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Thread: Pumping while flying

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Pumping while flying

    This is for the airline moms out there who would like to continue nursing when going back to work. I am an airline pilot and have been back to work for 3 months and am still nursing. I pump on the road and store my milk in an Igloo cooler purchased at Target which has the solid container on the inside, soft outside, zipper top with a velcro area on top for easy access. I continuously restock with ice at every stop. I usually scavenge dry ice from the caterers. I am on the road for up to 6 days and as soon as I get home I throw all the milk into the freezer. My baby is doing great at 8 months. There was not much info out there for us flying moms so I am winging it and have to share my experiences and would love to know of others.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    Thank you for that information!!!! I am getting ready to go out of the country for 17 days in October and, though I plan to pump and dump during that time (it breaks my heart!), it helps to know that other people are away from their babies for extended periods and still manage to keep nursing!!!!!!!
    In fact, I just got off the phone with my mom who offered the suggestion that she could "switch the baby to formula" while I'm away. I was ready to crawl through the phone at her, after all the hard work I put into developing this nursing relationship!!!!!
    Do you continue to nurse your baby on the days that you are home? If so, how was your LO the first time that you left for several days? Was your LO difficult to get back to the breast when you returned or was it like you never left??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    My baby was 4 1/2 months when I had to go back for training and was away for 16 days at the first strech of time. She went on strike for about a day and then took to the bottle. I had pumped enough milk to get her through most my training and I Fed Ex twice a week shipments of milk home. When I came back after the 16 days she took to me like I had never left. I never knew how much she drank a day until I went on the road. At 4 1/2 months it's around 30 oz. a day. At 7 months we introduced rice cereal mixed with the milk. I also have a beer when I can on the road, to keep my milk flowing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    That makes me feel so much better!!! As you know, you devote so much time and energy to breastfeeding those first months. Your story has definitely encouraged me to keep it up!! I will actually be over in Europe so I don't know if shipping my milk home is feasible but I'll look into it!
    Thank you again, Suzanne, for your story!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    One other question for you, Suzanne...
    Did your LO take a bottle before you left that first time? I know I've been working on my LO taking a bottle because, of course, they always prefer the real thing to a bottle.
    I just was wondering if that contributed at all to your baby's nursing strike.
    I am so worried about her not eating and I know that she will when she's hungry enough, but I hate to think about that!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    Suzanne, do you just pump on your overnights? How do you deal with quick turns all day?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    Becki and LevisMom, No she didn't take to the bottle until after I left. I just had to find a nipple that would work for her.

    I pump even when we are being squeezed to get a flight out that wasn't on our schedule. I tell the Captain that I am taking 10 minutes for myself and there is no problem from any of the men. A flight hasn't left late because of me having to pump. I can get that plane preflighted in no time. And we are usaully waiting for the paperwork anyways. Some of the flight attendants put a sign on the door when they are pumping in the sky. I have to pump between flights.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    On (another) different note: as a passenger, would I just pump in the restroom on the flight?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    Becki, Go ahead and pump in the bathroom. When I'm flying as a passenger I tell the flight attandant that I'm a nursing mom and I may be a while if passengers start banging on the door for you to hurry. But since you are going to Europe there are plenty of bathrooms and you just pump when the meal service is starting or when the movie is playing. Drink lots and lots of water!! You will dehydrate anyways and it doesn't help that you are nursing. You can plan on the 30 oz. a day for your baby's intake so you will know how much to pump. I would have my baby feed on one side through out the night and save the other for morning pumping and the freezer. I hope that helps. I'm going out on a 5 day trip talk to you when I get back.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Pumping while flying

    Becki, do you also work on an airline?

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