We have had some breastfeeding mamas reach out for advice about travel plans both with and without baby. If you have travel plans with baby, we recommend checking out this article for some terrific tips!
If you are breastfeeding and have travel plans without baby, we know that this situation comes with its own collection of concerns, but have no fear: many breastfeeding moms have been down this road before. Our partners at Lansinoh, who have sponsored our Baby Boxes in the US and Canada, have provided us with the following travel tips:
Tip #1: Pack smart to avoid anxiety. Prepare for the worst case scenario. Bring extra pumping supplies, extra batteries, extra nursing pads, and extra clothes.
Tip #2: Do pre-departure preparations. Two weeks before the trip, prepare by squeezing in some extra pumping sessions so you have extra expressed milk to leave behind. Leave more milk than you think your baby will need.
Tip #3: Pump on baby’s schedule. The key to a successful trip is replicating baby’s nursing schedule. Review your travel itinerary and build in extra time before departure or during layovers to pump when baby would have nursed.
Tip #4: Find a place to breast pump. Try to nurse baby at the breast before you leave for the airport. If you would normally breastfeed when you’re at the airport (either checking in, on layover, or when you’ve landed), find out if the airport has a nursing lounge. Sometimes airlines will offer day passes to their lounges, giving you a clean and discreet place to pump. Do your research before you get to the airport, and don’t be afraid to ask airport employees once you get there.
If you have a long flight and need to pump in flight, try to arrange for a window seat ahead of time. If you are sensitive to pumping in public, you can use a nursing cover with a manual or double electric breast pump: you will be able to discreetly pump without other passengers or crew even noticing.
Tip #5: Store the milk properly. Small coolers with ice packs are great for short trips. Once you arrive at your destination, store the milk in a fridge. (Ask in advance if your hotel room has a mini fridge). While traveling back, keep the milk in a cooler with frozen cooler packs.
Tip #6: Check the TSA Guidelines. Know the TSA regulations about flying with breastmilk. Build in extra time to go through security with pumped milk. Be prepared to answer questions about how long you’ve been away and how often you’ve pumped so agents can verify you’re telling the truth about the amount of liquid you have.
Tip #7: Stay healthy. Drink plenty of water, eat as well as you can, and get enough rest while you are away.
We hope these tips are helpful and wish you a wonderful holiday with whomever and wherever you may roam!