Leaving my EBF baby…

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This past weekend I went to my sister’s stagette in Manitoba, which meant that I had to leave my exclusively breastfed 5 month old, Odin.

I was anxious and nervous on the days leading up to my trip away. I was worried he wouldn’t take the bottle well or that when I came home he wouldn’t want to breastfeed or that my milk supply would drop.

Everyone kept telling me things would be fine and that I needed time away, but that didn’t make me feel better.

So I decided to put a plan into place and prepare as much as possible for my weekend away.

In this blog I am going to share everything I did to prepare, everything that helped me while I was away & my experience when I came back home.

TIPS that helped me BEFORE leaving:

  1. I started pumping 3 months before leaving so that I would have enough milk stored. I use the FIRST YEARS pump, it’s one of the best pumps I’ve ever used and it’s cost-friendly from Walmart. (Side note: I also really like the Medela from Cravings).
  2. I pumped once a day in the morning for 5-10 minutes on one side (we have the most milk in the mornings).
  3. I stored my milk in small amounts (1-4 ounces) in special NUK freezer bags so that my husband wouldn’t have to waste milk.
  4. My husband fed Odin a bottle once every 2-3 weeks.
  5. We watched a video on YouTube on “Paced bottle feeding.” It’s a type of bottle feeding that mimics breastfeeding so it makes it less likely that your child will prefer the bottle over breast.

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TIPS to that helped me DURING my weekend away:

  1. I brought a pump that was battery powered so that I could pump on the way up in the vehicle.
  2. I pumped every two hours for 5-10 minutes.
  3. I pumped before I went to bed (stayed up late at night) and then set my alarm to wake up 8 hours later (usually Odin sleeps 8-11 hours straight, so I tried to mimic his schedule).
  4. I brought NUK freezer bags to store my breastmilk in. They also have Medela storage bags at Cravings.
  5. I brought alcohol swab tests to test my breastmilk to see if there was any alcohol in my milk or not, this was really helpful so that I didn’t have to throw out my milk.
  6. I brought a permanent marker to label my milk.
  7. I brought a cooler and a bag of ice to transport my milk back home.
  8. I brought Medela sterilizing bags (from Cravings) to clean my pump in the microwave because it is much quicker than boiling water.
  9. I brought a small breast pump drying rack (comes with brushes to clean the pump).

alcohol milk strips

What happened when I came home?

After taking the bottle well all weekend, Odin breastfed as soon as I came home! It was such a freeing feeling & I had a small tear!

The craziest thing is that I came home with an oversupply of milk rather than a decrease. I think it truly helped to pump every two hours for 5 minutes!

If you are leaving your EBF child, I really hope these tips help you! And if you need anything at all, feel free to reach out to me!

Kathleen 🙂

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