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Thread: The dreaded work travel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default The dreaded work travel

    I've been back at work for ~a month & my coworkers are already asking about upcoming business travel. As of right now, the first trip could be in Jan for 3 days & the next in Feb for 4. My LO will be 6 mo in Jan. I'm not the greatest pumper (usually ~3 oz total per session). I have ~35 oz in the freezer. Looking at Kelly mom, I calculated that I would need 30 oz per day I'm gone OR over 200 oz for the 2 trips. That's a lot of milk. I'm not sure what to do. My boss has been accommodating in a lot of ways so I'm nervous about asking for too much more. Aside from not wanting to leave my LO, the thought of pumping 7X a day while I'm gone is awful. These trips would require multi stop plane rides so I might even have to pump on the plane, which would be difficult. I should also mention that I've had clogged ducts even working part time & nursing my LO at lunch.

    So, I guess I'm wondering what I should do right now. Do I have any case for saying that I cannot travel until LO is 12 months?

    Appreciate your support!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    Personally, I was so happy that my manager asked if I was open to travel or not. I said I didn't want to travel at all until she's at least 6 months, and preferably not until she's closer to a year old and he was totally fine with that. I further said that if I had to travel I'd prefer it to be in the US/Canada only - I'm not up for the vagaries of international travel while pumping, and right now I don't have enough milk in the freezer to be gone for more than 3-4 days anyways. We've had such a limited travel budget for the last 2 years that it probably won't be much of an issue.

    There was a possibility of going on a short business trip in mid-November (when DD will be around 15 weeks old). I could have arranged it to fly out to Texas the evening before, witness testing for one full day, and then fly back the next morning - so I'd be away from DD for less than 48 hours. I would have been OK with going since I have enough freezer stash, but he decided to send the project manager instead of an engineer. Part of me wishes I could go, but the thought of pumping 7-8 times a day, including at a client site, makes me want to cry.

    So for now I did make the case that I will not travel at all while she's under 6 months, and I would prefer not to travel outside of North America until she's at least a year old.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    Obviously every job situation is different, but I gently bowed out of business travel until Joe was seven or eight months old, explaining that I was breastfeeding, so it was very difficult to be away from him. My bosses were understanding ... to a point. Around eight months, I stopped making excuses, but I secretly figured out how to do my trips in one day, or bring Joe with me. To date, I've never left him overnight. When I had to be away for two days recently I flew my mom and Joe (still a lap child, so the only ticket I had to pay for was my mother's) with me when I've traveled. That was hard, but not as hard (for me) as leaving him behind. It's so hard! I sympathize.

    ETA: My job never requires international travel. We don't even travel outside the state. So that makes it easier.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    58

    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    When I had to be away for two days recently I flew my mom and Joe (still a lap child, so the only ticket I had to pay for was my mother's) with me when I've traveled. That was hard, but not as hard (for me) as leaving him behind. It's so hard! I sympathize.

    ETA: My job never requires international travel. We don't even travel outside the state. So that makes it easier.
    If I could easily/cheaply bring DD with me on a business trip, I would probably be less opposed to business travel while she's young. I could bring DD with me if my mother came along, but I'd have to pay for my mom's airfare and meals myself. Having taken part of my maternity leave unpaid and having some hospital bills left to pay from her birth, we couldn't really afford that right now.

    The other issue for me is that when I travel for work it's always spending very long work days (10-12+ hours) at industrial/construction sites where a baby absolutely cannot be. So I'd be able to nurse overnight at the hotel, but would still have to find a way to pump all day long because mom wouldn't be able to bring her to the job site so she could nurse. It would be better than pumping around the clock, but not much.

    Add in the possibility of international travel (for upwards of a week) and I was more than happy to tell my boss that I don't want to travel until she's a little older...he asked, so I was honest.

    I told him that if I do need to travel, we need as much notice as possible - both because of the need to freeze extra milk for the baby and because DH's work schedule doesn't coincide with daycare's hours. We would need to make alternate child care arrangements during my absence.

    When I was pregnant I turned down a lateral transfer to a position that requires 75% travel. I made up a reason at the time, but when I told my employer about my pregnancy at 17 weeks they all suddenly understood why I turned down the move. DH and I have both consciously chosen career paths that won't require frequent business travel while our child(ren) are young.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    zeebaby - is travel part of your job? I haven't traveled since Lilah was born. I have had a couple opportunities to travel and actually switched out of a job that required travel.

    A friend of mine at work had to travel and had a hard time pumping to keep up her milk supply. She had her pediatrician write a note that said that it was a health risk to her and her baby if her baby did not come with her to nurse as pumping alone would leave her open to mastitis as well as losing her supply and not being able to nurse the baby when she got back. Her daughter was about 3 months old at the time. Our company paid for the grandmother to go with her to take care of the baby while she was on work time.

    I know that some people can swing it and can handle it, but I can't be away from my baby overnight. The first time she will be away from me overnight will be when her baby sister is born and then I'm hoping it will only have to be one night.

    Everyone is different and every job situation is different, though. Have you asked your boss if you can decline these trips?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    127

    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    Sorry for the delay in responding. My daughter was sick and now I've caught her cold.

    So travel is a part of my job unfortunately. I got out of traveling last year because of swine flu concerns being pregnant. I spoke to my boss yesterday about all of my concerns, especially the fact I would need ~200 oz of milk, the risk of infection, etc... He was very understanding thankfully. He did say that my coworkers will probably be less understanding but he'll deal with them. He wanted to know a date when I could return to traveling. I told him Mid May/June because she'll be almost a year old & eating lot less breastmilk. So at least that gives me time to not worry about it & look for another job without travel. I don't want to be away from her. Unfortunately we have no family nearby who could accompany us on a trip. I am thankful that he was understanding and I don't have to deal with it now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    That's great! Your coworkers may get upset, but that's not your problem.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Far away
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    2,448

    Default Re: The dreaded work travel

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    That's great! Your coworkers may get upset, but that's not your problem.
    Exactly. Once the time to start traveling draws nearer, you could add an extra session of pumping each day to get the amount you need for your daughter while you're gone.
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

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