Nursing Mothers' Blog

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    Traveling for the holidays can feel overwhelming for the breastfeeding mom, but preparation can make it a smooth season! Whether you are used to directly nursing, exclusively pumping, or a combination of both, it is important to think about how holiday travel will impact your feeding. For moms who feel extra stress or lack of routine and schedule, milk supply can be compromised during this time. We want to help you ensure that you can both enjoy the holidays with your baby and family and maintain your feeding goals and health.

    When considering holiday travel, there are a few factors to think about. How are your emotions and stress levels during travel and extra activities? What logistics do you need to think about beforehand to ensure you have the gear and space you need? The following tips will help you to prepare for and enjoy the season so that you can focus on making memories with your baby and family. 

    5 Tips for Feeding through Holiday Travel

    1. Talk with the host prior to the event to discuss where you will nurse/pump.

    Knowing that there is a quiet, private space for you to nurse or pump will allow both you and your host to be prepared. If you want privacy, communicate that and ask that your host have a room accessible. Discussing this beforehand can take away the awkward conversation in the moment and give you peace of mind and less stress entering the gathering.  

    2. Dress for easy nursing/pumping. 

    Save time and stress by dressing with your feeding in mind. The BeliBea NOURISH Tank allows you to have a comfy stylish undershirt while also making nursing or pumping very accessible. 

    3. Have a plan for milk storage.
    Again, this is a good conversation to have with your host beforehand. Is there a refrigerated space you can store your milk during your visit? If you will be staying in a hotel, ensure that a minifridge will be provided in your room. You also want to consider long car rides or plane rides. If you are traveling by plane, make sure you know your rights for traveling with breastmilk.  For any long ride (plane, car, train) be sure to have means to keep your milk cool and follow milk storage guidelines

    4. Write out your schedule and stick to it as much as possible.

    This is a balance, and no one is going to do it perfectly (have grace momma), but doing your best to stick to your schedule without letting it stress you out, can be vital to supply and routine for both you and baby. Schedule tells your body when and what to produce and helps maintain your milk supply. Skipping feeds or pumps can lead to clogged ducts and possibly mastitis- which is not how you want to enjoy your holidays! Write out your schedule beforehand and plan for when you will “sneak away” for nursing or pumping. Perhaps you won’t need to have privacy, but remember that your baby, if easily distracted, might.

    5. Make a checklist of all the gear you will need and double check it before leaving home.

    Write it out (or print it out) and double check before you leave! Many of these items are things you may be using day-to-day so it can be hard to pre-pack everything. Double check the list before leaving home so that you won’t need any middle-of-the-night store runs during your trip! 

    Here are ideas to get your list started:  

    Car adaptor: Allows you to plug your electric pump in so you can pump in the car

    Battery Pack: If you don’t have a battery powered pump like the Spectra S1, you can use a battery pack to make your pump portable! 

    Breast pads: There will probably be a time your feed/pump is delayed and you want to preserve your shirt!

    Sterilizer bags: This makes it quick and easy to sterilize pump parts and bottles

    Quick clean wipes: Especially helping during travel- these wipes give you a way to clean your gear without soap and water

    Easy feeding system: The Kiinde system allows you to skip milk transfer and quickly go from pump to feed. 

    Bottle cleaner and soap: For when you get the chance to do a good scrub on your pump parts and bottles!

    Nursing tank: The BeliBea NOURISH Cami is my go to because it’s so easy (and extra cozy!) 

    Cool/heat packs: In cases of engorgement or the need to help milk flow, these little tools are so helpful!

    Cooler bag: For when you’re traveling and not able to refrigerate, cooler bag to the rescue!

    Nipple cream: Because we have to take care of the girls!

    Milk bags: Easily cool and store

    Cover: If you prefer privacy, might as well make it stylish. 

    Pump: Don’t forget your pump!  It can be helpful to have a manual on hand even if you regularly directly nurse- sometimes babies don’t eat as much during travel and visiting and you still need to get that milk out!

    Hand sanitizer: For when the soap and water aren’t available but you need to keep those hands clean!

    Breastfeeding while traveling brings up new challenges, but with these tips I hope you can be prepared, feel empowered and enjoy the journey with you, your baby, and family and friends.   Read More