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Adventures in Breastfeeding

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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!

woman breast feeding

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.

next: 'Our Son Is Autistic'
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Shannon April 2, 2010, 8:29 AM

Nooooo how could you throw away your liquid gold?! When I 1st had my son I pumped in between breast feedings with him to build up my supply. I had almost a whole months on reserve… & then Hurricane Ike hit. I cried when all my precious milk had to be thrown away since we had been out of power for a couple of days : (

Black Iris April 2, 2010, 12:25 PM

You probably have to pump and dump if you’re taking a plane. They get difficult about carrying liquids nowadays.

Robyn April 2, 2010, 4:52 PM

Been there and done that many times. Actually I have found airlines to be very accommodating when it comes to taking breast milk on a plane. I know the regulations state that you shouldn’t take more than what a baby needs to get through the trip that day, but they have always been very understanding with me and my friends. We took a 3 day girls trip recently and several were pumping. You can imagine how much 3 days of milk from several mamas was. The airlines were totally cool about having a small collapsable cooler full of milk in addition to the pump coming back even with no babies. They just had to declare that it was in fact breast milk. I found the freezable small coolers one of the most convenient to travel with.

Kimberly April 3, 2010, 9:33 AM

Good to read this - it’s encouraging. I have two business trips in a ROW coming up. I’ll be gone Thursday night through Sunday mid-day the first weekend, and two entire days the next weekend. I’m breastfeeding twins! I won’t be saving my milk - my babies reject breastmilk from the bottle.

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 1:27 PM

Interesting article! Good reading. I’ve just got a small opinion to make about tee shirts.

Bubba May 21, 2011, 1:18 PM

Satdns back from the keyboard in amazement! Thanks!

Darnesha May 22, 2011, 10:09 AM

At last! Smonoee who understands! Thanks for posting!

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