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Girl Talk: Pumping Pitfalls

Q. I'm nursing and find it hard to get out and do things without my baby. If I pump milk, then I'm out while I'm engorged or leaking. I don't want to give up, but what can I do?

A.
Nursing means being on call day and night, making the occasional desire to escape, well, inescapable. My 5-month-old daughter is our third child to enjoy taking her meals at Mom's. I confess that to this day whenever I find myself in the car without kids, I briefly think, "I could make Pennsylvania by nightfall..." Of course, what I need isn't a road trip. It's a respite. To get it requires planning and compromise.

Here's the plan: 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 her last sip.) Then, hand her off for burping and changing, and go. This 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.

Now, here's the compromise: You can't stay out indefinitely. In other words, you can forget about taking an impulsive 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."

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