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Thread: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Ladies, I need your thoughts.

    I have a conference in May that I cannot take LO to. I do not have to go, but I really need to. I am trying to figure out what I should do.

    My concerns:

    pumping - airport, during conference
    what do I do with my milk?
    Will this hurt my nursing relationship with LO?

    Anything else I should be thinking of? I am SOOOO torn. I want to go, need to go, but I am thinking I shouldn't.

    Has anyone BTDT?
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Hi 5of us, yes I have. More than once. Stressed out mightily each time but it all worked out fine. Yes, you need to have a pumping plan. I have pumped at the airport - some airports (such as SFO) have very nice facilities, other airports (such as Denver) I've pumped in the handicapped bathroom - just took antiseptic wipes (such as a Lysol wipe) with me to clean surfaces as well as I could beforehand. In terms of pumping at the conference, you need to make some phone calls ahead of time to figure out the logistics. If it's a conference at a (relatively small) hotel and your room is in the same hotel, you can pop up to your room when you need to pump. If it's a really big hotel (for example, one of those giant Las Vegas hotels) or a conference center, you can find out ahead of time what the possibilities are for pumping near the meeting rooms. I've found that once you start asking, people figure out ways to accommodate you. For example, you may be able to use an empty meeting room or an office or they may have a special room set aside. In terms of transporting milk, I've read on here about moms fedexing the milk back on dry ice. I've never tried that. I'm fortunate in always having a lot of milk in the freezer (oversupply!) so I pumped and dumped some of it and transported some of it myself using a cooler with ice packs. When you go through security you just tell them you have milk and they do this vapor test where they open the bottle and wave a disc over it (they don't dip into the milk or pour it out). Obviously you need to keep the milk cold - if there's a fridge in the hotel room that works well (again, I've specifically chosen which hotel to stay in based on this!), I've also asked to store it in the hotel restaurant fridge which worked too. I decided not to go the route of freezing it and transporting it frozen because I worried if it thawed on the trip then it would have to be used within the next 24 hours.
    I have also freaked out about my nursing relationship - ie will baby forget me and reject the breast when I come back? But that's really unlikely in a six month old in whom you have a well-established nursing relationship. I remember coming home from a trip when one of my babies was a similar age, all worried about this, she sort of looked at me in an interested way like "I know this person but I'm not totally sure," I sat down and put her on the breast, she nursed avidly and when she was done looked at me with THE HUGEST SMILE on her face!
    So yes, I think you can do this! I'm sure other moms will jump in too with their suggestions!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Thank you so much for responding. The airport and milk storage are probably my biggest concerns. The hotel will have a fridge in my room, and the meeting will be held in the hotel so I will def. have a place to pump. I am wondering about what to do with it. It will be from Monday afternoon until Thursday afternoon. (I may be able to work out leaving Wednesday night?). The idea of sending it back appeals to me, but I am not sure how that would work or how I could go about doing that. I also have basically no stash, so I would have to figure out how to store enough milk for all that time (that alone is a daunting concept!!).

    I have something to go on now though, so thank you so much!
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Hi 5ofus... if you google "How to ship breastmilk with dry ice," you will get a bunch of helpful sites in the top search results. Like detailed step by step instructions. It looks very doable, with some advance planning. If I were in your shoes I would totally go that route ... no way I would want to toss three days worth of milk down the drain! Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    In terms of building up your stash: your trip is in about 3 months - 90 days. You'll need maximum 90 oz of milk for 3 days away. So that's one ounce extra per day between now and then! Maybe a little less daunting if you think of it that way?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Thanks for that info! I spoke to my boss about it and they will pay the shipping costs. I may be able to just leave Monday and return Wednesday. That will save a lot of pumping and being away. Only downside is that is the day that they pay for an "excursion" for employees. Oh well, the cost of being a nursing momma sometimes.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    In terms of building up your stash: your trip is in about 3 months - 90 days. You'll need maximum 90 oz of milk for 3 days away. So that's one ounce extra per day between now and then! Maybe a little less daunting if you think of it that way?
    You are wonderful! lol yes, much less daunting, and I can pump that no problem. One pump session after the little one goes to bed for the night should do it. I might even be able to squeeze an extra one in at work during the day since I can work and pump.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*5ofus View Post
    I spoke to my boss about it and they will pay the shipping costs.
    Oh my gosh, you have an AWESOME boss!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*5ofus View Post
    I spoke to my boss about it and they will pay the shipping costs.
    WOW. That puts a whole new spin on "breastfeeding friendly workplace." What a great supervisor & employer!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Work conference and being away from 6mo old

    Yes! That is one reason I have stayed with my current employment. They are truly family friendly.
    Turns out my mother may be able to join me on this trip and bring baby. !!!! I'm so relieved! I am still pumping a little extra each day just in case.

    I wish every woman had the understanding that I have at work...they get it.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

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