Formula on holiday or breast pump? : Hi it’s me again... - NCT

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Formula on holiday or breast pump?

Purple04 profile image

Hi it’s me again, we’re trying to book our 1st holiday abroad with our LO & I‘m really stuck on whether to pack my Medela electric breast pump and spend my nights on holiday pumping as I do at home or take some premade formula milk cartons? I’m so confused. Also looking at cold sterilisation, I’ll need a sponge and washing up liquid, Milton tablets and sterilisation bags? Anything else... please help..... also any tips in general on travelling with a 7 month old. Thanks 🙏🏽

12 Replies

If you pump to feed then I'd probably go with expressing to avoid losing supply & risking engorgement. No harm in a few cartons just in case though. As for sterilisation, take a biggish Tupperware tub (can fill it with stuff to avoid taking too much space) and use with the Milton tablets x

Thanks, I pump at night for the following evening as my LO needs extra milk at bedtime & I seem to run out then have an unhappy baby. I think you’re right about the expressing, I don’t wanna lose supply. Think I will definitely take some cartons too thanks and great tip on the Tupperware!!!! 👌🏽👍🏽 X

If you normally pump you’ll have to keep pumping anyway so I’d do that or you’d get very engorged or get mastitis . If you are only using expressed milk, then you need to sterilise the pump and bottles on first use after buying, but after that washing in hot soapy water and then rinsing off is ok. You can keep the pump in a zip lock bag in the fridge and wash once a day. If you use formula you need to sterilise everything. So if youre only pumping you can leave the sterilising stuff at home x

Purple04 profile image
Purple04 in reply to claire16c

Thank you, I do lump every night for the following evening feed as I run short by the end of the day for some reason even though I drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Thanks for advice on sterilisation. xx

claire16c profile image
claire16c in reply to Purple04

What makes you worry you run short? Lots of mums worry about this, but its usually just evening fussiness/tiredness from babys, and they dont want to keep working to get the milk out :) Your breasts keep making milk all the time. Drinking water only effects supply if you are severly dehydrated. Milk is made from our blood. So if your baby is getting annoyed, you can offer them the second side, and then if they still want feeding again, you can go back to the first side. Its also quite normal for babies to want to feed all evening for quite a while :) So try not to worry! Have a great holiday by the way. If you give any formula and miss a pump then that would be what would cause your supply to lower -as it works on supply and demand. So definitely either feed baby direct or pump if really want to, but no need to take up space in your case with all the sterlising stuff!x

Purple04 profile image
Purple04 in reply to claire16c

Thanks so much I had no idea about the blood, I’ve read so much that said milk and water converts. Ok yes that definitely makes sense at night fussiness, I just always panicked and thought it was me and my supply upsetting my demanding hungry LB.

ok well I definitely don’t want to lower my supply. So I think I will take the pump then. And a few cartons just as spare. Was looking forward to taking a holiday from pumping tbh Lolll but it’s fine, what ever my boy needs 💙

claire16c profile image
claire16c in reply to Purple04

Anywhere that says water converts to breast milk is not reliable! :) Im a bf peer supporter. No its very much likely normal nighttime fussiness. The more he feeds the more you make! Extraction of milk by pumping or feeding is what makes milk :) Think of your milk supply as a river not a lake! If it was me I'd just skip the pump but whatever makes you feel better :) If you took cartons, give them to him in a cup rather than a bottle and then you dont need to be sterilising anything - but honestly your milk is just fine and all he needs :) x

Just to add to this- do you feed direct from the breast at all or do you exclusively express? If you only pump say once a day Id leave all the pumping stuff at home x

Purple04 profile image
Purple04 in reply to claire16c

Yes I only pump once a day at night once everyone’s asleep, to top up the bedtime feed for the following day. However it’s not always needed, so I accumulate and then freeze a batch few times a week.....

so confused. Obvs I won’t be freezing on holiday, but worried what will happen to that 1-2am supply I normally pump... if I decide to take cartons as top up if he needs it at bedtime...??? Ohhhh

claire16c profile image
claire16c in reply to Purple04

Will you have a fridge on holiday? Or you can ask a hotel to store it in their fridge for you. But your supply will be so well established at this age, and baby will be a pro at feeding by now :) I reckon you could just feed them directly. And get some more sleep lovely! Especially as you say its not always needed.

Does your baby wake to feed in the night? If you do usually pump every day at 1/2am, you could get a bit engorged if you dont feed or pump then - unless baby is say going to wake an hour or two later anyway. You could just lift them and theyll usually latch on asleep -or you could take your pump and always tip the milk away if needed. Or teach yourself to hand express xx

Purple04 profile image
Purple04 in reply to claire16c

We will hopefully have a minibar fridge in the room for sure so can store milk in there, lol I was thinking that about feeding him directly, he is a pro now for sure and I’d love to get the extra sleep too, just worried about supply going down after 8 days of not pumping early hours of the am....

He never wakes to feed n the night, I feel quite blessed he sleeps throughout although last night he woke at 4am which never happens lol.

I don’t mind being engorged as it happens every morning anyway, my only worry is supply reductions. I guess I could set an alarm in the middle of the night and just dream feed him, sometimes he takes it but at times when he’s super tired he refuses to latch on loll....

I’ve tried hand expressing but I’m totally helpless and it doesn’t work for me 🙄🤣

So the thing is, my right side has never produced much, my LB never wanted to latch on it before so I had to pump twice a day to keep supply going, due to busy life now I only pump once a day on that side and get approx a tiny 20ml. My left side is his main source, supply is strong there, that’s where I get engorged and feed him throughout the day on that side. Now no matter how many times I put him on my right side the supply does increase, I don’t know why and I don’t know how to increase. If he’s fed on the right side in the day at all, il nearly get 5ml from that side when I pump at 1-2am.... so I don’t know what to do about that side.... 🤷🏽‍♀️

claire16c profile image
claire16c in reply to Purple04

Ok so..that great youve got a fridge if needed.

Yes feed him direct as much as you can ! Get some sleep while you can too. My eldest child and my now 8 month old wake every 2/3 hours so Id love an all nighter lol! Your supply adjusts to what they take. So if you dont need to feed him in the night, then dont worry about pumping in the night if that makes sense? Just feed him when he needs it. You dont want to get mastitis on holiday so I would ease off the pumping in the night before you go away. You could do 6 pumps per night for one week, then 5, then 4 etc, until you are down to no pumps per night, so would take a few weeks to do it slowly. Feeding in the night is mainly important for supply in the early weeks. Its ok to stop once your baby is older and sleeping themselves. If theyre not feeding you dont need to be up.

Yes you could try the alarm and dream feeding or take your pump as a back as peace of mind incase of engorgement but try not to use it.

Its normal for one side to have a faster let down than the other, and babies can prefer that fast side! So some mums feed off one side mainly, and if you think mums who have twins, feed two babies :) So dont panic if you dont use the right side much. Also pumping isnt an indication of supply - he probably just gets the milk out much better than the pump. Its up to you if you want to carry on using that side or not. Honestly the only downside would probably just be youd be a bit lopsided so you might wanna wear a pad in that side of your bra! :) x

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