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Engorgement during flight?

  1. #1
    C bebe's Avatar
    C bebe is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2008

    Engorgement during flight?

    We're flying to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks with our 10-wk old baby.

    A friend who had taken a similar flight suggested taking a manual breast pump on-board. She said her baby slept most of the time and wouldn't wake up to nurse... so she ended up painfully engorged and having to hand pump her breast.

    Just wondering if this is the case with a lot of babies? Just wondering whether I should just pack my Medela breast pump in my carry-on bag.

    Thanks~! :)

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    i didn't take one when i flew with my 10 week old to Regina, Sk via: Tokyo, Portland, Vancouver, Kelowna & Calgary

    it was a trip from hell, but I had no problems with engorgement as if i felt i was "filling up" i just latched on the baby (like a dreamfeed).

    however, if you have someone else carrying your bags, then go for it. remember to also pack breast pads and a spare shirt (at least one). i was travelling alone with my two kids and there was no way i was carrying anything more than was necessary.

  3. #3
    babymommy2 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2008
    Hvae travelled with babies and toddlers many times for long trips. I personally wouldn't bother. It is one more thing to pack, to wash, to store, the time and space to pump. The baby will probably sleep well on the plane, but the likely hood that the baby will sleep the whole time, AND won't wake up enough to latch, is pretty unlikely.

  4. #4
    KKKK is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2006
    Hong Kong
    I did take one the first time I flew with my son at 5 weeks old to Uk - of course i never used it !!! I didn't bother taking it on the return journey at 8 weeks old. Personally wouldn't bother. K

  5. #5
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Stanley, Hong Kong
    I remember flying on a 5 hour flight with my 4 month old. I suffered from engorgement, and my baby refusued to feed to the extent I leaked everywhere, and it was painful. Breast pads I would highly recomend - I didnt need them before the flight so I didnt pack any - so I really suffered. A small hand pump would have been useful I guess - but generally we have so much stuff all ready if you can get away without carrying one I would. By the way I have also flown and not had the same problem, so it is not guranteed to happen everytime.

  6. #6
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tsuen Wan
    If I get engorged, I don`t even bother with my pump at home. I just hand express until I feel comfortable. I don`t see why you couldn`t just do that on the plane. Pumps are such a hassle.

  7. #7
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hong Kong
    Have you considered mastering a hand expressing technique?
    This will allow you to express any milk if you become engorged and means you don't have to pack equipment that you might not use.

    The instructions for the Marmet Technique are at How to Manually Express Breastmilk - The Marmet Technique - Medela

    Once you have practiced this a little it is actually as quick to express the milk as a pump is!

    My experience of travelling with young babies is that they continue to wake up in a similar manner as when at home. I travelled extensively, especially with my youngest, and never had any engorgement problems.

    Best wishes,
    La Leche League Leader

  8. #8
    allyberg5 is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I used to bring my Medela mini electric with me when I traveled but I have only used it when there is a stop-over in the airport. I have not tried it in the washroom of the plane because the motor is too loud, how embarrasing! (The air stewardess could be knocking on the door and asking if everything is alright...) So the important thing is to plan the timing and duration of your flights to prevent engorgement.

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