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How to pump breast milk during International Travel

How to pump breast milk during International Travel

Old Jul 31, 07, 12:50 pm
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How to pump breast milk during International Travel

Hi,

I am a new mom and am planning to travel to India from US in Jan 2008 with a 9 month old. I will still be feeding my baby breast milk and he doesn't nurse directly from me so I have to pump my breask milk. I am wondering where can I pump breask milk during my travel. I will be travelling alone with my baby so any advice will be helpful. Mothers who were in this situation before please advice.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 31, 07, 6:33 pm
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Welcome to FT sneha23. I can only tell you the experience Mrs. DUF made with Micro DUF.
The first question is your class of travel and airline. If you happen to be one of the lucky few flying first class on Jet Airways then you just close the door to your suite and you have total privacy.
If you happen to fly economy on any carrier you will not have this luxury. Even so Mrs. DUF has no problem breastfeeding in public she wouldn't use the pump on an airplane.
The only place which will give you privacy will be the lavatories. Having said this, there is one other idea. Sometimes the crew has some seats which can be separated with a curtain. If you ask them maybe you can use one of them to have some privacy.
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Old Aug 1, 07, 9:57 am
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Probably using a hand pump or battery operated one while you are traveling would be the best. What pump are you currently using? I found that a hand pump was the hardest and that I woudn't have enough milk - maybe 4 oz?

Try contacting a la leche league near you and I'm sure they can give you a wealth of info. Here is their web site:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/

http://www.lactations.com/links.php

And my favorite site for nursing moms - the boards there will be able to help you too...

http://www.breastfeeding.com/advocate.html

Last edited by Tsukiji; Aug 1, 07 at 10:08 am Reason: edited to add direct link to correct web site.
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Old Aug 3, 07, 2:02 am
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For us, 20 minutes in the lavatory worked just fine. Try to time it during the middle of movies so you avoid the "rush to the loos." We also mentioned what we were doing to the local flight attendant so they were aware my wife would be camping out there for a bit. Some planes will have slightly larger lavs in the rear for disabled customers, so see if you can use one of these to give you room to spread out. If you're traveling alone, consider the battery operated pump to keep your hands free as you sure don't want to put the baby on the floor in there!
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Old Aug 3, 07, 11:36 am
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I would ask the crew if you can use the crew rest seats for a few minutes for this purpose. Technically, they are not supposed to be using them except during their rest periods anyway.
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Old Aug 6, 07, 9:29 pm
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Is there a problem staying in your seat, putting a blanket over your torso, and pumping right there? So long as you have the blanket over yourself nobody will be the wiser.
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Old Aug 7, 07, 10:33 pm
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So long as you have the blanket over yourself nobody will be the wiser.
It's pretty likely that won't be true -- breastpumps are loud, even the manual kind, because the spray of the milk against the horn makes noise, too. The noise of a power pump's motor will not only be audible, but may even draw complaints. Maybe if she were sitting next to the engines it wouldn't be noticeable, but otherwise it probably would be. It's also pretty hard to handle a power pump on your lap.

I've never tried pumping on a plane, but I would think that the best way would be to use a single pump while baby feeds on the other side in a sling, or perhaps just snuggles that way. I would think that double-pumping would be very difficult to do discreetly on a plane. I would definitely ask the FA's for help on the privacy issue.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 13, 09, 1:23 pm
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Updated with tips

This is an old thread but I thought it might be useful to update with my recent experience(s) traveling both domestically (US) and internationally and pumping.

Background: I traveled from the West Coast, first to New York (2 days) and then to Asia (6 days), without my 7 month old, who is fed a combo of breast milk (nursing), formula (during the day) and solid foods. I did "pump and dump" - did NOT try to transport the pumped milk home, so I can't comment on those challenges. (I have done that for my older son and it was a PITA!)

Equipment: I have the Medela Pump-In-Style with a battery pack (requires 8 AA batteries plus I brought a charger for rechargeables). I used the battery pack on the plane and the regular plug on the ground (note that I was in Taiwan and Japan where the plugs/voltages are the same; this is not always the case so you may need a converter or different recharger, depending on what's easier for you.)

Due to the hygiene concerns, I threw a bunch of antiseptic wet wipes into my pump bag and tried to swab it down regularly since washing wasn't always an option: after TSA touched (and searched) the pump, before pumping, after strangers (trying to help) handled my bag from the overhead bin - EVEN THOUGH they were hacking and coughing away, ugh.

On the plane: I pumped in the lavatory, usually while sitting on the (closed) toilet, with the pump hanging from the hook on the back of the door. To be considerate, i tried to use one of a group of lavatories so there wouldn't be an excessive wait for anyone else, but of course on a smaller plane this may not be an option, though I did try to let a FA know so they don't think there's a problem if I took up the lav for 20 minutes. Oh and I also did try to time it, for example not right after movies or a meal. Personally, I don't think there's enough space in economy (even E+) to pump in my seat; also access to the sink is useful.

Airports: MSP (Minneapolis) has a totally private nursing room useful for pumping that you get access to by asking at the info desk across from C12, though it is small and has no sink. If I were actually nursing I'd use one of the family room areas, which are larger, near bathrooms, but have less privacy. NRT (Tokyo Narita) Terminal 1 has multiple nursery areas, which include not only play areas but also private cubicles to nurse or pump. The ORD (Chicago) RCC had a great place to pump when I last flew through there years ago.

I think that's it - hope that helps!
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Old Dec 15, 09, 6:13 am
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I also used a breast pump for myself and my daughter. Some hands free breast pump kits have places on storing milk for consumption when traveling. I could recommend a product of SimpleWishes.

You could see and take a look on their hands free breast pump:
http://www.simplewishes.com/product/...mping-bra.html
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Old Nov 6, 18, 12:14 pm
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On a long haul (+10 hrs), what are the storage options? Pack a cooler with ice / ask for ice when said ice starts to melt?
If it helps, we'll be in J.

Last edited by PacificStandTime; Nov 6, 18 at 5:37 pm
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by familyflier View Post
For us, 20 minutes in the lavatory worked just fine. Try to time it during the middle of movies so you avoid the "rush to the loos." We also mentioned what we were doing to the local flight attendant so they were aware my wife would be camping out there for a bit. Some planes will have slightly larger lavs in the rear for disabled customers, so see if you can use one of these to give you room to spread out. If you're traveling alone, consider the battery operated pump to keep your hands free as you sure don't want to put the baby on the floor in there!
I think she said she was traveling alone? MrsZurick used to sit in window seat and put blanket up. Granted this was in the days and she was once greeted by a cop on exiting for exhibition But the FA then stated that nobody "saw" any thing, just complaints as they knew what was happening.
Make yourself comfortable. With risks today, doubt many FA will hold your child while you do it. The crew seats are a great idea on a long haul.
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