Traveling With a Baby and Pumping Breast Milk

Last night my friend, for the first time, left her 5-week-old baby girl with her husband for a couple of hours, and we went to a movie (Puss in Boots, 3D- very cute and funny!).  This friend, besides giving birth sans epidural, has been an inspiration to me.  I love the fact that she realizes she still needs to get away and spend time with friends, even though she began to miss her baby in the middle of the movie (when the mama goose is trapped under the rubble and calling for her baby goose).  I also love that she and her husband haven’t abandoned their passion for travel since becoming parents.  They are planning a road trip to see friends for Thanksgiving, and have been talking about a Dominican vacation in early spring.  All with their tiny daughter.  Who knows, maybe these trips won’t be as fun or easy as they imagine, but I hope they go well because I want to believe that people can be parents and still enjoy their lives… WITH  their kids.  I want to believe that some of those things will be even BETTER when you experience them with the new addition(s) to your family.  I understand that life changes when you have a baby (or do I really?) , but I hate that people talk about it as if you will never enjoy yourself as an individual again, and that you must do everything fun now before your life is over.

I must bear in mind that all of these thoughts are coming from the mind of a currently married-without-children-semi-newlywed…..  Am I being naive?  Is my friend and her husband naive to think that they can still do these things with a baby in tow?

I did learn something new from my friend last night that I had never thought of before:  pumping your milk is pretty much essential even if you plan to be a full-time stay-at-home mom.  There are some exceptions to this (you know you are), but most women will need/want to leave their child for short periods of time, and when the baby is very young, they are going to need your milk often.  Translation: while you’re gone.  Also (and this is something I had never ever thought of before), when you travel by car you need to use a bottle because you can’t take the baby out of her car seat while the car is in motion!  Unless you stop every once in awhile to nurse, you will have to save up some milk (or pump on the way, hmmmm).  This whole pumping milk and saving it thing is sort of a new and interesting topic for me because I had always thought only working moms needed to do it.  My friend informed me last night that breast milk can even be frozen?!  For several months?!  Woah!!  And here I thought I would be getting out of purchasing that expensive piece of equipment.  🙂

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