On leaving baby for the first time: Pumping and More

To a new mom, there is nothing more scary than this. Seriously, even if you’re leaving them with what is typically the next best thing, your significant other or your mother.


For most people, this seems to be the general consensus and in my case it is no different, although, we all know: No one will ever care for our babies better than us, so leaving them behind gives us anxiety. Add an exclusively breastfeeding situation to it and you’ve got a whole other type of separation anxiety going on, mostly on my part. I was convinced the baby wouldn’t even care and that even broke my heart more. I later found out it wasn’t the case, according to my mom and husband.

You can find me breastfeeding on my side…always. Or most of the time!

The first time I had to do this baby was 3 months old, and it was work related. I had to go, although I was technically still on maternity leave. I got about 2 days notice before the trip, so safe to say the anxiety levels were pretty high. I packed my little pump and milk storage bags thinking I’d be able to fit my “stashed” frozen milk into it, thinking nothing of it. I normally pump once a day, if even anymore when I’m home with baby, so I had no idea what I was in for.

That everyday pumping container. How can I be so clueless thinking 3 days worth of milk would fit in here!!?

I took my flight and off I went to attend my 3 day course, experiencing 3 full nights away from baby from the get go. The course thankfully had 3 other pumping moms, so there was no need to hide in the bathroom or whatever craziness people have moms do these days, so that was a relief. I could go to the back to the class or near an outlet and do my thing. Thank God for smart phones and our ability to video chat. That also helped to cope. I take about 200 pictures of that baby a days, so I had plenty of material to go through. Also, annoying whoever would listen about my new baby was good.

Multi-tasking.

For those who stayed home with baby, it apparently wasn’t all fun and games, especially at night. She did well during the day, but once it was bedtime, she was pretty vocal about how much she missed having milk straight from the source, and frankly missed the boob, and probably me, at least a little. She also had been used to snuggling in the mornings, and suddenly she didn’t have that, even though daddy and grandma tried. Winecoach said she took the bottle like a champ, and I was thankful for that. She didn’t skip on her nutrition, and it paid off introducing her to the bottle early, even if just for an ounce or two to make sure she got it.

She loves these bottles! And can now hold them herself!

Our favorite bottles to use are Philips Avent anti-colic bottles, which have proven to be the right choice for our baby because, no colic as a result from drinking milk from them! If we can minimize colic + gas production inside their bellies, especially when you’re away and other people are caring for them is much appreciated. I know my mom and hubby surely did! The bottle giveaway is still happening, so click here to enter, and visit their website to learn more!

FaceTiming is a good way to cope.

We also learned that she didn’t even care about the temperature of the milk, as long as it was in her mouth when she was hungry. The crying and screaming seemed to be completely situational, and just the regular fussy hour elevated by mommy’s absence. I feel thankful that we started Alexandra on bottle feeding “training” if you will, early. I have a friend who is due to get back to work soon and her baby simply won’t take the bottle. Another friend who’s baby literally “starved” all day and was glued to her all night when she got home from work.

Why I love these Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottles:

  • They are the real deal. These are clinically proven to reduce colic and discomfort, which is a problem in most bottle fed babies. They also have an advanced venting system scientifically proven to reduce colic, which to me is priceless.
  • The ribbed nipple texture prevents collapse, which means feeding flow won’t be interrupted.
  • There is ease of latching due to nipple shape, and it is simple to assemble and clean (seriously, not a bunch of parts like other bottles).
  • It has leak-free technology, it’s easy to hold (for babies and adults) and BPA free.
  • Finally, these have a Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval (PTPA), meaning they were rigorously tested and reviewed by a panel of real parents.

Enter to WIN your free set HERE!

PUMPING WHILE AWAY

I ended up pumping 6 times a day: once in the morning, mid-morning, lunch time, mid-afternoon, early evening and right before bedtime, so basically every 2-3 hours in attempts to mimic her feeling schedule. It was rough, and I felt tired and hungry, even hungrier than usual. This is also the weekend that I swear I gained like 5 lbs. Yes, I ended up losing it in the following week, but boy is my body holding on to extra wait to make this milk. The weight is NOT falling off of me like I expected it…

Pumping everywhere!

The verdict: I ended up with an average of 5 ounces per pump, sometimes more, sometimes less, and it seemed mornings were always closer to 7-8 ounces while during evenings it seemed more like between 4-5 ounces. Basically averaged 25-30 ounces a day and came home with just over 100 ounces from that 3 day trip. I had NO IDEA that’s how much my baby was drinking, but according to winecoach, that is exactly how much she was “eating”. The things you learn while being away.

Everything was still frozen when I got home!

I always product more in the mornings…

Also, the joke was on me thinking that little insulated container was actually going to hold all my milk. HA! I had to go buy a mini cooler for that. And lots of ice for the 1 hour flight back (thankfully it was a short flight and everything remained frozen). By the way, the TSA will not bother you with any amount of breast milk going through security, but apparently they do prefer if it is frozen, and no, the baby doesn’t have to be with you – just as an FYI.

The best part (if there is one) of going away is coming back. Being reunited with baby after what I felt was traumatic (excuse my dramatic tone), but it really truly is! At least the first time. The veteran moms say it gets easier, and although I believe it, it was pretty difficult leaving her – up there with birthing her!

This felt like the best day of my life after she was born. I missed her SO MUCH!

There is an indescribable bond between mom and baby regardless of feeding methods: breastfeeding or bottle feeding; so even as I start my first week back at work, I must say it’s still quite difficult, but nothing in comparison with staying the night away (more on the work thing to come). There is something about going home and putting your eyes and hands on that baby everyday that is priceless, so  I hope I can limit those work trips as much as possible, although I do know it will come and we shall survive.

Get on the giveaway to try the fantastic Philips Avent bottles!

 

**Please Note that this giveaway is for CANADA (excl. Quebec) only**

*This blog post is sponsored by Philips Avent and PTPA. I am a paid ambassador and all opinions and advice provided here are my own. As always, the love and excitement come from the heart; I genuine love these bottles and recommend them to any mom and dad. Thank you for your support! *

Thank you all for your tips (via instagram and snapchat) on surviving overnight/work trips away from your babies. You’ve been so helpful!

Xo, Ana

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