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Traveling with your breastfeeding infant doesn't have to be difficult.
For nursing mothers, the idea of trying to travel with their child might seem daunting. But with some planning and proper strategies in place, it can be done so that both mother and baby enjoy their trip. And some experts say it’s actually easier to travel with a baby who’s breastfeeding rather than taking formula, since mom doesn’t have to mess with packing the bottles or formula and worry about keeping the bottles sterile.
Things to Take
Some things to consider taking before heading out on your travels include:
- Loose-fitting tops that you can easily pull up
- A light blanket to screen yourself when you can’t find a private spot
A sling or soft infant carrier, which has several benefits:
- Makes it easier to carry a child for long periods
- Keeps skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, which helps sustains the mother's milk supply
- Offers the baby extra protection
Things to Do
- With infants under six months old, feed them on demand, which will maintain milk supply and keep the child happy.
- For long car trips, try to plan for stops that will allow for easy, comfortable feeding locations.
- If you need to use pumped breast milk during your travels, store it in clean, tightly sealed containers.
- Don’t worry about refrigerating pumped milk for short periods. Freshly pumped milk remains safe at room temperature for up to eight hours.
- Get any needed vaccinations for your particular travel destination. In most cases, vaccines will not make your milk unsafe (you can get more information here).
- If you’re flying, try to get an aisle or window seat to make it easier to feed during the flight.
- If you’re flying and bringing pumped milk with you, notify TSA agents if you have more than 3.4 ounces.
- Learn the laws about public breastfeeding for your final destination. Most states allow public breastfeeding, but check to make sure.
At North Hills Hospital, we know the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. We’re proud to partner with Pevytoe Consulting to offer prenatal education that includes classes on breastfeeding. For more information call 817-380-5929.