I am officially a COW. Why? Well, because while on vacation in HK – I was still able to pump and bring home a whopping – 250+ ounces of milk! Can you believe it? I was honestly in disbelief! I even counted it thrice – just to be sure I got the figures correctly.
Image borrowed from THIS site
I tell you, it was really a LOT of hard work! Imagine, while on vacation – I still had to wake up in the wee hours of the night just to pump. I had to cut short shopping trips so I can pump. My Panget had to lug around a trolley that contained my pump, bottles and a cooler! That was everyday – for five (5) days. Even while at the airport – we were still lugging it around.
I am proud to say that I was able to pump in the following areas:
a) Airport Lounge
b) Nursing/Babysitting Rooms
c) Fitting Rooms
d) On the Bus
e) On an Airplane
f) In the bathroom
I had to be ‘cowboy’, good thing HK bathrooms are clean and not stinky. I am thankful for the list I got from the internet of places where I can ‘pump’ or nurse (had I brought Kailee along) I had the notion that Hong Kong is not breastfeeding/breast pumping-friendly country – but at the end of the trip, I realized that it IS a breastfeeding/breast pumping friendly country!
Here are tips on how you can pump while on vacation:
Things that you need to bring:
a) Your ELECTRIC pump and its corresponding parts
b) Your MANUAL pump and its corresponding parts (Just in case you get stuck somewhere)
c) Bottles (I brought 8 5oz. Bottles and 3 8oz. bottles)
d) Cooler (Mine was a Victoria Fridge to go)
e) Extra Ice Packs (Techni Ice – my friend Janys lent me hers! TY Janys!)
f) An insulating Bag
g) Nursing Cover
h) Ziplock/Zipper bags (biggest size)
i) Alcohol & Wet wipes
j) A small trolley bag with wheels
Plan ahead and map out where you plan to go. Bring your list (list of places in HK where you can pump) with you at all times so you’ll be prepared.
Time your pumping sessions – make sure to pump right before you leave/go out shopping. Pack your pump parts and store them in the cooler – bring the extra ice packs because you’ll never know how long you’ll be out! If you have the time to keep coming back to the hotel to pump – then good for you! But if you’re like me – I didn’t want to keep going back to my friend’s place – you’ll need to be prepared!
So there – in the trolley, was my pump (it was hands-free! Make sure to CHARGE your pump the night before), my pump parts, cooler with extra ice packs, bottles (at least 6 bottles), storage bags (just in case you run out of bottles), your nursing cover, wet wipes, alcohol, ziplock/Zipper backs (so you won't spill anything) and drinking water (this is for you!) Pack in your bag (your bag where you put your wallet and etc) your manual pump and a spare bottle. The size of the spare bottle will need to depend on how much you can pump out, I suggest you bring the 8oz. bottle because you’ll never know if you’ll miss a pumping session – you need to be prepared!
When you get back to the hotel or wherever you're staying - immediately put all of the milk you pumped into the ref - DO NOT put them in the freezer because when they melt, you CANNOT refreeze them.
Here are the places where you can comfortably pump:
IKEA Causeway Bay/Park Lane & Kowloon Bay - they have a air-conditioned 'baby sitting room' that is complete with a bed, water dispenser, table and a comfortable chair.
Ocean Center's Baby Sitting/Nursing Station - its located near Zara - the room is air-conditioned, it has a sink, changing table, an Avent bottle warmer, a chair you can sit on.
Harbour City bathrooms - hey, they're really clean!
Mark's and Spencer Fitting Room - its quite spacious and it has a chair!
Eugene Club - they have a fitting room that they turned ito a breastfeeding room, it has a chair (but lacks a table!)
The Venetian's Cotai Expo bathrooms - they're really clean and SPACIOUS!
I stayed with a friend - and she was very supportive because I used up her ref, freezer and a boiling pot (where I sterilized the bottles and pump parts) It hard work really, because you need to clean your bottles AND sterilize them EVERY TIME you go home (to the hotel or where you're staying)
I was able to check-in all of the milk that I pumped, be prepared that it'll be heavy! What I did was place all of the milk bags in a ziplock bag (just to make sure it won't spill) and lay it out properly in my fridge to go bag. Then on top of the bags - I placed one sheet of the Techni Ice. This is so just to be sure that your milk will still be cold while in transit. I also hand carried 2 milk bags - I was stopped at the Security check, but when they learned that it was breastmilk - the let me go immediately! (Just in case, I had my pedia write a letter stating that I was transporting breastmilk)
So there, I hope my post was informative and helpful. This is my way to paying it forward because my ICA batchmates were helpful to me too! I learned a LOT from them.
Oh! I forgot to mention that this trip was for five (5) days, so all of the milk that I brought home - I just chilled. Chilled milk - according to books and sites have a shelf life of 7 days. So this entry is only applicable for trips that are 7 days or less than 7 days.