Q. I'm nursing, and I find it hard to go anywhere without taking my son along. I always end up leaking while I'm out. What can I do?
Breastfeeding means being on call night and day, which makes the occasional desire to escape, well, inescapable. I breastfed all three of my children. I confess that when I was nursing my youngest, whenever I found myself in the car without the kids, I briefly thought, "I can make Pennsylvania by nightfall?" Of course, what I needed wasn't a road trip. It was a respite. To get one requires planning and compromise.
Here's how to pull it off: Pump one breast close to your departure time and leave the bottle for whoever agreed to give you the gift of freedom. Next, feed your baby on the other breast right before you leave -- and I do mean right before. (You should be slipping on your shoes as your baby is taking his last sip.) Then hand him off and go. This plan of action should prevent your boobs from ballooning while you're out in public, while the bottle gives your babysitter peace of mind and peace and quiet if you're not back for the next feeding.
Of course, you'll need more planning (and pumping!) if you're looking to take a trip to Vegas. Fortunately, a few hours alone at the mall can be a guilty pleasure that rivals any concert by Wayne Newton. When you return refreshed, your baby will be the one singing "Danke Schoen."
Babytalk contributing editor Kitty O'Callaghan is a mom of two boys and a girl in White Plains, New York.