Breastfeeding while travelling can bring a few problems, but none of them can't be prepared for or overcome.
Some suggestions for nursing mothers who are travelling by car. These tips may seem elementary, but they will make your trip much more manageable and stress-free.
Traveling while breastfeeding: few simple pointers
Breastfeeding is usually not a problem at altitudes above 5,000 feet. You can get up and walk around as much as you want, pick up a fussy baby, and feed the infant whenever you wish. However, you should always be prepared for the unexpected while you're in the automobile for extended periods of highway time. These ideas will help you & your baby relax and enjoy the trip, whether it's six hours or two days long.
Connect Your Pump to Your Vehicle Today!
You should still bring your pump and a car adaptor even if you rarely use it.
Even if you're the one doing the driving, being able to pump in the van is a tremendous benefit. However, you'll need a hands-free pumping system to make it work.
You can avoid the need to manually express milk and relieve sore breasts while driving by using an electric pump and a suitable automobile adaptor. Even if you just use the pump sometimes, what's the point? Occasionally, your infant may fall asleep during a feeding. It's important to keep pumping while travelling if you want to keep your milk production up but don't want to awake them up.
Don't Drive Until You've Had Your Last Breastfeeding Session
You can't overstate the importance of this. It's like checking to make sure you don't need to urinate before getting in the car even if you know you don't.
Don't forget to give the baby one more feeding before buckling everyone in. That way, you can start arranging when you'll make the very next stop to nurse before you realise that you're hungry five miles into the trip.
Feeding breaks should be planned in advance.
You really need to quit doing that. We know it's inconvenient to stop the car in the middle of a long trip, especially if you've gotten into a good groove, but the reality is that you'll need to if you want your baby to make it. One major reason why breastfeeding in the car is not recommended is because it is dangerous to lean over the car seat.
Your child could be crushed under your body weight if you were involved in an accident. The stops are where you should eat, not while travelling.
Before setting out on your trip, consider when you'd like to stop so that you may get out and extend your legs. Maintain the two-hourly feeding schedule if that's what your baby needs. You should try a longer stretch if you sense your kid is ready. Planning to nursing at the same time as going to the bathroom is a great idea if you know you'll need to use the restroom a several hours into the exercise.
Bring a Cooler
There are a few situations where having a cooler on hand will be a lifesaver. Breast milk can be stored for six to eight hours at room temperature, as stated by the CDC.
A more fantastic can help keep her breast milk chilled for the duration of a trip longer than that.
If you have a cooler, you can easily transport milk by keeping it chilled with ice or ice packs.
However, the cooler can also be used to hold food and drink. If you're travelling while breastfeeding, keeping water on hand will help you avoid having to stop for refreshments. Unless absolutely necessary.
Research Rest Stops & Restaurants
There are likely to be sections of a long drive where you see more forests than eateries.
Don't forget to prepare in advance. You know you'll need to pull over so you can feed the baby and remove the child from the car seat, so you may prepare by looking up potential rest areas and eating establishments.
Plan to stop at a restaurant to feed your baby and stretch your legs before continuing on with the trip if you know there will be hours of nothing to do.
Find out what your rights are as a breastfeeding mother in the states you'll be visiting.
Milk that has been pumped should be stored in bottles.
They're a little tougher than bags, but not by much. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises using a container that is sealed tightly once breast milk has been added.
Think About Nighttime Driving
It may be the most practical option if you do not really mind travelling at night. As an alternative, you might nurse your child in the car as you normally would before putting them to bed.
If they sleep as well as they do at home, you might be able to get to your location with only a few hiccups.
Get Your Car in Order
It was suggested by Breastfeeding Place that you pack extra diapers, clothing, and wipes. My Baby Nursery has the largest selection of high-quality baby clothes.
Use a box or bag as a "operations center" in the van to keep all the necessities, such as snacks, diapers, wipes, toys, and books, within easy reach.
Instead of digging through bags or dropping items on the car floor, it will be lot more convenient if you can just reach in and get what you need. If you want to be relaxed and at ease, bring along the things you will need.
If you have to stop at less-than-ideal rest breaks or even breastfeed in a parking lot, the automobile may become your haven for a little while. If you plan on doing any sort of nursing, make sure to pack your nursing pillow.
Bring everything you might need to spend the time, whether that's a book, an iPad, or anything else. Do everything possible to make breast while travelling more comfortable.
There's no way around the fact that those breastfeeding sessions will be dreadfully prolonged.
Things to Consider When Breastfeeding on a Road Trip
Set up a "command centre" with a supply of clean diapers, a wet diaper, plastic shopping bags, wipes, and spare clothing.
When travelling with a baby, it's important to include nursing pads in case your breasts aren't used to the change in routine and you end up needing to nurse and end up wetting your clothes. If you plan on breastfeeding while travelling, you should bring some nutritious snacks.
When pumping, it's a good idea to have a few spare parts and bottles with you so you won't have to clean everything after each use.
If you want to use an electric pump, remember to carry either a lithium battery or an AC-to-DC converter/car adaptor. If there are no electrical outlets nearby, a hand pump is another option.
There is a great deal of convenience in using a hands-free pumping while nursing bra or tank. If it makes you more comfortable, bring a nursing cover.
Don't leave home without some ice and a way to transport your pumped milk.
When you're done pumping, you can quickly clean the parts using breast pump wipes, store them in a Ziploc bag, and then wash them in a more thorough manner when you have time.
Some mothers swear by driving at night, giving their infants a full bottle of milk before their customary bedtimes and then putting them right into their car seats to reap the benefits of the lulling motion.
Most mothers will tell you that feeding your infant is a necessity before getting on the bus, just like using the restroom or putting on makeup.
Prepare for multiple pit stops. Unfortunately, it's impossible to nurse while in transit, and newborns who are exclusively used to nursing may be reluctant to drink from a bottle.
Rather than disturbing your baby from sleep with cries of hunger, you could try gently waking him or her at predetermined intervals for a leading or dream feed.
If you can, take a back seat while someone else operates the wheel. Don't put your nursing infant back into the baby carrier too quickly.
An extra few minutes of cuddling after a feeding can do wonders. Make sure to bring your baby's favourite blanket, lovey, and pacifier, as well as extras of each!
Maintaining Milk Supply and Preventing Engorgement While Traveling Without Your Baby
Pumping or extracting your milk can help preserve and sustain your supply if you must travel without your baby.
Despite the moral ambiguity, "pump and dumping" may be the best option if storing your breast milk becomes too time-consuming and stressful and your kid doesn't need any more milk at home.
Try to find a hotel that has a microwave and mini-fridge.
A microwave disinfection bag is ideal for keeping ice packs frozen, pumped milk chilled, and pump components sterile.
Pump any 2 to 3 hours throughout the day and every four to five hours at night to safeguard and maintain your milk supply when away from your baby.
If your kid is six months or older and you have a good supply, pumping on the schedule that you normally use to feed him or her should not affect your milk production.
Add an extra pedal or two if you think your supply is running low.
As as the mom pumps at the required intervals, there is no major risk to the nursing relationship if the mother is apart from the infant for a week or less.
Compared to nursing, milk removal through breast pump is usually less effective. One of the greatest strategies to prevent engorgement is to pump frequently.
Using both hands while pumping can improve both milk production and efficiency. Using a warm neck wrap in the microwave at your hotel can help with the letdown and stimulate milk production.
For a mildly blocked duct, massaging the lump can help remove the pressure. There may be a need for multiple pumps to completely remove it.
How to Preserve and Transport Breast Milk
If you need to wait to refrigerate your expressed milk, you have up to eight hours to do so at room temperature. Breast milk can be kept chilled for up to 24 hours in a cooler bag with ice packs.
A mini-fridge/freezer in your hotel room will keep your milk cold for up to a week, so plan accordingly. Make sure the mini-fridge you have is cool enough to hold the milk safely; not all of them are.
Pump components and bottles can be sterilised in a microwave using disinfecting bags.
Alternatively, you can just use dish soap and a brush to clean the pump components as usual, however you may want to consider bringing a small container of liquid soap with you on your trip.
If you don't have access to a full-size sink, another useful trick is to seal up all the pumping components after use and keep them in the freezer or cooler until the next time you need them.
You won't need to wash your privates after every session if you do this, as it will inhibit the formation of bacteria. Clean and disinfect the components nightly.
So instead of carrying and preserving baby formula with you at every times, you may consider it easier to ship fresh or frozen cream home to your baby. You can transport it over in a freezer with ice cubes or dry ice by UPS or FedEx.
Companies like Milk Stork that specialise in transporting breast milk come highly recommended. If you can afford it, having your milk transported by trained professionals will give you piece of mind.
Other Tips for Breastfeeding on a Road Trip
It may feel daunting to try to breastfeed while driving. It's not impossible!
Having a solid foundation of support, beginning with oneself, is crucial. Worrying about whether or not you're up to the challenge will just make matters more challenging. If you really set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. In short, your faith in us is unwavering.
Always make sure you're properly hydrated.
Remember to drink plenty of water. So, down an additional water bottle.
When on a long trip by car, it's normal to try to limit how much you drink out of concern about the frequency and location of bathroom breaks. Breastfeeding? Your condition would improve if you maintained a steady fluid intake.
Don't Rush It, Give Some Extra Time.
Time must be taken to stop and feed a baby. Making a pit stop to go to the bathroom is a time-consuming activity. To avoid unnecessary stress, it's best to prepare ahead of time.
You should get a breast pump car charger if you use one. Is there another adult in your party? They can drive while you pump, and you can give the baby bottles whenever you're ready.
Bring along a mini cooler
Storage space for expressed breast milk is essential if you plan to pump. It's also convenient for Mom to have drinks and food close at hand as she nurses.
Put on a nursing top or something else that allows you to easily pump or breastfeed.
If it may make you more at ease, bring a breastfeeding cover. You have the right to privacy when nursing in public. This portal provides access to state-specific legal codes.
Maintain safe and sanitary procedures as a nurse
A road trip is the worst possible place to get an infections or breast problems. Avoid mastitis by pumping or feeding frequently. Try not to put in unnecessary mileage by waiting too long. Keep your hands clean by regularly washing them or using a hand sanitizer. If you feel better at ease using a breastfeeding cover, feel free to bring one along.
Do you feel comfortable operating a vehicle at night?
Put the baby in the car seat after her nocturnal meal and give her a nursing. She may end up sleeping through the whole journey. Think ahead.
Use a mapping website to plot out your itinerary in advance, and pick out a few interesting spots to stop at. These could be anything from restaurants to malls to rest spots along a major route. There will be several places to stop if you need to use the restroom, get some fresh air, or tend to your baby's needs.
It's recommended that you bring a large water bottle. If you're a nurse on the road, remember to drink plenty of water.
Ensure you have plenty of spares by bringing along extras.
You'll need a lot of supplies, including spare diapers, wipes, and nursing pads, as well as spare clothing for both you and the baby. A variant on the things you anticipate needing. In this way, you won't have to worry about anything happening on the road.
If you plan on keeping any pre-pumped breast milk, you'll want to do it in a refrigerator or a chiller with ice packs. Bring tops and other clothing that will allow you to nurse in ease. If you have a pump, it's a good idea to bring it along with any necessary spare components.
Keep in mind that you'll need to pull over at some point while driving.
A lot. Make every effort to stick to your normal nursing routine. Never try to breastfeed your child while driving. Never taking the baby out of its car seat is a must, and neither is awkwardly positioning yourself to nursing while the infant is secured. Always know where the nearest restrooms are so you can schedule breaks as needed.
If you plan on breastfeeding in public while travelling, research your state's laws ahead of time. However, you shouldn't be ashamed to breastfeed in public. Don't let other people's lack of understanding make you feel guilty for making sure baby gets fed.
If at all possible, choose a hotel with a refrigerator that also has a small freezer, so that you can keep breast milk cold and ice packs frozen. Breast milk can safely be left out for up to six hours at room temperature.
Lastly, Stay Calm!
Some parents refuse to go by vehicle with a tiny one due to all of the extra items needed, but good in you for deciding to do it.
Staying calm and letting little inconveniences affect your enjoyment of a family outing helps ensure that everyone has a good time.
Here are a few tips for nursing mothers on the road. Whether your vacation is six hours or two days long, these tips will help you and your baby stay calm and entertained. Now is the time to hook up your gas tank to your car. You should always bring your pump and a car adaptor, even if you only use them sometimes. If your infant is eating every two hours, keep that pattern going.
The CDC recommends keeping a cooler at room temperature for no more than six to eight hours. It's simple to transport milk with ice or ice packs and a cooler. In case your breasts aren't adapted to the sudden change and you need to feed, bring nursing pads along on your trip with the baby. Pumping bras and tanks that don't require your hands are incredibly helpful for breastfeeding mothers. If you must travel without your baby, you can keep your milk supply stable and secure by pumping or extracting it.
The nursing relationship can survive the mother's absence of a week or less. If pumping and storing breast milk becomes too much of a hassle, you might want to choose the "dump and pump" method instead. Pumping with both hands increases milk supply and efficiency. A cooler bag with ice packs can keep breast milk cold for up to 24 hours. All pumping components should be sealed up after use if a full-sized sink is unavailable.
Infections or breast issues are the worst potential ailments to experience on a long car trip. It's best to plan ahead of time so that you don't have to worry about things on the day of. Maintaining a healthy level of hydration is essential. As a nurse, it is your responsibility to uphold standards of cleanliness and safety at all times. There are a lot of things you'll need to have on hand, such as extra diapers, wipes, and nursing pads.
Always aim to maintain your regular nursing practises. Find a hotel that has a fridge and a small freezer so you can keep breast milk cool and ice packs frozen.
- In any case, long stretches of time spent in a car on the highway call for a heightened state of preparedness for the unexpected.
- You shouldn't eat while travelling, only during the stops.
- Having a cooler on hand can be really helpful in some scenarios.
- However, it's also possible to store beverages and snacks in the cooler.
- If you're going to be in a place for hours with nothing to do, consider stopping at a restaurant to feed your baby and give them a little walk before carrying on with the trip.
- Learn the breastfeeding laws of the states you will be visiting.
- Keep all the essentials, including food, diapers, wipes, toys, and books, in one convenient location in the vehicle by designating a box or bag as a "operations centre."
- If you'll need something to pass the time, whether it's a book, an iPad, or something else, bring it along.
- Avoid restraining your nursing baby in a baby carrier for an extended period of time.
- To protect and maintain your milk supply while away from your infant, you should pump every 2 to 3 hours during the day and every 4 to 5 hours at night.
- Pumping often is one of the best ways to avoid getting full.
- It's recommended to clean and disinfect the parts every night.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Stopping for a restroom break is a waste of time.
- It's best to plan ahead of time so that you don't have to worry about things on the day of.
- You could feel more at ease if you brought a cover to use when breastfeeding.
- Plan your route ahead of time using a mapping service and include stops at several points of interest.
- Bring extras to make sure you're covered in case something goes wrong.