In twelve days, I embark on my first business trip since Arlo was born. I’ll be in Toronto for two nights – and while that is a relatively short time away, I’m already stressing BIG TIME about the prep work required to keep our breastfeeding routine running smoothly. I’ve said it many times on my personal blog, but one of my biggest regrets with my daughter’s first year is that I stopped breastfeeding when she was 4-and- a-half months old. My work travel schedule had me schlepping breastpumps and coolers all over the country and Everly decided she much preferred a bottle to nursing anymore. I hated pumping exclusively and my supply was dwindling, so I threw in the towel.
This time, I’m determined not to let that happen. I’ve decided to exclusively breastfeed Arlo until he is 6 months old. I’ll share the details behind my reasoning later — but with no formula or rice cereal as a back up, I’ve got to make sure I have loads and loads of pumped milk ready to go while I’m away.
Arlo usually gets about three 4 oz bottles of milk a day while I’m at work but I’ve never spent more than 8 hours away and since I breastfeed the rest of the time, I’ve never really had to make a rough estimate on how much I think he is drinking in a day’s time. My goal is to have 55 ounces on reserve for my two day trip. I’ve got about half of that already stored, but I’ve been pumping like a MAD WOMAN every morning and every night to make up the rest. I seriously feel like I am tied to my pump.
The most challenging part is that what I pump every day at the office goes towards feeding him during those hours I’m at work, so I have to find some time in between nursing him in the evening and first thing in the morning to build up my stash.
To make matters more difficult, I’ve really noticed a decrease in the amount of milk I’m able to express since last week. I think it is primarily stress-related (Arlo’s vision prognosis had me so worked up last week). To get my body back in order, I’m taking a breastfeeding supplement and drinking lots of water but I hope this situation resolves itself soon.
Do any of you mamas out there have tips for building a substantial extra breastmilk supply while continuing to nurse a baby? It’s seriously hard work, and I could use any tips you’ve got!
Breast pump in the Ladies’ Room: Is this the only option for working moms?