I’ve traveled while breastfeeding young babies, only once without my baby under age one, but this is my first trip that is not for paid work without my kiddos. It is a week later and I brought with me a manual pump even though my nursing son is 33 months old. My 59 month old has nursed less than a handful of times in the past two months, so I’m not sure if she counts.
Pumping and travel
Anyway, I had some interesting looks when I was rinsing my pump out in the bathroom at the Charles De Gaulle airport in France. But it is what it is. I’ve never been a good pumper – kinda like a person who doesn’t test well but knows their stuff – I breastfeed just fine but pump for crap. I’ve donated a few ounces here and there, but nothing considerable. But, pumping is not a good indication of production, so I’ve never worried about my supply. Though with my youngest nearing three, supply is the least of my concerns.
After that I pumped just to relieve a few times the first few days and lately hand expression in the shower has worked. But there’s the itchy pulling feel that reminds me that I do need to ensure that no matter what keeping some coming out is important to prevent issues.
Now the big question is whether, after 8 days, my son will reject nursing. I had some of my milk and some donor milk for him to feel comforted to go to bed but my husband tells me he wants nothing to do with it. During skype sessions and over the phone I can tell you that my son misses me – but what will our nursing relationship be like after this trip? I remember being worried when I travelled when my daughter was almost 2 years old and I was pregnant whether she’d nurse again. I was gone just two nights for work and I had virtually no milk due to pregnancy – but when I returned she still wanted to nurse.
It is day 7 and I haven’t pumped in the last day and I worry that with 30 hours of travel ahead of me that I could end up in pain, with a clogged duct or mastitis. But, then maybe I’m okay as well since I really haven’t been expressing much milk as it is.
But when a nursing mom is not breastfeeding it is important to express breastmilk to prevent a clogged duct which can lead to mastitis.
As a nursing mom – I do have worries. As an attached mom away from her kiddos, I miss them, just like most any mom would. It is difficult to leave your kiddos and this is the first time I’m away from my kids and it isn’t due to work travel – and even when I did travel, I tried to take my kid with me if they flew for free. It is a hard position to be in!
But, in the end, we’re about to bring Ramya to her first ever “home” and I know that helping this family become a family of five will be something that will impact our family positively in the long run.