6 Tips for Making Breastfeeding Easier When You Travel
You finally figured out how to breastfeed without getting mastitis or flashing every human in sight…and now you have to take a nine-hour trip to your father-in-law’s in Sacramento. Fear not, Mama: Here’s how to take your nursing show on the road.
Feed your baby right before you leave
Kind of a no-brainer, but make sure you’re not piling everybody into the car 15 minutes before your child will want to eat. Instead, give yourself leeway (aka plan ahead) so that a full feeding session can be the last thing you do before you hit the road.
If you’re flying, use a nursing scarf
Nothing distracts a baby (and skeeves you out) quite like a stranger sitting three inches away while you’re trying to do your thang. Pack a nursing scarf to give everybody a little bit of privacy.
Seek out mothers’ rooms
Airports, museums, Ikea: You’d be surprised by the number of public places that have dedicated rooms for feeding and diapering your baby. While you certainly can’t count on a comfy armchair in a secluded, locked room (thanks, patriarchy), it never hurts to Google your options ahead of time.
Bring a hand-pump
First of all, do not attempt to lug your five-pound electric pump onto an Amtrak train. Secondly, even if you’re not planning on pumping, it can be useful to have a small hand-pump in your bag…just in case you get stuck longer than expected somewhere and need to do a little expressing.
Practice using makeshift props
Boppy…rocker…footstool: At home, you’ve got your nursing setup on lock. But when you travel, you have to improvise. Do a test run before you leave to make sure you’re comfortable breastfeeding on a bed, with a pillow to prop up baby.
Ask for alone time when you need it
Your cousin Stacy is close-talking your face off about her Mary Kay sales while your MIL is asking you repeatedly if you think the baby “has a good latch.” (Just us?) Breastfeeding is hard and intimate…and really difficult to do in front of a million people. Whether your travels take you to a relative’s living room or a busy Parisian restaurant, don’t hesitate to ask for privacy when you need it most.