Traveling for Work as a New Mama ✈️

Two weeks ago I traveled for the first time for work in a LONG time. I have traveled a lot for work over the years and I don’t mind it too much… but this time was different.

I spent nights without my baby for the first time!

I was gone for approximately 65 hours. This meant I missed

  • 3 night times
  • 2 mornings
  • 3 day care pickups
  • 3 days without nursing my muchkin
  • AND a doctors appointment

Let me start by saying THIS WAS HARD. I have a rockstar husband and I knew Lincoln would be fine with his Daddy but the emotional attachment of being gone was not great!

And on a side note.. I was headed to Bismarck, ND, so not even a desirable location.

Now the logistical issues about pumping while on a work trip for all you moms who asked. I am blessed to have a freezer stash (approximately 3 days worth) so my goal was to replenish what Lincoln ate while I was gone.

I pumped 13 straight sessions without my baby and brought home 65oz of this liquid gold to replenish my freezer stash.

I pumped on the plane

I pumped in the airport

I pumped at my client

Willow (pumping) while I fly!

Here is what I did to prepare and what I encountered;

1) I brought a cooler /lunchbox and LOTS of ziploc bags (both gallon and quart size)

2) I made sure my hotel had a mini fridge (and luckily it had one with a freezer compartment)

3) In the airport I had food establishments fill my quart size bags with ice. I used the gallon bags to put the liquid milk bags in and I also put the quart size ice bags in the gallon bag (Important Note: The ice will melt and drip). – Bringing a plastic bag or other waterproof bag to put the cooler in would also be a great idea, but one I didn’t think of at the time.

4) When I arrived at the hotel I put the quart plastic bag with melted ice (water) in the freezer section to make solid ice blocks.

5) I flew home with 65 liquid OZ – I do have the Willow so my milk was in individual sealed bags.

6) TSA told me since they could not ‘test’ the milk and since it was not frozen I could go through but they had to search all my belongings and pat me down (even though I was TSA precheck this didn’t help).

This part was a bit much and I was flying through Bismarck (a small airport- who seemed to be stopping every other bag in the scanner). Not sure if this is the TSA protocol or just my luck!

My portable drying rack for washing pump parts!

All in all I was able to make it work and Lincoln my survived with Daddy for a few days and took the breast like he didn’t even know I was gone when I returned (I was worried he would refuse it after 3 days of JUST bottles)!

The trip was a bit stressful and although I dread any future trips away from my baby, I know both of us will survive when we are apart. It was a huge stepping stone!

Have you ever gone through TSA with breast milk?! I would love to hear your experiences!

XoXo Steph

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