How to Express Breast Milk During a Business Trip

How to express breast milk is always on my mind when I schedule a business trip. I only travel 3-4 times a year so I forget between trips.

The important thing is that you do not need to stop breastfeeding just because you occasionally travel for work. Take it from me, you can express breast milk with your breast pump while you are traveling and no one at work needs to know. Also, when it comes to how to express breast milk, it is more about frequency than volume.

I’m going to assume that you have already read about how to express breast milk expressing on a plane and in your car.

Here I am going to focus on tips for expressing milk when you get to your destination.

How to Express Breast Milk During a Business Trip – Planning

If you work and know you will need to travel while you are still nursing, pump extra milk and build up a supply. When it comes to how to express breastmilk, it is more about frequency than volume. This is good to do just in case of emergency anyway.

After you have a hotel reservation, make sure to call the hotel and tell them that you require a refrigerator in your room for medical purposes. If they have a refrigerator with a little freezer inside, even better. If there isn’t one in the room already, this will ensure you have a place to store your breastmilk.

Pumping takes half an hour or less from the time you step out of a meeting to the time you have finished cleaning your pump attachments so long as you know where you will be pumping ahead of time and where you can clean your attachments.

If you don’t want people to know what you are up to blame conflicting meetings for your need to step out for a few minutes. If you are at a training course, let the instructor know up front that you will have to step out and when you plan to do it. If you let people know ahead of time, you don’t have to feel badly for leaving the room. Also, you don’t run into the situation where you put off pumping when you shouldn’t. Remember, when it comes to how to express breast milk, it is more about frequency than volume. 

Stocking Your Breast Pump Bag

I use a Medela Pump in Style Advanced On The Go Tote to express breast milk. It is the easiest for me because I can store everything I will need in it. Best yet, when I open the front of the bag it makes a sanitary ledge so I’m not putting my accessories on a dirty surface.

In my bag I include:

  • The optional battery pack with fresh batteries for powering my pump when no AC power available.
  • If I know I might be pumping in a car, I bring the cigarette lighter adapter.
  • A small Tupperware container that is just large enough to hold my cone (official name = breastshields) and valve (official name = connectors) attachments. I use this for washing everything after pumping.
  • A small container with natural dish soap and one of hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer I use before pumping and the dish soap afterwards for clean-up.
  • My tube style pump bra in the bag if I am not wearing a pumping bra for my business trip.
  • At least 10-15 plastic breastmilk storage bags so I’m prepared for any delays or emergencies.
  • Two Mothers Milkmate storage bottles (don’t forget the lids) since I find it easier to screw bottles onto the valves than to mess around with attaching plastic bags with a tie-tie. I pump into the bottles and then pour the milk into the plastic storage bags. I consolidate the milk I pump while I am traveling to save on space. This is just personal preference, you can easily pump directly into the plastic storage bags directly.
  • Several paper towels or napkins to clean up messes and to prevent milk from getting on my clothes while I’m removing the pump attachments.

Again, remember when it comes to how to express breast milk, it is more about frequency than volume. 

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