I just went on my first business trip since having a baby three months ago. I was reluctant to go at first because I am still breastfeeding, but I made it work and did a 36-hour trip. So let the adventures begin!
Angela Chee: Breastfeeding in public is not always that easy, but pumping on the go is kind of a pain, too. No longer did I have a purse; my pump was my carry-on. Unless you're breastfeeding yourself, you could never tell (they look like purses now), but there's not a lot of extra room so I had every pocket filled.
It was a pretty long flight with a short connection in Chicago, so I had to pump and dump fast in an O'Hare airport bathroom. I guess I could have kept the milk, but it kind of grossed me out. So there I was, standing in the handicapped stall with my luggage on one side and my pump hanging off the hook on the back of the door. (I didn't want it to touch anything.)
I used the battery pack (since there was no outlet) and double-pumped, standing there holding my breasts listening to the whoosh whoosh of the pump. I'm sure people next to me were like, "What is going on in there?" Oh well. Then I cleaned everything up, packed it up and off I went. I ran out of time to eat.
Once I arrived at my destination, it was time to pump again. The next morning, I pumped like usual and got ready for work. I was delivering a keynote at a diversity conference. Since the conference lasted all day, I needed to find time to break away.
Pumping isn't a big deal, but it's much easier in my mommy clothes than in a suit. I felt like a character with two identities. "Excuse me, I'll be right back ...." I'd undress, pump, then put myself back together and re-emerge all professional again. The organizers were accommodating; they even gave me a place in the fridge to store my milk, right next to the beer and potato salad.
I left immediately after the speech. But wait: I needed to pump again. On the way home, there were a lot of families on the plane. You know how it is traveling -- kid in one arm, car seat in the other and trying to check the stroller while other passengers breeze on by. Part of me was really glad I didn't have all that stuff for once. This was a business trip, but then I saw the baby. I missed my daughter. I was ready to be home.
|Angela Chee is a television host, voiceover artist and creator of TheZenMom.com as a resource for other moms (because motherhood isn't always so Zen). She is a first-time mom.|