7 Tips for Traveling while Breastfeeding
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful but traveling while breastfeeding can seem especially challenging. At Women’s Health Texas, our goal is to help our patients feel comfortable and confident in all stages of their life, and that includes traveling while breastfeeding. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or car, following these guidelines and tips will help you and your family have a wonderful holiday break.
Before traveling with a new baby, we recommend consulting your Women’s Health Texas doctor.
- There are many benefits. Breastfeeding and traveling can be comforting for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding can provide a source of comfort for babies whose routine is disrupted from traveling. Breast milk also provides necessary hydration to babies during long flights and car rides.
- Getting on a plane? While going through security, inform the TSA officer that you are carrying formula or breast milk. Both are permitted through security in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces onto the plane. The Food and Drug Administration states that there are no known adverse effects from eating food or drinking beverages screened by X-ray.
- Don’t panic and know your rights. The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act requires all medium and large airports in the U.S. to have clean, private, non-bathroom lactation spaces in each terminal. There are even apps, such as Moms Pump Here and Mamavas to help mothers find safe places to pump or breastfeed at airports. Review the specific airline rules on breastfeeding, diaper bags, and breast pump bags.
- Ready for takeoff? The pressure change from takeoff and landing can bother babies’ ears and make them upset. If you breastfeed during takeoff and landing, the sucking can help ease the pressure change and alleviate any discomfort. To also help with yours and your child’s comfort, Romper.com suggests practicing new breastfeeding positions. Since airplane seats are narrow, it might help to nurse in an upright position or in a koala hold.
- Don’t forget to pack your pump. If you need to pump milk while traveling by car, plane or other transportation, a manual or battery-powered breast pump may be the best option. Some pumps can also be powered with car adapters.
- Storing Milk? Check with your hotel in advance to request a compact refrigerator for your room if needed. Also, try to store milk in the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is more likely to stay constant.
- Check your clock. If your traveling outside of your normal time zone, your baby’s feeding schedule might get confusing. Make sure to stick with your child’s internal clock, nursing in accordance with your baby’s schedule will help during the transition.
We hope that this article was informative and insightful and that it will help ensure you and your baby’s safety and comfort while traveling. If you have any questions or concerns about traveling with your new baby, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Women’s Health Texas provider who will be happy to advise you. For more resources on breastfeeding, visit https://www.womenshealthtx.com/breastfeeding-benefits-for-mother-and-baby/.
“Travel Recommendations.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, page last reviewed: 11/8/19
“9 Breastfeeding Travel Hacks For Moms On The Go.” Romper, Romper.com, page last reviewed 11/8/19