Breastfeeding can be many things—beautiful, painful, sweet, frustrating—and if you are breastfeeding while you travel, it can also be inconvenient. Add in having to pump at the airport and you have a whole new set of challenges to overcome.
There are many reasons you might need to pump at the airport: Maybe you’re going to travel without kids, or you exclusively pump, or you pump in addition to breastfeeding. Point is, pumping at the airport is sometimes necessary—but it doesn’t have to be terribly hard.
Although I weaned my youngest this summer, I still have a lot of thoughts about breastfeeding and pumping milk. I also have a lot of experience, since I breastfed my two kids for a total of more than three years and had to pump in all sorts of situations, some of which were really awkward.
Pumping wasn’t my favorite task even in the best of situations (thank you, Husband, for bringing me ice cream while I pumped at home!). But figuring out the logistics of how to pump at the airport, carrying milk in my carry-on and managing to not miss my connections: That sounded like a plot line from one of those terribly uncomfortable Judd Apatow movies I can’t watch because they make me break out into hives.
But maybe, just maybe, pumping in the airport doesn’t have to be such a nightmare. In the hopes of keeping your worries from reaching 30,000 feet, here’s my hard-won wisdom on how to pump at the airport.