I think working moms who breastfeed have the motivation of a start up CEO who grinds 24/7. I don’t know how you do it, but you do. Add on top of that a working mom who travels a lot, is a goddess. I guess it’s one of those things that you just don’t think about really because you don’t know any different.
I had to leave Connor last week for the first time overnight. I was nervous but being my second child, I wasn’t that nervous. The first time I left Tommy overnight at 5 months, I cried at the airport. No tears were shed this trip. I was excited for a night to myself in a hotel room. The downside to travel right now is that I am still nursing and would have to pump while away.
Since Connor is 8 months old, I pumped every 4-6 hours about. I brought the Motif pump which is super small and easy to bring with me while I travel. It does not have the suction of my Medela that my sister in law passed down to me but it is so much smaller to travel with. It works best when you also massage your breast however I was still pumping 15-20 minutes at a time vs my Medela which takes about 10 to drain a boob. I’ll take the added time for ease of travel however ever time. It is $190 but was gifted to me for my honest review.
I charged it before I left for the trip and did not need to recharge the entire time so I could pump wherever. I even could have pumped on an airplane in a middle seat between two dudes in suits, which I’ve done!
A few people asked me about the Willow Pump and I do not pump enough to warrant a $500 breast pump. However, if you worked in an office I would recommend checking this out or it’s competitor the Elvie (which is similar in price and currently out of stock). Jean Wang did a little review on her insta stories of the two comparing but I’m not sure if she’s shared on her blog yet.
If you only pump when you travel, like me and you travel a lot, the motif I think is a great option.
So I brought with me a small cooler bag that you get when you do a juice cleanse, remember those days? I also brought along milk bags. I pumped as soon as I got to my hotel which was 6 hours after I last fed Connor and pumped anything I had left.
We then went to dinner with 20 other Mommy Bloggers with the Michelin team. We were treated to a Michelin 2 star dinner with 5 courses including wine pairings. Guys… the wine was so good and they kept refilling our glasses. I definitely had a little too much to drink. I got back to the hotel around 11 pm and pumped again.
This milk I decided not to keep. I am not a believer in pump and dump but this just meant less milk that I had to transport and I just wasn’t sure about it. I repeat though, I do not pump and dump!
A few people asked how my night away was and to be honest, not great! I drank too much and kept waking up dreaming of water! I felt terrible. When the alarm went off at 7, I felt like I had sorta hungover but also sorta sick. Back home, Nick was legit sick for the first time in years and had to take work off. His mom came down from Maine to watch the boys but Tommy stayed home from school because they couldn’t get him there (insert mom eye roll emoji) but I get it! Our preschool is not the easiest to get to if you’ve never been and Nick was too sick to bring Tommy (allegedly).
Anyway, back in Greenville, South Carolina, I luckily knew a cold might be coming on so I bought a green juice the day before! This was a lifesaver. There was no intermittent fasting, I needed food ASAP. Again, I pumped as I got ready thanks to my hands free bra that I’ve used maybe 10 times since I bought it before Tommy was born.
To be honest, the bra keeps the pump in place but it’s super awkward. You have to be topless while you wear it essentially. You can’t really wear it as your bra for the day, I mean you could if you wore a bulky sweater, but I wouldn’t. It wasn’t until I saw an episode of Working Moms on Netflix that I realized women who pump in an office often take off their shirts and bras to put on a bra like this before they pump. There must be another bra where you don’t have to do this, right? Or is this why the Elvie and Willow are such dreams come true people are willing to pay $500 for them?
Before I left my hotel room, I grabbed my milk from the refrigerator and headed down to the lobby to get coffee before visiting the Michelin testing grounds about an hour away. When I got my coffee, I also asked them for a bag of ice for my cooler bag to keep my milk cold.
I pumped again in the middle of the day before heading to the airport to head home. Before going through security, I dumped the bag of now melted ice. I have TSA precheck and they did not give me any shit about my milk because I kept each bag to 4 oz each. Once through security, I asked a random restaurant for another bag of ice and they happily obliged!
I pumped one more time at the Greenville airport which had a nursing/mother room! This was such a nice treat. I made it home around 11 pm and my milk was cold.
How Did Connor Do?
Before I left, I shared that Connor wasn’t taking bottles and a few of you have asked how he did as your children also do not take bottles, the woes of always being around.
First, I thought I didn’t have enough milk so I asked for formula suggestions to have as backup. My frozen milk was 6 months old and I was nervous it wouldn’t taste good. I also only had 12 ounces and needed more like 24-36. The top formula recommendation was from Germany called HIPP and HOLLE.
The second most popular recommendation was that I should buy the cheapest because most formulas are the same, Costco was a big favorite. I had a lot of recommendations for Happy Baby formula and other varieties sold at Whole Foods. Since I did not have time to have HIPP or HOLLE shipped and only wanted a few servings worth, I went to Whole Foods and bought the smallest amount of formula I could buy which was a $7 can of Similac. I totally used the rule, if it’s sold at Whole Foods it must be fine which you should not use but I did… hah.
I didn’t care what I bought to be honest because I knew he wouldn’t end up taking it and I didn’t want to spend $30 on formula that wouldn’t be used. Spoiler, he didn’t need it. I needed to buy it for ME so that I knew if he was starving, Nick and his mom has something to give him. I also was able to pump 10 extra ounces before I left, leaving them with 24 total ounces for 36 hours away.
Miraculously, Connor drank the milk I pumped fresh and the frozen milk from a munchkin 360 cup! They used all of it and I arrived home just in time. He also ate lots of food. Since he is 8 months old, this I think helped a lot.
Connor I guess woke up a few times at night but slept pretty well. He survived and was a happy little guy to see me in the middle of the night when he woke up. I couldn’t resist.
Now we have a bunch of milk stored in the freezer so I’m ready for my next overnight. Where are we going???