Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers who Go Overseas
(Special thanks to Fei Ru and Siaw Fui for sharing their experiences with all breastfeeding moms.)
Breastfeeding while travelling is not a â€˜mission-impossibleâ€™. We would like to share our experience of bringing EBM back to Malaysia from overseas trips, to countries like Taiwan, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore with other mums.
â€¢ What do you need?
A set of good breast pump, breast milk storage bags / container & accessories, good quality cooler boxes (recommended 1 big and 1 small), ice bricks, some thick towels and most importantly – positive mindset. Manual (or battery operated) pump is recommended, as an electric outlet is not always available especially in toilets â€“ most of the time this is the only available place to express.
â€¢ How to choose the right cooler box?
It depends on the quantity of EBM you can express daily. For example, if you can get 8oz of EBM every 4 hours, within 24 hours you will have 48oz of EBM / approx. 1.45 L. Multiply with the number of days per trip (the longest that you are expecting), e.g. 5 days, then in total about 7L of EBM. This means, you need a cooler box with a capacity of more than 7L, say around 9L to allow space for ice cubes.
Get a good quality cooler box with better insulation and with wheels if possible as stored EBM can be heavy, easily more than 10kg. It is recommended to have 2 cooler boxes, 1 big and 1 small. Use the big box to store frozen EBM at the hotel and for transporting EBM at the end of the trip and the small box for daily use. You can keep the small cooler box in the bigger one but get a much larger cooler box if you plan to do so.
How husbands can support breastfeeding?
give moral support and word of encouragement during bad days.. (Kit, A supportive husband)
By helping to do some housework (esp for those who don’t have maid or relatives) to ease the wife’s burden & thus enabling the wife’s to concentrate on bf. (Sheela SAHM)
My DH has a joke. He says he helped me to breastfeed by keeping his mouth shut! (N)
Hubby always ask what I have for lunch at office… make sure that I’m eating healthily. If I eat with him, say like fish, he will gimme the meaty part… if soup, he will make sure I have extra more. Because hubby is quite thin also, sometimes, I will insist that he eat more…so sometimes, we are like playing tai-chi at dining table. (Mama to Jiann Yang (07/07/2002) and Jia Ee (15/04/2004))
Get the brand of pump the wife requested and not go to the shop and find the cheapest and then, ask the promoter – can try ah? After that, check the breast pump like he is buying a vaccum cleaner (Lilian)
When men say something good about breastfeeding, it makes a strong impact, esp on all the “well-meaning” elders, friends and strangers etc.. Husband’s endorsement of the breastfeeding movement in the family helps to keep excessive negativities that come mummy’s way, esp for first time mothers. (Audrey)
William does not openly say he supports breastfeeding, but he helps to sterilise the breast pumps and bottle (in a steam steriliser, as easy as ABC each night before he goes to bed, so action speaks a thousand words!!! (GH)
helping me to field criticism/negative comments about bfg. He did great at telling our respective moms to stand back and let us deal with our child the way we wanted to. I really needed that support ‘cos I was getting so much rubbish from both moms. It was too much emotion for me to handle at the time. (a proud tandem nurser)
Give the moral support and assurance that the wife is doing great; she is such a wonderful wife and mother; say words like I’m so proud of you; etc will help. (Vivian)
I am an adoptive breastfeeding mother. When I wanted to bf my babies it was for these reasons:
1. McB is the best milk for my babies. I want the best for them.
2. Religion, I want to make my babies mahram (which means it is not a sin for me & my family to be in contact with them when they reach adulthood)
It was hard work mind you and I raised a lot of eyebrows. However support from my family & lactation counselor helped a lot. Not to mention all the sistas in this group. I like that word Sh. Other than that it was and still is a lonely journey. I don’t have an abundant of BM like all moms do but for me every drop counts. I do have to complement with formula due to this situation. There are some adptv moms who don’t. I guess I am not as lucky as some of them. So sistas, it boils down to your choice, passion and who benefits from this experience.
(ID â€“ an adoptive breastfeeding mom)
I think it’s not evading – it’s the ‘tidak apa’ attitude. Breastfeeding requires passion and these people don’t have it. Many moms I know don’t breastfeed bcos
1) too ‘troublesome’
2) not enough milk (resulting from not feeding through the nite)
3) dunno how to
A lot of their problems can be solved by reading up or signing onto a forum such as this. But will they ? No! They don’t bother to. (and we are talking about well-educated people with access to books and computers) How to change attitude like that ? Then again, I believe that a big deterrent is the employer and the issues of pumping while working.