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Extended breastfeeding and week-long work trip- help!

(7 Posts)
SuiGeneris Thu 09-Jun-11 18:13:11

Have posted this under employment issues, but some of the answers there made me realise it is the breastfeeding angle I need help with.

Have just heard a one-week work trip to the other side of the world (12+hours flight) is in the offing. Quite possible I will be asked to go. Problem is, I am still breastfeeding my 16-month-old 3+ times a night. What do I do?

Were I not breastfeeding I would jump at the opportunity: interesting assignment, never been to that part of the world, likelihood of brownie points for going...

I tend to feed him at 8pm (feed to sleep), whenever he wakes up in the night (usually around 3/4am, but sometimes 11pm and 5am) and then around 7am.

Would not mind giving up the middle of the night feed (which, in any event, he had given up around 5 months and then only restarted after he was 1 year old) but do not want to stop breastfeeding yet. Am concerned that if I go away for a week he will feel abandoned (we've never been away from each other for more than a few hours) and will forget how to latch on...

If I go, I can obviously bring a pump with me and pump and dump (but what a waste), but will my son remember how to feed after a week on the bottle? Will the pump be enough to maintain supply? Would you do it?

sc2987 Thu 09-Jun-11 20:20:18

Personally I wouldn't go because I think there is a difference between breastfeeding (directly) and breastmilkfeeding (from a bottle/cup), but obviously it depends on him and you, whether you can be without that closeness for a week.

When you say he would have a bottle while you're away, do you mean milk expressed in advance, or non-human milk/formula? Obviously expressed would be better, and you could get your partner to cup feed him instead of using a bottle if you're concerned about him getting confused.

If the place you would stay has a freezer, you don't need to dump the pumped milk - you can take a cool box and freezer packs; the milk should be OK in that for even that length of journey. Then you can use it on cereal etc when you get home.

Doubt he'd actually forget how to latch though; plenty of babies breastfeed after a big gap when their mothers relactate for some reason.

sc2987 Thu 09-Jun-11 20:22:06

Oh and regarding supply dropping, you could pump more often than he feeds to make sure it doesn't. Or just let him bring it back up when you return. And eat fenugreek/fennel.

purcellfan Sat 11-Jun-11 08:24:45

I have done 5-6 day work trips (still feeding ds nearly 2) and it's been fine, each time I've wondered whether ds would wean but he's latched on again as soon as I get home! After age 1 the pumping has been much less frequent and I stopped leaving expressed milk as he can have cows milk etc.

I've never expressed on a long haul flight but expressing in airports I found a real pain...

purcellfan Sat 11-Jun-11 08:28:11

Also have had the odd night away for work since ds was quite little so he's used to dh putting him to bed etc. You might want to do some practice runs before you go...

SuiGeneris Sat 11-Jun-11 23:20:46

Purcellfan, that's very reassuring, thank you!

FingandJeffing Sat 11-Jun-11 23:32:09

I've done it too. I pumped and dumped. Was np when I got back. I wasnt feeding at night though, just am and pm. I was away for 3 days and nights.

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