Breastfeeding (or Nursing) is an excellent form of infant nutrition. Medical experts recommend that new mothers nurse their baby’s exclusively for at least six weeks, and thereafter for another six months while introducing solids.
Unfortunately breastfeeding is considered taboo is some public scenarios, especially in less common places like planes or while travelling abroad.
If you’re going to go traveling with a breastfeeding baby, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you leave home – and also once you’re on the road.
Travel Tips For Breastfeeding Moms
It’s important to keep your needs in mind, as well as those of your baby. Traveling can be stressful. With proper preparation, breastfeeding can help you and your baby relax, no matter where you’re going.
Being prepared before you leave is key to a smooth trip. You’ll want to have the right supplies on hand so you can nurse the baby in comfort.
This means at least two breastfeeding bras that you can open easily when it’s time for feedings. You’ll also want to have a cover up that calms your baby and can give you both some privacy while you nurse.
If you don’t have the room to bring an extra blanket along, you can wear a nice big scarf which will take the weight off of your carry on luggage and serve a dual purpose when needed.
Be sure to wear something comfortable and accessible that will work in your favour when you need to nurse.
Unfortunately, most liquids aren’t allowed through security at airports so if you feel it’ll be a long wait before you arrive at your gate or you’re pressed for time, try nursing prior to going through security.
A great way to pack all of the necessities is to pack a diaper and nursing bag. Organize it neatly so anything you need is quick and easy to access.
If you are traveling by plane, keep in mind the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lets travelers bring in breast milk as part of your carry on luggage in certain quantities. However, it’s also best to make sure you declare it to all officials.
Breastfeeding while flying is recommended for small babies as it can help them to relax and avoid discomfort in the ears caused by changes in air pressure.
While flying first check with your fellow passengers and the flight attendants if they mind you feeding in your seat. Alternatively for your own privacy and comfort you can nurse your baby in the plane’s bathroom.
At Your Destination
Once you’re at the destination, ask what specific accommodations are available for breastfeeding mothers at your hotel.
If you don’t have a fridge in your room, hotel officials may be willing to provide access to storage facilities for you.
Moms who do a lot of pumping should have their pump with them as well as additional supplies. Your destination may not have bags to store the milk so you should bring extras with you before you leave.
Keep in mind different places may have differing attitudes when it comes to nursing in public. Find out in advance what laws and customs apply to your destination before you arrive. Bring a copy of any regulations if necessary in order to assert your rights to any passer-by or even law enforcement officials.
Traveling Without the Baby
Sometimes breastfeeding moms may need to travel without their baby.
If you are going on a business trip for a few days or just need to be away overnight, you’ll want to prepare in advance so that caregivers have all they need in order to soothe the baby during your temporary absence.
Before you leave, try to pump a sufficient supply of milk for the duration that you’re away. Try to pump extra milk.
This breast milk can be stored in the fridge and defrosted as needed by the caregiver. Breast milk can be kept in the fridge for up to five days and still remain in perfect condition for your baby. Milk can also be stored in a deep freezer for up to a year.
Once you’re on the road, it’s best to stick with a pumping schedule. Bring your nursing supplies and items to store breast milk with you. If you can’t keep the milk in a convenient location, you can still pump and dispose of the milk.
Pumping on a routine basis will help you maintain your supply and will help you to avoid engorged, painful or, possibly, infected breasts.
Traveling can be hard, so it’s important to find a place where you can relax and pump as you would do if you were at home.
All moms are supermoms, especially in the first six months of breastfeeding. It’s a lot of time management and, if you’re going back to your career, it can be hard to prioritize pumping and feeding.
Take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you, even your co-workers if you need time to yourself to remain on schedule with your pumping.