You have spent awhile getting used to breastfeeding your child at home and getting into a comfortable routine. Traveling can really mix up this routine and present new challenges for a breastfeeding mother. Here are a few tips that can help ease you into a more enjoyable and comfortable trip with your breastfed baby.
Road Trip With a Breastfed Baby:
If your baby or toddler is already eating solids, this can be an option for feeding him on the road. However, if he only drinks milk, you might want to pump milk ahead of time into bottles to feed him along the way. If you are the passenger, you can even pump into a bottle and feed him during the drive, if need be. Some babies do not take bottles at all and only drink from the breast. In this case, you’ll want to schedule in regular meals and snacks for your child by visiting rest stops to nurse him. Do not remove the baby from his car seat as you travel on the road, as this is both illegal and potentially dangerous.
Breastfeeding On An Airplane:
While it may be frowned upon by some people, it is perfectly legal to breastfeed your baby in public, and this includes during a flight. As a breastfeeding mother, you even have an advantage over those who use bottles, due to the strict liquid regulations. While bottles of formula and milk are now allowed onto planes, the milk in your breasts are not subject to search and are quite portable, making traveling easier for you. One tip you’ll want to try is breastfeeding your baby during takeoff and landing. This can reduce his fears of flying and reduces the chance of his ears popping, which can feel painful for a baby. While many people aren’t thrilled about having a baby near them in flight, breastfed babies typically make wonderful flying companions!
Taking along a baby sling can be a huge help when traveling with a baby, especially when going through busy airports. You can even nurse discreetly in the sling and no one will be the wiser. The sling also helps to comfort baby and reduce fussiness, as well as helping him nap when he’s tired.
Breastfeeding while traveling and doing activities is certainly different than feeding at home. For many breastfeeding mothers, bottle feeding is a new concept. If you do plan on bottle-feeding your pumped milk on outings, be sure you have a cooler that can keep milk fresh as you are traveling and be sure to abide by the guidelines of how long milk should be kept. If you are planning on being away from the baby for a period of time, such as a day at the spa, then be sure to pump ahead of time for baby as well. This can also be an adjustment for baby as well and should be introduced to him days before your departure.
Taking care of yourself
Although vacation is designed to be fun, it can also be physically and mentally exhausting. There is a lot of moving around from place to place that occurs, as well as eating at new places and experiencing new things. It is also possible you will be nursing on a different schedule, which can be uncomfortable for you. To counteract this, be sure you are getting plenty of rest, fluids and nutrition. If you are breastfeeding at odd hours or less than usual, you might need to carry along a small pump with you (or pump by hand) to release some milk and give you some comfort. Take along breastfeeding items you may need, such as breast pads, lanolin or hot packs if your breast get sore. Vitamin B6 can also assist in tenderness. Vacations are a common time for moms to experience plugged ducts or mastitis. Baby is distracted and you may be nursing less. Be sure to take care of yourself so your vacation is relaxing.
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