How to go on Vacation without your Breastfed Baby

Every parent deserves a getaway once in a while. A nice break from dishes, laundry and crazy schedules. My Husband and I were very much overdue and even though I was very stressed before we left. Everything went smoothly both at home and on our trip. This trip was a huge eye opener for me when it comes to breast pumping. All you moms who exclusively pump I have a new found respect for you. The time it takes, extra effort it takes to clean and maintain your pump tools. There were many times in Cabo I wished I had my baby girl around to just throw on the boob.

One item I am so happy I packed was a manual breast pump. While at the Toronto airport, the bathroom outlets didn’t have enough energy to support my pump. Crazy right? After I tried about ten outlets I was convinced that my one pump was broken and I hadn’t even left the province yet. Thankfully I had my evenflo manual pump that did the job easily and efficiently. When we arrived in Calgary for our layover, I checked my pump in the hotel room. And it worked! That made me feel more comfortable knowing I was still travelling with two electric pumps. The manual pump was also a blessing to have on the airplane. I found on our way to Los Cabo my breasts were filling up faster than I anticipated; adjusting to not having a baby feeding off of them. But it was easy to manually pump in my seat, using my large cardigan I wore to cover me. Also it’s quiet unlike an electric pump.

Once we arrived in Los Cabo, I set up a pretty sweet pumping spot on the couch with lots of comfy pillows and both electric pumps. I set up a drying station for all of my bottles, water bottles and pictures of my baby girl.

While away I made sure to pump every 3-4 hours. Not exceeding that time to ensure my supply continued and I didn’t engorge. The first day was kind of difficult because I found my pumping sessions were putting a kink in our schedule. But once we got in a groove it wasn’t actually difficult at all. And I did pump at night but I would pump right before bed. Most nights we went to bed late so I didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump. I would set my alarm for 5am and then go back to sleep. Easy peasy!

My pumping schedule was:

5am

8am – before breakfast

12pm – pool break, before lunch.

3pm – before our nap

6pm – before dinner

9pm

12/1am – bedtime

It was nice that we worked it into times where we would have to go back into our room. To get ready for lunch, dinner or our daily afternoon nap. Pumping usually took 20 minutes and I found having a hot shower before helped with my letdown.

I would like to take a second to give a huge shout out to my Husband that would help me pump every time! Then while I pumped he would get ready, after pumping he would clean the bottles so I could get ready. Then we would be good to go. It was an amazing system and I am so blessed to have him as my Husband. If I didn’t have him to help me, pumping on this vacation would have been a lot more difficult.

Another item I was happy I packed was breastpads. I found flying I didn’t have as much time to pump so it was nice to have that protection when I would start leaking. Also one day we went into town and I didn’t bring my manual pump. We ended up shopping longer than I anticipated, thankfully I put breastpads on before we left. I was soaked by the time we got back to the room. After our shopping day I had to pump for almost 45 minutes before I was drained. When normally it took 20 minutes. So I made sure to not go that long again during our trip.

Staying on top of my pumping helped keep my supply up. Seven days away and I came home with no supply issues. I did pack mothers milk tea just incase but between staying hydrated and focusing on eating healthy helped significantly. I also monitored my alcohol intake. Trying not to over do it, but when I did have a few more drinks than usual. I made a rule to have one alcoholic drink then one cup of water. This helped with my supply, but huge warning. You’re going to pee like crazy!

One last thing of advice. Learn how to use your pump properly. On the third day I was trying to speed along my pumping session and I burnt both my nipples, so for the rest of the trip. Every time I pumped it hurt. Thankfully second day home and I’m all healed, but it was not a pleasant experience while I was away.

I hope this helps any of you Mommas thinking of getting away for a little break. Just be prepared and everything will be ok!

Thanks for reading,

Jaclyn Yvonne