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Dear Cow, I’m better than u 3la fekra

 

tambah-susu

 

Dear Cow, I’m better than u 3la fekra

Because I know many of us breastfeeding moms do get stuck with similar situations of such, I would like to share with you my adventure of making it to a business trip abroad while I’m a breastfeeding mother to a 5 month old baby girl.

At first I thought to myself it is technically impossible as I will be away for 5 days so, I had to prepare at least 35 bottles for my baby (7 bottles for each day) and also, I had to keep expressing milk while I’m away so as for the milk supply not to be impacted or dry. This all aside from the issue of who will take care of my little Hana and wake up in the middle of the night to feed her and what happens if she develops nipple confusion after spending 5 days feeding from bottles only…

To me, I was sure I would turn that invite down but, only with the motivation of my husband (Thank you Tarek)، I gave it another thought and came to a conclusion that with full organization of everything, it can be done isA and here is exactly what I did.

 

For the milk:

1. As soon as I knew I was traveling, I started expressing milk in bottles/freezer bags of meal portions that my baby normally takes per feeding. Started on the 21st of Dec when my trip date was planned on the 14th of Feb.

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2. I was supposed to leave at least 35 bottles before I left and I actually was able to leave her 47 bottles instead!

3. During my trip, I made sure to express milk at least every 4 to 5 hours to assure supply is maintained and at the same time no engorgement or leakage is caused. This included waking up in the middle of the night to express some as well.

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4. There was that really big concern about how I will return back to Egypt in the airport with all that milk when I knew (by coincidence and only at the airport before taking off)) that I couldn’t pass with more than 100ml only (UK airport security guidelines) if my baby is not with me (which is totally unreasonable) otherwise they will request you to dump it which is the last thing on Earth any mom would want to do after all the effort and time spent to make it, so milk has to be checked in with the luggage bag and not the carry on.

5. I took with me a small ice bag to use during the day (attending my meetings with it) that included milk storage freezer bags, manual pump and 1 bottle. Also, took another big ice bag to put all milk inside on my way back.

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6. As soon as I checked in the hotel, I informed them of my case and arranged for a space in the hotel’s freezer to store any milk I prepare until I check out.

7. At the end of my stay, I requested all stored milk bags which I wrapped in groups with newspaper to provide extra insulation and placed them all in the big ice bag then in the bag that will be checked in as luggage.

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8. As soon as I reached home, I placed all milk in the freezer again which was all still completely frozen. If any gets thawed, it has to be put in the fridge and used within 24 hours and can’t be put back in freezer.
It’s worth mentioning that I prepared almost 95% of all milk before and during my stay by hand expression which I find easier, quicker and more efficient, not consuming time to clean the pump parts or troubleshoot with the milk flow. Only very few bottles were prepared with manual pump that I took with me in case needed for any reason. And I actually needed it fi3lan to relief the dryness that occurred around the areola from the continuous friction of the hand expression.

 

 

For my baby:

The plan was that Hana will go to nursery with her older sister (she already goes on day care basis whenever I have work that can’t be done with her around) from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on 3 working days and then the nanny will come at 5:30 PM and stay till the next day at 9:00 AM. On Thursday, she will come at 5:30 PM and leave when I arrive early Sunday isA (all this under the supervision of my husband) so,:

1. I looked for a nanny at Maids and Nannies in Egypt Facebook group.

2. Short-listed all who sent me to 2 whom I brought for trial 2 weeks prior to my trip date.

3. Explained every single detail about my Hana and what to do, how and when, along with letting her watch at the beginning then just monitoring her in the end.

4. Prepared Hana’s outfits in full sets of undershirts, sleep suits and bibs to cover all 5 days.

5. Took to Hana’s nursery a big bag with everything she will need for the 3 working days. That included all clothes, diapers, bibs, burping cloths, towel, shampoo and of course her milk.

6. Prepared her diaper bag for the weekend in case they went out.

7. Left the nanny sticky notes on the house and bedroom doors, refrigerator and washing machine with some instructions and reminders.

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I just want to say that that was bgad akkinno mashroo3 el takharrog that I already passed 10 years ago! But el7amdolillah, to all the times I spent preparing milk in bathrooms, the living room, the kitchen, the car, in the middle of my sessions and workshops I give, in between meetings and in the middle of the nights, “I DID IT!” and el7amdolillah, koll 7aga 3additt 3la khier.

You too can do it in case put in a similar situation so, never underestimate yourself or turn down a good opportunity because you are actually way stronger than you think you are and you deserve the best of the best.

If you have any questions about pumping, hand expression, storing, packing,…. Please write them in the comments section.

And dear Cow, I’m not better than you wala 7aga, actually you make way more milk than I do but, I just can do it anywhere and whenever I want!

 

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Naila Bahgat

From an Engineer at Matrix Engineering Company, to a Marketer at Vodafone Egypt to a mom of 2 girls, Naila is now Egypt’s U.S certified newborn care expert. Witnessing how tough the motherhood experience is, especially to a new mom during the baby’s first year, she could not let other new moms go through the same hassle of being lost in the endless baby needs and first times without the proper guidance to the right knowledge, expectations and practice ahead. Naila is the founder NewBornians offering newborn care courses and workshops for first-time moms-to-be and new moms in Egypt.

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