Tips For When You Need To Be Away From Your Breastfed Baby

Tips For When You Need To Be Away From Your Breastfed Baby

Your first night out after a having a baby is always a little nerve-wracking, I don’t think anything prepares you for that moment you leave your baby, safe in the care of someone else. You’ve carried round your little bundle for all those months and it’s hard to anticipate the attachment that builds with all those lovely bonding hormones which flood your body after delivery. For breastfeeding mums this adds a little extra trepidation, being the only source of food means any time separated from your breastfed baby has to be meticulously planned, but us mamas need some time too!

With a few tricks up your sleeve you should be able to enjoy a night out  as a breastfeeding mum. Presumably you’ll breastfeed just before you go out and you’ll need to be careful about any alcohol you consume, while I’ve personally chosen to give alcohol a complete miss while breastfeeding, (due to also being a co sleeper.) B for anyone who is wondering what the consensus is around alcohol and breastfeeding the advice from Kellymom.com  and La Leche League is to avoid feeding until 2 hours after you’ve consumed alcohol and to limit it, they suggest feeding before you drink and while there is no need to pump and dump, it is advisable to pump if you’re uncomfortable. (There’s more information in the links)

So that’s your little prep alcohol talk over, here’s the rest of your night out survival tips.

It’s best to leave some milk as even the best laid plans can go astray sometimes and you’ll feel so much happier knowing that there’s an emergency bottle should baby wake when you’re out. So now grab your pencil and jot down your breastfeeding mum’s essential must have list;

breastfeeding tips1

Pump

There are many styles on the market, hand pumps, electric, double electric, it’s down to your preference really, but a breast pump. unless you’re a dab hand at hand expressing, will always come in handy. Just remember to follow the recommended expressing methods – having a photo of your baby close while being relaxed and having a hot drink helps release the breastfeeding hormones will trigger your let down.

Even a sound recording of your babies gurgles will help. In my professional days I met a mum who’s letdown was triggered by the East Enders theme tune simply because it was a specific time she remembered sitting, relaxed and feeding her son.

Plan your express schedule

Forward planning for a night out can involve building up a supply of milk, I’d recommend pumping after a few feeds so as not to interfere with your supply. Early morning feeds are when your prolactin is at its highest the hormone responsible for milk supply and formation)  putting your milk order in for the day, so earlier in the day the better and remembering to eat and drink more, you need an extra calories for breastfeeding, equivalent to that of an extra sandwich, helps.

There are certain lactogenetic foods which help with milk production. A snack of humus, carrot sticks and oat cakes mid morning will help boost afternoon milk and if you have a busy day planned, a glass of carrot juice before lunch helps. Remembering all this will help your milk supply making expressing more effective.

When you’re out, you can take the pump with you (this might be where a manual one will help.  If you find you’re feeling full, you can express for comfort and as long as you haven’t drank any alcohol, take a small cool bag and ice pack with you to store your milk. If you have been drinking the advice is to pump for comfort and to throw it away. (check the links above for more information.)

As mentioned, breastmilk storage bags and bottles should be part of your date night kit. The bags are perfect for storing expressed milk in the freezer if you’re not planning on using it straight away and are less bulky than bottles. But for transporting when you’re expressing when out and using it the next day, then the smaller storage bottles are ideal.

When it comes to giving your baby some precious, expressed milk. Using a bottle with a teat that is similar to the shape of a nipple will help them accept this alternative to the breast. I had real difficulty getting my baby to take a bottle and found gently introducing it after an initial few minutes at the breast helped along with not waiting until they’re at starving point.

Also get someone else to offer the bottle, some babies refuse point blank to take a bottle from mum for obvious reasons!

Finally don’t forget breast pads! You can never pre empt what will trigger your let down. It could be hearing a baby cry, talking about your baby or hearing a TV program theme tune (evidence for this is above!). Always take a few supplies with you and don’t leave the house without wearing them.  You don’t want your first night out to be remembered for the tell tale stains and stale milk smell.

And most importantly enjoy it, a happy mum = happy children!

If you would like to read more on breastfeeding try these;
Not so simple side to breastfeeding a toddler   
 Still breastfeeding   
Stopping breastfeeding
how to go out and prepare for leaving your breastfed baby for a few hours

Follow:

30 Comments

  1. 19th August 2015 / 10:12 pm

    I remember that leaving Tin Box Tot when I was feeding her had to be planned with military precision. She wouldn’t take a bottle so I wasn’t able to go far. Tin Box Baby is a different kettle of fish and I had my first night out within a few weeks. Drinking alcohol always makes me feel a bit guilty but luckily I’m a bit of a light weight these days 🙂 #sharewithme

    • 20th August 2015 / 9:39 pm

      My last 2 weren’t keen on bottles so had to do lots of research and try different ways of getting them to try. I did find it easier to just stay within 10 mins away so I could nip home though.

  2. 19th August 2015 / 10:21 pm

    There is so much more support I’m sure with the right support if you want to try with your second you’ll get there.

  3. 21st August 2015 / 11:01 am

    Oh I remember all of this! We still use Lansinoh bottles, they’re brilliant xx #TheList

  4. 22nd August 2015 / 9:21 am

    Oh yes – never be caught without breast pads … been there, got the t-shirt … whoops! #bigfatlinky

    • 22nd August 2015 / 7:49 pm

      Lol! I’ve seen plenty mums come into work (I worked with new mums) who’d made that rookie mistake!

  5. 22nd August 2015 / 11:36 am

    Some great advice here. I totally agree with relationships suffering as a result of expanding your family. Thanks for linking up to #SuperparentSaturday

  6. 22nd August 2015 / 12:40 pm

    Some brilliant information here. I breastfed Alex for almost two years and never managed a night out – he just point blank refused to drink from a bottle! I loved Lansinoh products though – their cream got me through those first few days! Thanks for linking up to #SuperparentSaturday

    • 23rd August 2015 / 2:49 pm

      It’s so hard isn’t it, my middle son was like that and would wake up around 10pm every night so going out was nigh on impossible!

  7. 23rd August 2015 / 12:20 am

    I am breastfeeding my first of 3 children, 4 months on and I still can’t leave the house without breastpads! I still haven’t left her with anyone yet either.. Maybe when she’s older!

    • 23rd August 2015 / 8:28 am

      theres no rush, it’s so nerve wracking the first time you do it though, isn’t it

  8. Mim
    23rd August 2015 / 11:59 am

    Great tips and I love Lansinoh products too 🙂 Mim x #superparentsaturday

    • 23rd August 2015 / 2:43 pm

      thanks, their nipple cream is a lifesaver! So many uses other than what its intended for.

  9. 25th August 2015 / 11:44 am

    This sounds great and you have some fab interesting tips here that my breastfeeding friend is sure to find really interesting, thanks for sharing xx

  10. 25th August 2015 / 12:54 pm

    Great post! I love Lansinoh products, especially the nipple cream for the early days! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  11. Jenny
    26th August 2015 / 3:03 pm

    Great advice and fab brand and product. I used these with both my kids too. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme

  12. 28th August 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Good and informative post. It’s something that I’m aware of. Mainly due to our separation and Co parenting. The idea and organisation is really important. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week.

    • 28th August 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Thanks Martyn, great to hear how involved you were, proof that dads can get involved too.

  13. 30th August 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Ah what a great post! I have this pump too and its great. I love the fact that dads can get involved although only two of my babies would actually take a bottle :-/ x x

    • 1st September 2015 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you, It is such a nice way for getting Dad’s to help or experience that lovely bonding moments but like you say, not all babies take bottles! (I had 1 like that too)

  14. 4th September 2015 / 12:35 pm

    I have so far managed to pull off two date nights in three months with a newborn, but never touched a drop of alcohol. Thankyou for simplifying the process. I am now planning my first drop of red thanks to you.

    • 4th September 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Good luck! The websites I’ve mentioned have great info if you need more detailed advice.

  15. 18th December 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Great post and some brilliant advice re drinking whilst breastfeeding, and expressing. Sharing this one!

    I really love Lansinoh products as well. Highly recommend.

  16. 31st March 2016 / 7:08 am

    I’m three months in with breastfeeding and whilst it’s still early days, I would rather not go on a night out than go and have to worry about pumping /expressing, storing, let down etc. Makes me want to take a long nap just thinking of it lol (mind you, everything makes me want to take a nap these days!) I didn’t know that there were certain foods that would boost milk supply – that’s pretty interesting! I often wonder if i am producing enough as I never leak or feel over full. Any excuse to eat more hummus is welcome ???????????? X

I'd love to know what you think?