Traveling is no easy task, and it becomes a true balancing act when you throw in a breastfeeding mom and a perpetually hungry baby. Whether it’s your first time out of the house since bringing your newborn home or you’ve traveled and breastfed your little one every weekend, we are here to help your next trip go a little smoother. Read on for some travel tips for those times when mom and baby need to hit the road!
Breastfeeding On the Ground
For any road trip longer than an hour or two, breastfeeding moms need to be ready to breastfeed or pump on the road. Although driving gives you more privacy and flexibility than other modes of transportation, consistent pumping is key. That’s why checking a map and planning your stops before you leave can help eliminate stress and makes sure you pump enough to keep yourself and your little one comfortable. These stops give you a chance to stretch your legs, change any dirty diapers, and pump in privacy. However, a battery-powered breast pump gives you the freedom to pump on the road–but only if you are traveling as a passenger or are able to pump safely and completely hands-free while you drive.
Breastfeeding In the Air
If you are preparing for a flight, you may need to spend some extra time planning before you head to the airport. For flights longer than a couple of hours, new moms need to think ahead about how they will breastfeed or pump on their flight. Try to reserve a window seat so you can get a little extra privacy if you prefer to feed or pump in your seat. If you would rather pump in the restroom, go for an aisle seat so you can conveniently leave your seat when you need to.
Organize the necessities before you leave for the airport so you have everything you need to breastfeed or pump, including a nursing cover, breast pump, flanges, and storage bags in one easy-to-reach bag. Many airlines classify breast pumps as medical devices and won’t count it as one of your carry-on items. However, make sure to check with your specific airline before you fly. If you need to travel with any expressed breast milk, the three-ounce limit does not apply. According to the TSA, breast milk is considered liquid medicine, which means you can carry “reasonable quantities” with you on your flight. Be sure to tell the TSA agent that you are traveling with breast milk and remove it from your bag for examination as you go through security.
Once you’re on the plane, don’t feel self-conscious if your little one gets fussy. Flying can be scary! To help your baby feel comfortable, try breastfeeding during takeoff and landing. The physical contact may help soothe your child, and nursing helps equalize ear pressure and ease discomfort during the flight.
Whether you are traveling across an ocean or just down the street with your little one, one of the most important things to remember is to remain flexible and patient with yourself and your baby. Every newborn reacts differently when their environment changes. Accordingly, your baby may feed, sleep, or cry more or less than they usually do. Remember that you are doing everything right by just being responsive to the changing needs of your baby!
For moms traveling within the United States, you are also guaranteed certain rights as a nursing mom that should make your life easier. In most states, breastfeeding moms are allowed to breastfeed in public at any time and anywhere. Also, stay on the lookout for public places like malls, museums, department stores, and stadiums that have designated lactation rooms where nursing moms can pump or breastfeed in a safe, clean environment.
Traveling can feel overwhelming for breastfeeding moms, whether your little one travels with you or stays at home. However, taking the time to get organized can help make any trip go smoothly. Bringing a portable breast pump with you when you travel offers more freedom and flexibility, in addition to helping maintain a stable milk supply. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, don’t be embarrassed when you pump or breastfeed–you are working hard to feed your baby. Hit the road with confidence!
Pumps for Mom makes it easy to get your breast pump through insurance! With top brands like Medela, Spectra, Ameda, Freemie, and Lansinoh, you can find the best breast pump for you with help from the experts at Pumps for Mom. All you have to do is fill out our simple qualification form. You will immediately see which pumps you qualify for through your insurance. Just select your ideal pump, and we’ll do the rest! Order your breast pump through insurance today!