Traveling can be stressful even without kids, but when you throw in a breastfeeding baby sometimes it can sound unbearable. However, there are some easy tips and tricks that mothers can follow to make breastfeeding painless while traveling. Whether the breastfed baby is traveling with the mother or not, we will go over some great guidelines to follow to keep spirits up and keep the baby fed.
Traveling with the Breastfed Baby
In some ways, traveling with the breastfeeding baby is easier than traveling alone. Mothers do not have to worry about pumping and can feed the baby on demand to keep milk production up. Whether a mother is traveling by plane or car, there are a few tips that a mother can follow to make traveling with a breastfeeding baby easy and stressless.
Tip 1: Feed on Demand
The best thing that a mother can do to keep up their milk supply is to feed their baby when the baby is hungry.
In addition, it is helpful when traveling by plane to feed the baby when taking off and landing. Many times, a baby is fussy during these times because their ears are popping with the altitude change, and when a mother can feed them, it allows them to naturally pop their ears by sucking.
If traveling by car, mothers are going to want to make sure that they are stopping often to nurse their babies. Sometimes a baby may sleep longer while in a moving car, so it is important to stop every three hours or so to offer a breastfed baby a nursing session.
Tip 2: Wear Clothes that are Easy to Breastfeed In
When traveling with breastfed kids, mothers are going to want to make sure that they are wearing something comfortable and something that is easy to breastfeed in. Breastfeeding while traveling means that you are not always going to have a designated breastfeeding area, so mothers are going to want to make sure that they are dressed in a comfortable and easy to work with a pair of nursing bra, a loose-fitting top, button-down top, or nursing shirt. Some mothers also like to have a coverup to throw over their chest while the baby is nursing.
Traveling without the Breastfed Baby
Sometimes mothers must travel without their breastfed babies. While this may be a bit challenging, it is not impossible. There are a few tips on how to keep a mother’s supply up while also traveling away from the baby. It is up to the mother if they would like to try to keep the expressed milk or pump and dump. Here we will go over tips on how to travel comfortably while pumping and ways in which to store milk if that is what the mother decides to do.
Tip 1: Pump Often
Just because a mother does not have to feed their baby in person, they still want to make sure that they are pumping regularly so that they do not lose their supply. Mothers will want to use a portable or wearable breast pump to express milk. Breastfeeding mothers should make sure they are pumping at the times they normally feed their babies, or every two to three hours.
Using a wearable breast pump to express milk will give their bodies the reminder that they are still breastfeeding and will help the mother continue to produce milk. When traveling, it is important to make sure the mother has a portable or wearable breast pump as they will not always be able to plug in a pump, especially on a plane or in a car. It is also important to carry around wipes in order to clean the wearable breast pump between pump sessions.
Tip 2: Storing and Transporting Expressed Milk
When a mother is traveling without their breastfed baby it may be harder to store their expressed milk, but it is not impossible. Mothers can make sure that they are staying in accommodations that have a refrigerator or freezer in order to store their expressed milk. Mothers can store their pumped milk in milk storage bags or food containers with a tight-fitting lid that is preferably made of glass.
Once expressed, mothers should place it in the back of a refrigerator or a freezer. When transporting, make sure that the milk stays frozen or cold by placing it in storage with an ice pack. If milk thaws, then the baby has twenty-four hours to consume it. If not consumed within twenty-four hours the milk can still be used for milk baths, so you do not have to throw it away.
As a note, breast milk is exempt from TSA regulations, and while it may be x-rayed or tested, mothers can carry breastmilk through security without worrying about how many ounces she has.
Tip 3: Wear Clothes that are Easy to Pump In
Like the clothes, mothers wear while breastfeeding, they are going to want to wear a comfortable nursing bra and easy-to-pump-in clothes. If the mother has a wearable breast pump, they may want a slightly bigger nursing bra for the breast pump to be placed in. In addition, wearing nursing clothes may help with placing and taking wearable breast pump out.
Last Few Tips for Traveling Breastfeeding and Pumping Mothers
Drink Plenty of Water
Whether you are breastfeeding with a baby or pumping without a baby, mothers are going to want to make sure that they drink plenty of water. Traveling can often make people forget to stay hydrated, but it is very important for milk production to stay hydrated.
It is important to plan when traveling with a baby or when breastfeeding while traveling. If traveling with the baby, mothers are going to want to make sure they have comfortable nursing bras and appropriate attire to easily feed the baby on demand. If traveling without a baby, these mothers are going to want an easy breast pump like a portable wearable breast pump and have plenty of cleaning supplies for pump pieces.
Know Your Rights
Regardless of if you are breastfeeding in public or pumping in public, it is important for mothers to know their rights. For example, knowing that mothers can bring their pumped breast milk through security and that expressed milk and other related baby feeding items are exempt from the Transportation Security Administration regulations.
Traveling while breastfeeding or pumping does not have to be stressful. Planning and following these few tips will help any mother get through a trip with or without their loved ones.