Monday, August 18, 2014

10 Tips for Pumping Breast Milk While Traveling

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m am so excited to be home and to get back into the swing of things. I was in Long Beach for the last couple days and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but first I have a post and giveaway for you!

So like I said, I just returned from a couple days trip to Long Beach. It was amazing, but also a little hard. I decided to leave my little girl at home with dad so I could concentrate better. I also decided this trip wasn’t going to disrupt my ability to breastfeed her! Here are 10 tips that I learned and want to share with you about how to successfully pump while traveling.

Battery Pack or Car Adaptor
If your pump doesn’t already come with one, you may want to invest in a battery pack or car adaptor. Depending on where and how you’ll be traveling you might not have convenient access to an outlet. A battery pack or car adaptor will allow you to pump on the airplane, while camping, or in the car.

Nursing Cover
Pumping, to me, is a little different than breastfeeding my baby. While I have recently become more comfortable breastfeeding without a cover on occasion, I personally wouldn’t be comfortable pumping in front of anyone else. If you feel the same way, be sure to pack a nursing cover, light blanket, or something else to help you be discreet.

Chef’s Freezer
Did you know if you’re staying in a hotel, you can check your breast milk into the fridge or chef’s freezer? Yep, you sure can. The hotel I stayed at gave me a baggage claim ticket and put the individual bags in larger bag. However, here’s my warning. Be sure to be VERY specific where you want it stored. If you are going to be on a longer trip, have it frozen in the chef’s freezer. Two of the people I checked my bags with didn’t hear the freezer part and put it in a fridge and I had to dump them. Sad smile it was super sad!
2014-08-16 23.47.02

Pump when you would normally feed
If you have an established schedule with your baby, try to pump as close to those times as possible. Your body is already accustomed to these times and will be ready then. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this, be sure to pump before and after any activities and try not to go too long.

Bring something of your baby’s
On my recent trip, I was glad to have another friend who was also pumping. She brought a little tag blankie of her daughter’s to keep her scent close by and remind her of her baby. I thought that was such a great idea! Certain scents can be strongly tied to people and memories and having your baby’s scent can help your body relax and let down your milk.

Supplement with Alfalfa
There are a couple herbs that help breast milk production. I choose to supplement with Shaklee’s alfalfa for several reasons. Not only does it help with breast milk but it helps my allergies also. Plus I know I can trust Shaklee with pure alfalfa, no contaminants at all! You can visit my shop to learn more about the alfalfa I use.

Wear the Right Clothing
Even though you’re traveling and away from your baby, be sure you wear clothing that will make it easy for you to pump wherever you are. I wore my DIY Nursing Cami under most of my shirts so I could still cover my stomach and back while pumping.
DIY Nursing Cami16-2

Small Portable Cooler and Ice Packs
If it works with your method of travel, bring along a small cooler or insulated lunch bag with and ice pack or two. This will help when you have to transport home and while in the car or on the plane. I used my cooler to bring my remaining frozen milk home during the 5+ hour drive through the desert. You want your milk to remain and firmly frozen as possible so there is no risk of spoiling.

Drink LOTS of waterAlways drink plenty of water. Sometimes when traveling this can be difficult. Keep a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up as often as you can. Many times when we’re out and about having fun, hydrating can fall to the side, but if you’re pumping water can really make the difference between producing and drying up. At least this is very true for me.

Relax, Breathe
Traveling and being in a new place can be stressful at times. Be sure to take a moment before you pump to just relax and breathe. Clear your mind and focus on your baby.

Well I hope that helps! Do you have any other tips to add?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies (made with coconut oil!)

coconut oil in the kitchen cherry chocolate chip cookies
I have been using coconut oil in my cooking for a while now. I use it to stir fry, saute vegetables, and make popcorn (For more ideas, check out my guest post How to Use Coconut Oil in Cooking and Baking). But I hadn’t really used coconut oil in baking much yet. So I found a yummy recipe and gave it a shot.

The cookies turned out amazing and the little hint of cherries with the chocolate was fantastic. I love how things just work out. I had the cherries in my fridge after making the Homemade Cherry Hand Pies and decided to try them in some cookies.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut Oil (Recipe adapted from Leelalicious)
  • 1/2 cup + 1-2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, softened (I have used and like both Trader Joe's Coconut Oil and Tropical Traditions)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda  
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and chopped 
Soften the coconut oil and cream together with the sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix for about 3 minutes until fluffy.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips and cherries and mix until combined. At this point my dough was a bit dry so I added another Tablespoon of oil. Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries by hand.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F, spray cooking sheets with spray (Trader Joe’s even has a cooking spray ). Use a cookie scoop and form dough balls, place onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool before devouring every last one! ;)

What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil for cooking and baking?
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