Traveling while breastfeeding this holiday season? Here are some expert tips from a Certified Lactation Counselor!
Plan Your Route:
- Use a program like google maps to chart the best course and find rest areas along the way
- Build extra time into your plans: Trips will take longer than usual with millions on the road. You will need to stop and nurse your baby on average every 2-3 hours while traveling
- Be patient: Mentally prepare yourself for it to be a long trip. Warn eager grandparents or relatives that you will be arriving later than usual
- Don’t forget your road trips snacks: Nursing moms need extra calories, so pack water bottles and healthy snacks to keep your energy – and patience- up
- Pack the right equipment: In addition to diapers, wipes and a change for clothes for baby (and you!), you will want to make sure you have everything you need to breastfeed your baby while en route.
Breastfeeding & Pumping Checklist:
- If your electric pump is also battery operated, pack extra batteries
- Pack an extra set of pump parts in case you can’t clean yours while on the road
- Bring a nursing cover or blanket in case you feel uncomfortable with strangers being able to see in your car
- Pack a cooler with ice packs, as well as storage bottles or storage bags
- If you’re using bottles and nipples to feed your expressed breastmilk, it’s always helpful to pack 1-2 more than you think you need
Breastfeeding While Flying Travel Tips:
- Dress for Success: Wear a nursing bra and shirt that makes breastfeeding as easy as possible
- Carry-on “Must Have” Items: You’ll want to pack a change of clothes for baby but don’t forget about you! Pack an extra shirt for yourself in your carry-on bag. Also take nursing “must have” items, like your HPA lanolin, or an extra set of disposable nursing pads, and slip them into a carry-on as well
- Want a Nursing Cover? Pack a cover or blanket in your carry-on if you are uncomfortable nursing in public
- Breastfeed at Take-Off and Landing: Swallowing helps babies adjust to the change in air pressure. If you can’t nurse then, consider using a soother or pacifier
- Bringing Breastmilk Through Security: TSA doesn’t restrict size of containers for breastmilk but you need to let security know you’re traveling with it. Here’s some TSA tips!