I recently had to take a business trip to Chicago and there was a lot of thought behind getting ready for it. I feel like as a moms, we are always on – Planning, Prepping and Delivering. Well getting ready for this trip was no different, and so I went into full planning mode. How am I going to pump while away? Where will I store the milk? How will I get it back home? These were just some of the questions I had. I had a car adapter so I could use the rental car if needed to pump, the hotel had a refrigerator for storage, and I had a way to keep the milk cold – so I felt like I had my basis covered. So on I went.
The morning of the trip, I arrived at the airport just in the nick of time, parked my car and headed up to TSA (Transportation Security Administration); I had already checked in and was planning to carry on all my bags.
After I got through the first screen at TSA, I started to place my things in the bins to be scanned; laptop in one bin, bookbag in another bin and suitcase in the other. I walked through the pat-down screen and waited for my items to come across the scanner. My suitcase was pulled off the scanner to be checked. As it turns out, my ice pack caused an inspection alert. Apparently it was placed in a weird position against one of the heels of my shoe. They inspected my bag and I was cleared (I made a mental note to put the ice pack in my bookbag on the way home instead).
I made it to my destination safely and the rest of my business trip went well.
As I was headed back home the next morning, I remembered to put my ice pack in my bookbag –and of course made sure I DID NOT forget my “gold”.
As I am typing, I’m thinking about the quote, “‘Whoever said “there’s no crying over spilled milk” has clearly never been a breastfeeding mother.”‘ Clearly if they were, they would know the real tears shed over spilled milk, spoiled milk AND even not enough milk. Oh I could not forget my “gold” at that hotel!!!
Since I was going to be carrying milk back with me on this flight, I read up on the process HERE on the TSA website to make sure I had my ducks in a row. I arrived at the airport and went through the screening process again. I made sure to let one of the officers know that I had breastmilk in my bag, and also that I wanted them to put on clean gloves to check it. The process was fairly straight forward and the officers were friendly and helpful. They ran my bag through the scanner and pulled the “gold” out to be inspected. All clear– and I was headed on my way.
As I was sitting on the airplane on the way back, I started to think about how we as moms go out of our way to make sure our children have what they need. Motherhood involves a lot of sacrificing our needs and desires to make sure they are happy. As Donna Ball once stated “Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”
Overall it was a good trip and both the “gold” and I made safely back to baby. While traveling and pumping is not the ideal situation, atleast not for me anyway, we do what we have to do as moms to make sure our children are taken care of; always Planning, Prepping and Delivering.
Moms out there, please share your advice and tips on pumping and traveling. How do you or have you protected your “gold”?