For any guys reading, just skip this post. Given the title, I can’t imagine you would have clicked on it anyhow 😉
This past weekend, Marcus and I headed to New Orleans to celebrate our 30th birthdays! Mine is on December 12th and his is on the 31st, so we asked my parents to watch he boys and off we went!
A trip without kids is so so needed after having a little one. Finding someone to watch them is always the toughest part, but with our family in town, we don’t run into that problem very often. Next come the logistics of being away from a 6 month old who is still very dependent on me. He only eats breastmilk, with the occasional solid food meal 1x a day, so I had to make it a priority to pump while we were in New Orleans. Here are my tips on how to make an adults only vacation work while still breastfeeding.
Find a centrally located place to stay
We stayed right outside of the French Quarter at the JW Marriott, so we could get around really easily. I would pump before going out to walk around, eat meals, etc., which would give me a solid 3 hours before needing to be back to do it again. It ended up being perfect! By staying pretty central, we would have to pass our hotel to get to other activities anyhow, so stopping in for 15 minutes to pump, use the restroom, etc. was really quite simple. It was also just a block from Starbucks, which I loved!
Bring bags for milk
Bags are significantly easier to travel with than bottles, so be sure to bring a bunch with you. They fold up and are so so simple to use. If you drive to your location, I’m sure bottles and a cooler would be pretty easy as long as you keep it super cold. For flying, bags are the way to go. if you use the Medela bags, you can even pump right into the bag, without having to use the bottle first.
Make sure you have a freezer in your room
This is probably the most important part. You have to be able to keep the milk after you pump it, and freezing it is the best option. Before booking out hotel, we made absolutely sure we would have a fridge/freezer combo in our room. Staying at an Air BnB would have made this even easier, but we just didn’t find any in the area we wanted to stay in. Also, if you have frozen milk, TSA doesn’t have to test it on your flight home. They will just put it through the scanner and you are good to go!
Time activities accordingly
We didn’t do anything longer than 3 hours, knowing it was important to come back and pump periodically. I could have stretched it to closer to 4 hours, but since I always pump every 3 hours at work, I really wanted to keep to the same schedule. It’s still really important that I keep up my supply, so sticking to the same schedule that the baby eats is key!
Pump n dump if you need to
A trip without a baby means you have the liberty to go out and have a glass of wine (or three) and not have anyone to come take care of at the end of the night. Even though it absolutely pains me to do it as well, just pump and dump if you want to imbibe a bit. It’s pretty amazing to go have a good time and its best for everyone to just pour that session’s milk down the drain.
Bring a lunch box in your suitcase
Fold up a lunch box and put it in your suitcase for the flight home. Since you have the frozen milk in the freezer, you can easily transfer it on over and bring it on the plane with you. Assuming your flight isn’t terribly long, the milk will still be frozen by the time you get home!
Bring a hand pump too
I brought my hand pump, just in case my regular pump stopped working for some reason. The pump didn’t break, but I did end up using the manual pump on the way home on the plane. Our layover was pretty short, and I was just sitting there anyhow. Rather than having to plug into an outlet somewhere (our plane didn’t have in seat outlets), I opted to pump manually while I was sitting down. It was no big deal at all and no one even noticed what I was doing. The manual pumps are a really great thing to fall back on.
Sure, having to pump while on vacation is not exactly convenient. If you plan correctly, it’s really not a big deal! I hope these tips helped you!
Do you have any other tips to add to the list?