Pumping While On Vacation

Ok, so I thought it was only fair to share my pumping while on vacation experience with you on the blog.

Honestly, pumping is no joke.

And pumping while on vacation {kid-free!!!} is even less funny.

Yes, I’m blessed I was able to successfully continue my supply and pump while away from my babe for a week. But I’m here to say it was not fun. But here’s how it all went down –

pump

So at the point I was getting ready to leave, I started to get Graham more on a schedule in terms of feeding. I figured it would be easier for my parents to expect when he would want some milky milk. He was 7 months old at this point, eating 3 legit meals a day and nursing about 4 times a day – every 4 hours, during the 7am – 7pm timeframe {since he sleeps from 7pm – 7am}

milk1

So I knew Graham was going to be bottle feeding 4 times a day – around 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm {approximately} so guess what I had to do? I pumped at those times too!

Where we were in Mexico was an hour later than at home {it was 6am in Mexico, when it was 7am in Philly} and as a mom with two boys {even though they sleep in until 7am+, I unfortunately was an early riser on vacation. Which I guess worked out ok because I used that time to pump.

medela

Pumping first thing in the morning was fine. We would get up slow, take our time to get out the door to breakfast and it was when I was ready to pump because I was full from the 12 hour night. That was fine.

The rest of the day sort of screwed with my schedule a bit because we would go get a coffee and sit outside, get breakfast, take a walk, get set up at the pool or the beach, and then it was back to the room I went to get my pump on.

Same song and dance after lunch – hang out relax at the beach or pool and then it was time to stop whatever I was doing to pump. I can’t complain too much because I did what I have to do to continue in the way I choose to feed my baby, which works for me and my family – but it was annoying to have to do.

wash

Cleaning everything was also a little tricky. The resort filters the water, but just to be safe I used bottled water to clean everything after each pump. {Bottled water was given out free included in our package} In terms of storing the pumped milk, I brought an half a box of these storage bags {they are the best} – thank goodness I did because I used all 50!

After pumping I would bring the storage bags full of milk to the reception area where I had access to a freezer in the bag storage area. The one in our room wasn’t big enough and wasn’t cold enough. The staff was super friendly and helpful about my milk storage – they say they have guests who do it all the time.

drink

When we were on the airplane or the day we went to Chichen Itza, I brought my manual hand pump, which I bought exclusively for this trip and it worked out fine. I pumped in my seat next to the window on the plane – it was pretty discreet! And on the day we were out from 7:30a-6:30p on the tour I skipped one of my pumping sessions, because we were literally exploring Chichen Itza and there was nowhere to go and pumped during our lunch break, sadly, standing up in the bathroom – but you got to do what you got to do.

outside milk

And if you are wondering how I balanced the whole all-inclusive, all the drinks thing with pumping, you should know I’m pretty laid back when it comes to that. I’m fine with having a drink {maybe even two – if you can time it out right} in between pumping/nursing sessions. As long as I felt fine, I was fine with keeping my milk, which I did. After my last pump between 6/7p then I would have a few more drinks, because I had 12 hours before pumping again.

No worries, it’s all good. My feeling is you have to feel good about it, so do what feels good for you. Everyone is different!

travel

In terms of bringing it all home, I brought this insulated bag with me, which was SO SMART {If I do say so myself} because it made bringing everything home so much easier. I had all my frozen storage bags of milk in there already, topped everything with ice, which I replenished 3 times throughout our trip {since we had last minute travel delays} and everything arrived back home perfectly fine. And the first thing I did when I walked through the door was put everything in the freezer.

I wasn’t sure how it was going to be going through security in the airport in Mexico – it obviously set off all the alarms, and the guard who was asking me about it didn’t speak much English – but a little “leche de madre” a motion of my hands over my boobs and he waved me through – after asking what airline we were on {American} and then he waved us away, like he no longer cared. Ha.

In retrospect, I should have been better about spreading out the ounces in the storage bags, making them all under 4oz. each. Some had 10/11oz in each, which I realize could have been a problem. I also brought A LOT home with me. I wish I would have counted it all, but it was a ton, I’m pretty proud of it – it was SO HEAVY!

milk

When I got home, Graham was asleep, so I had to pump again – wah wah – but in the morning we were reunited and picked up right where we left off! He was great with the bottle but he was happy to be back with me. And I was happy to not be pumping anymore!

I actually haven’t pumped since then – which has been awesome. I have a big storage supply in the freezer, from vacation and before and know that we will easily be able to get to the one year mark still nursing – and then we will introduce milk {initially laced with breastmilk} and go from there!

I’m thankful I was able to keep up my supply during my week away but happy to be back with my little man doing our thing {and no longer pumping!}

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Do you have any pumping stories, tips or tricks, words of wisdom?

Please share!

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3 Comments

  • Reply Jess Downes May 3, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    OMG, Leslie. HATS. OFF. TO. YOU. Seriously, so impressed. That is awesome. Beast mode mama.

    • Reply Noelle Kelly May 9, 2016 at 10:16 am

      I agree! I am beyond impressed at your commitment. I am not sure I would have gone on vacation because I did not know these tips. I just sent your post to a friend who wondered about this situation. Thanks!

  • Reply Patty O May 4, 2016 at 7:23 am

    What a wonderful gift for your babies and most importantly the best “MOM” ever! So glad it all worked out for you!

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