This past December we took a family vacay to the Happiest Place on Earth! With a group of 16 people and tons of little people it was certainly a trip to remember! Because they have older siblings the twins have never been on a true ‘quarrantine’, though we really do not get out much. So this trip was huge.. in every way. I had some hesitations about taking the twins to Disney World (for obvious health reasons) but after talking to their pediatrician we decided to go ahead with our plans (and my neurotic plan for sanitation).
I think the most challenging aspect of this trip was pumping. Yup. Pumping. My schedule is very rigid- every 2 hours preferably, sometimes every three- with one 5 hour stretch per night. My sessions are timed from the start of the last session, so if a session takes 45 min to an hour to complete I start again with only about an hour break in between. That’s not ideal in a place like Disney World. In an effort to to stay close to my family I started off searching for outlets around the park because I assumed that they would be easy to come by- they were not. Our first day was at Animal Kingdom and I ended up using their Mother/Baby area throughout the day. Disney is great about having good facilities for nursing mothers and mothers of small children. Each of the 4 parks is equipped with one Baby station which is basically a center where you can nurse, pump, change baby, prepare and feed food, or have a bit of downtime away from the crowds- generally they are for anything baby related. The upside of these facilities to a lac mamma is is access to nursing/pumping areas with sinks and microwaves for sterilizing- Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios have private rooms while the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have communal lactation areas that are for women only. The downside to these facilities is that there is one per park. And they are usually at the front of the park. Pity for me when I was at the back of the park and it was time to pump. This meant lugging my bulky Medela Symphony (in a padded backpack) from one end of the park to another- often while running because my time with everyone else was being limited to 1-2 hours at a clip between sessions. Super fun.
Because we were in such a germy place I was adamant about sterilizing between sessions and I needed the sink and microwave ( I no longer do this at home- I only sterilize once a day). Since I was using my Symphony (vs. a battery operated pump) I needed the easy access to outlets as well. It wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th day that I started to re-think the outlet situation. People use motorized vehicles all over these parks- and they plug-in to charge. So there had to be outlets throughout the parks-somewhere. When I inquired about this I was given a map of charging stations for the electric vehicles- why didn’t I think of this before!? It turns out that about half of the charging outlets worked for me because half of them are in the designated smoking areas which were a definite no for me. I did find several that were in safe areas (no smoking) and using them meant less time away from the fam. I just plugged in, pumped with a nursing cover and rinsed parts after with bottled water. I used Medela quick-clean wipes and sterilized at my next visit to the baby station.
Overall, once I got into a groove it wasn’t too awful- but I definitely lost a lot of this vacation on pumping- but to me it was 100% worth it to keep up my supply for the twins. My family was definitely annoyed at various times through the trip, but that’s par for the course with my pumping in general and I don’t pay it any mind. Maintaining my ability to provide breast milk for the twins is my number one priority in this department.
If you ever find yourself pumping in Disney here are my tips!
-If you are able, bring a battery operated pump as you will be ahead of the game and can pump anywhere! (I was afraid to use anything other than the Symphony because of it’s suction strength)
-Use the baby centers- they are very helpful for anything baby/toddler- they have (for sale) diapers, wipes, food, medicine and first aid essentials.
-Go with family- if you can, have other people there to help whenever possible so that your children can continue their activities while you are pumping.
-If you are using a plug in pump get a map of the electric vehicle charging areas. There is a GREAT one in the Magic Kingdom near the entrance of the Pirates of the Caribbean- I used that spot a lot!
-Bring Medela quick clean wipes and quick clean sterilizer bags. Having these meant that I only brought one set of flanges/adaptors to the parks.
- While I don’t use them at home, we used the Playtex drop-ins nurser system in Disney. I pumped straight into the drop-in liners (with plastic shell and breast pump connector) and never had to wash bottles. I brought extra nipples and washed/sterilized them as needed.
-Ask for what you need. I pumped in a few restaurants (with a nursing cover) when I asked if we could sit near an outlet. Not all restaurants have them, but those that did were happy to accommodate. I asked for help at one resort restaurant (Jiko- in Animal Kingdom Lodge) and they allowed me to go behind the main hotel desk into their private computer room.
-Try to maintain the same schedule you have at home to maintain your supply!
And now for the best part- the pictures! I added the borders and siggy’s for fun!
Can you tell why I posted this one?
THE best Santa in the world!
See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil!
The new Fantasyland was amazing!
Hangin’ with the fairies!