Jan 23, 2012

La Leche Would Be Proud - Flying and Pumping Success

Okay so this is a post about pumping and travel.  If you are not pregnant, breastfeeding or interested in my adventures in travel pumping, you may want to come back tomorrow.

I left Tuesday morning for my first trip without Reed.  (sob...)  I travel for my job and am typically gone for 1-4 nights per month.  I completely used up my stash of pumped milk with this trip so I wanted to save what I pumped and bring it back home.  I left armed with

1.  A car charger power source
2.  Battery pack
3.  Bottles
4.  Freezer bags
5.  Plastic grocery bags
6.  Mini cooler (the size that can hold a 6-pack of beer)

The trip started out with a session at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  They have benches in each restroom for nursing mothers.  I could have also used the family bathroom but I was running late (taxi driver's fault) and I didn't want to have to look for it.  I brought my modesty cover and just went through my work emails.  It was a little awkward being out in the open in a busy woman's restroom but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and many women could probably relate to what I was doing.  The only drawback was that there wasn't an outlet but I just used my handy Medela battery pack and was just fine.
DC National offered a spot in their restroom too with the bonus of having an outlet.
Albany was even better with cushioned chairs, power source and a more separate area in the bathroom.

The hotel we stayed in for our meeting has refrigerators in each room with a small freezer space.  This was perfect - I was able to keep my freezer pack frozen and begin to freeze my milk in storage bags.
Here is how I packed my milk up to go home:

1.  Bottom layer of ice in grocery bag.
2.  Milk bags in the middle
3.  Top layer of ice in grocery bag.
4.  Wrapped cooler in 4 grocery bags and then the large dry cleaning bag from the hotel.

My goal with all the bags was to prevent leaking from the cooler.  I will bring tape next time to really seal the cooler in addition to the bags.

I checked the bag thinking that it would stay cool enough below the plane.  And thankfully it did!  The proof was the fact that the milk and ice were still frozen.  I was able to save all of my milk!


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