Our family tends to travel a lot and now that I have a breastfeeding baby, I’m unsure of how this will go. Can we still travel even though my daughter is breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding will not get in the way of your travel plans, but you do need to prepare more. When you travel by car, plan stops for when your baby might get hungry. It's dangerous and illegal to take your baby out of their car seat to breastfeed while the car is moving.
Some mothers find it easier to feed bottles while traveling by car. This requires additional planning due to storage guidelines that need to be followed for your breast milk. You will need to remove milk from your breasts every time your baby has a bottle either by hand expression or a breast pump.
To use a breast pump in the car, be sure your vehicle has a plug in or find the battery packs available for most standard pumps. A manual pump requires no electricity or batteries. You’ll need to pack ice packs or get ice from gas stations along the way. If your baby prefers to drink warm milk, you may need to purchase a bottle warmer or use hot water to warm your baby’s milk. Remove her from her carseat when you make stops to both burp her and change her diaper.
Flying with your breastfeeding baby is also very doable! Most airlines allow children under 2 years of age to remain in their mother’s arms throughout the flight. It’s helpful to nurse during take off and landing, as the sucking motion lessens ear pressure. You have rights to breastfeed your baby on an airplane and airport with or without a cover, and many airports have mothers’ rooms available for use.
If you prefer to pump while flying, the same rules apply for flying as driving. Plan ahead on how you are going to cool your breast milk. Small bags of breast milk and small ice packs are allowed through security in your carry on or your checked bag. But you will need to take milk bags and ice packs out so security staff can see them clearly. You can warm your milk by running it under warm water in the airport or airplane bathroom or with a bottle warmer. Do your best to pump every time the baby has a bottle to keep your milk supply steady and ready for when you reach your destination.