Tips for Breastfeeding Mums Who Travel
Many women who breastfeed, need to travel for different purposes during this period. It may be with or without their babies and this number is steadily on the rise.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics its best and safe for the baby to be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. They also state that breastfeeding should be continued until the baby is at least 12 months old or until the mother and baby both desires to continue.
Many mothers need to travel during this period; it may be due to work demand or leisure. But most mothers wish to continue with milk extraction and breastfeeding during this time.
The key to a regular healthy flow of milk is to keep expressing milk frequently. Even if lactating mothers are out on the road, they should maintain their regular schedule of milk expression or breastfeeding.
Do Some Advance Planning
Breastfeeding can be particularly difficult when travelling with your baby. You have to look for opportunities in your schedule for pockets of time when you can breastfeed your baby.
To be more certain you may call the places where you are going to visit and ask them if they can provide facilities or breastfeeding corners where you can nurse your baby comfortably.
Although you will be breastfeeding on the go, you still may be required to express your milk and store it for later.
So you should check with your hotel to see if they can provide you with access to a refrigerator to store the milk. You will also require utensils to heat up the milk later on so plan ahead for all such possibilities.
Keep in Mind Local Customs and Cultures
Breastfeeding in a public area is a sensitive issue in many parts of the world. So it’s best to be informed and aware of the local mindset about breastfeeding in public.
This is particularly important since breastfeeding also provides the baby with essential nutrition and the physical contact and proximity provides the baby with a much-needed sense of security and calm during travelling.
So in case you have a strong position about breastfeeding in public, it is advised that you follow up on local laws about their position on the issue.
Find the Right Corner
Feeding your child when it most needs it is the best and easiest way to breastfeed your baby. So you need to find a convenient place where you can comfortably nurse your child when it needs to be fed while travelling.
Be sure to check if the place is secure and won’t pose any interruptions while you are nursing the baby and be sure to keep your essentials in handy.
Choose the Right Clothes
It’s very important for you to be comfortable while you are nursing. The clothes you are wearing goes a long way in making you feel comfortable.
You can’t be a hundred percent certain what the conditions are going to be in the place you will have to nurse your baby, so it’s important to be prepared.
Choose clothes that cover you well and be sure to pack your nursing cover. Keep in mind that the temperature may vary from place to place so it’s a good idea to dress in layers.
Loose fitting clothes always provide much-needed comfort and are much more convenient in stretchy situations. Always remember to include extra sets of clothing both for you and your baby whenever you travel, even short haul.
Declare the Milk While Travelling By Air
If you are intending to carry expressed breast milk with you while you are flying then it’s important for you to declare it during the security screening.
Breast milk is considered to be in the category of liquid medication by The United States’ Transportation Security Administration. Thus it is not subject to the limitation that is imposed in the case of other gels and liquids.
Things for Mothers to Consider If Travelling Without Children
Plan in Advance
Many mothers might need to travel away from the baby for work or other personal requirements. So you need to plan ahead and ensure that you have expressed the adequate amount of milk sufficient for your baby.
You also need to sit and discuss with your caregiver to see if they are fully aware and capable of how to feed the expressed milk to your baby on demand.
Consider the Time You Will Be Away
If you are travelling for less than 5 days then your expressed milk can be stored in a refrigerator. In case the travel time is longer than 5 days then the expressed milk needs to be frozen.
Thus you will need to check in advance with your hotel or other places of accommodation whether they will provide you with access to a refrigerator or freezer.
While flying, make sure to pack the frozen milk with enough ice packs and check them in with luggage. If you decide to express milk while you are flying or in transit, you can ask the flight attendant for some ice.
This will help in preserving the milk until you reach your destination.
For a travelling mother who expresses milk, breast pumps are a must-have component. Finding the right pump is essential for mothers who express regularly. There are manual and electric breast pumps available.
If you have an electric pump then make sure you have the portable cords and/or batteries when you leave home. Having the battery operated pumps are more convenient if you have to express on the go.
Airline regulations allow for the carrying of breast pumps in flight as they are considered as medical devices. To be on the safe side you might want to research the airline official regulations regarding the matter.
This will allow you to avoid additional hassles while at the airport.
Breastfeeding on demand even in public is a wonderful thing, something that is one of the most beautiful natural practices. So don’t be discouraged from doing what you know to be best for your baby.
Although things might be a bit more challenging at times when you are faced with new and different conditions.
Following the tips above will prepare you better to have the perfect experience of nursing your child even when you are travelling.