Having a baby and being a breastfeeding mother is no reason to avoid exploring the world.
Some mothers actually want to go out and travel more, to build their new little one’s experiences and memories (though he may be too young to actually remember anything).
A lot of experienced mothers advise against traveling with a baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding, citing all the inconveniences and physical discomforts. But if you’re properly prepared, the inconvenience level of traveling as a breastfeeding mom can be taken down several notches. Therefore, if you’re thinking of going on a trip with your child and you’re still breastfeeding, preparation is key.
Here are tips that will help control the common hassles breastfeeding moms like you experience when traveling.
1. Create an itinerary.
Listing the places to visit and the different activities, and then assigning time for them based on the baby’s comfort requirements or routine can help you and the rest of the family do away with crankiness. When the baby’s cranky, it’s going to be difficult to think clearly and do things properly. So make sure you head out when the baby’s been fed, changed and has already taken his nap. If you’re able to explore places with the baby in a good mood, you’re sure to have more fun.
2. Pack and wear the right clothes.
Wear your best breastfeeding clothes. Comfort is key when you’re traveling and this is particularly important when you have a baby with you who’ll suddenly demand to be fed. Also, you want to make certain that breastfeeding will not expose you in any way and make people around you uneasy. Choose outfits that allow for convenience and mobility.
Here are the basic pieces of clothing you need to pack for travel:
• Nursing friendly tops
• Nursing bras
• Breast pads
• Hands-free pumping bra
• Versatile nursing dress (one that can be dressed up or down)
• Comfy post-partum high-waisted pants
3. Pack your pump and breast milk storage kit.
You might visit places where there are no nursing stations or rooms. Bringing your pump and breast milk storage kit will allow you to feed your child even when you can’t breastfeed.
A lot of mothers advise putting bagged breastmilk in an empty box of baby wipes for freezing where it will freeze flat. When you need to go out and bring bags of breastmilk, you get compact bags that can be kept in your bag easily and will thaw quickly.
Bonus tip: Remember the rule of “6” for milk handling. Fresh breast milk is safe for 6 hours at room temperature, 6 days in a refrigerator, and 6 months when frozen. Fresh breast milk will stay safe for 24 hours in a cooler on ice and frozen milk, once thawed, should be consumed in 24 hours.
4. Pack food and drinks for yourself.
Your personal nourishment is important when you’re on the go. And to be able to breastfeed your little one properly, you need to be well-fed as well. It’s important to eat the right food and consume the recommended amount of calories for you every day – you don’t get to cheat when you’re traveling. Therefore, always have food which you know are good for you so your body is properly replenished to create enough healthy breastmilk for the young one.
The best beverage to drink is H2O. It’s devoid of nutrients but it’s the best when it comes to flushing out toxins from your body.
5. Research nursing rooms.
Research places where you can breastfeed especially if you’re headed to tourist destinations and will be flying. There’s a growing number of nursing rooms being built in airports and popular tourist hotspots and if you wish to know where these are exactly located in the places where you’re headed, go online. These areas are designed for your comfort and privacy so you can breastfeed with ease.
Travel doesn’t need to be a huge inconvenience, even for breastfeeding moms. Use these tips and manage breastfeeding like a pro while exploring the world.
At 16, Merril Bainbridge began her career in the Australian fashion industry. In her early 20’s she left to launch a successful Pop Music career which saw her at the top of the US Music Charts. Retiring to start a family, she found a new purpose helping breastfeeding women with her fashion label, Peachymama.