it. A good tip is to double bag the milk you pumped in case of leaks. In that case, it would be OK to cry over spilled milk!
Cover Up or Bare All
There is no shame in not covering up while nursing or pumping, but for those of you that like a little extra protection a soft cotton nursing cover is great.
Check out the covers by brands such as Milkmaid Goods or Covered Goods. This can be used for multi-purposes, they are super cute, and they fold up nicely for travel.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself during the hustle and bustle of traveling. Your body is still working overtime, and it needs energy to keep it going.
Pack snacks like almonds, granola bars (Lara bars are great because they have only a few ingredients), or fruits like apples oranges and bananas. Most airports also have stations above drinking fountains for water bottle refills. Take a water bottle with you to refill instead of purchasing a new every few hours.
Again, thank you Taryn, for sharing these tips! As a working mom launching her own company, she definitely has some time real-time experience to share with us. Since I stayed home, I never had to tackle pumping at the work place, so it is super helpful for Taryn to share her perspective with us.
This post was written by Taryn Kutches, co-founder of Parker Design. Check out www.parkerdesignco.com to get on the exclusive list to hear when this year’s must-have professional accessory goes on sale! You can also reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final thoughts: What did you think about this post? If you’d like more posts like this, let me know in the comments! I’m trying to bring a diverse range of topics that others can speak to or relate to because I definitely can’t cover everything in my own limited experience.
And if you’re a mom about to transition back into the work force or travel a lot for work, let us know if these tips help you or anything else that you’ve found to be helpful.
Finally, share this with someone you think might benefit from this post!