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A month travelling for work- how to keep bf going?(6 Posts)
Baby currently 3 months (today!), but during September I will be going to three conferences for work, each abroad and lasting several days. I am planning to bring husband and baby with me (he is stay at home dad), but am really unsure what to do about feeding the baby.
I have a good breastpump, but am not sure how practical it will be to travel with it to Spain, Italy and Turkey and use the pump, store milk etc while away. Added complication is that I have the high lipase issue where, in order to store for more than a few hours, the milk must be scalded.
I'm unsure about having husband bring the baby to the conference venues and feed direct as there is unlikely to be anywhere except toilets for privacy (not worried about boobs being out, just stress of feeding going wrong publically). Plus being at conference, networking during coffee and lunch breaks is really important.
I wanted to continue exclusive bf until at least 6 months, but due to this situation was thinking about trying to wean slightly early in August. Then went and looked at weaning threads, and it seems a nightmare in itself!
Any advice, for either option (bfing while away or weaning before) greatly appreciated
September is still pretty warm, and baby will be 5-6 months old at the time. i went back to work part-time for a while when my DS was 5 months old. On my 'full' days, my DH had him, and he brought him to me at lunch time. I sat in the car and bf, or we went to the park, or found a bench nearby. It is possible to bf very discretely and I didn't have a comment for the four months I did it - no one even knew, I just said I was going for a cuddle as I left the building! We did introduce food at that point (DS refused formula milk) and water, and DS adapted well, having more milk in the morning/evening and less during the day.
I'd pump and dump when away, then feed direct when its possible - maybe get dh to bring your lo at lunchtime when theres a bit more time and people often go outside to enjoy the sun. Then your dh could use formula cartons if your lo wanted milk outside those times.
If you don't do purees, then giving food in hotels is quite fun, and a great way to give your lo a try of all sorts of different foods
A few things:
-Even if you were to start weaning, your baby would still mainly be having lots of milk at 6 months. I weaned my daughter at 5 months, and although she was ok with food, she definitely preferred the boob.
-BFing is definitely easier than weaning -- you'd want to take UK-bought food with you to those countries, as it's hard to find. It will be messy to feed her -- very -- and you won't have a high chair. I travelled with my daughter when she was 7 months and even with all our own food, found feeding her a nightmare.
-Have you considered introducing some formula? Might be easier than getting stressed out about pumping etc. You could feed her as much as possible, but feel a bit more relaxed knowing there is a backup.
Check out the conference venues in more detail and ask them (or the conference organisers) explicitly about a quiet room to feed a young baby. At academic conferences, at least, this wouldn't be an unusual request.
Most hotels, conference centres, university buildings, etc. - wherever it's on - will have breakaway rooms or prayer rooms that are open to bfing mothers. Some more modern hotels sometimes have specific infant feeding rooms.
I would just bf at every opportunity rather than pump during the day, skipping the odd talk if you want to keep breaks for networking . If you could manage a quick pump in the morning, DH would have something to give baby as a backup if hunger strikes while you're busy. But if that's too much faff, no need to bother.
Thanks for all the advice, I've bought a pump, but will try to combine it with direct feeding where possible, I hadn't really considered that. Hopefully will get away with just two pumping sessions a day, first thing and at 11am, after that the baby can come to me.
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