5 Tips & Tricks for Breastfeeding While Traveling, Including TSA Dos and Don'ts
- Dress for Success. Pick a top with an access panel or button-down front so your baby can easily access your breast without having to take your shirt off and a choose a comfortable nursing bra, like the SuperMom All-in-One Bra for travel. A sweater or jacket is also great for hiding leaks.
- Cover Up. Your baby’s head will cover most of your breast, but if you feel the need for more discretion, be like Jana from #OneLoveOurLove and pack a thin swaddle blanket in your bag to wrap around your neck and tuck baby snuggly underneath.
- Pick Your Spot. Plane and train seats provide a bit of privacy, making them perfect for breastfeeding. Visiting relatives? Ask your host where you might find a quiet spot when it comes time to feed baby. Corner restaurant booths also provide some coverage and many attractions offer a room specifically for breastfeeding – visit their websites ahead of time so you’ll know where to go when you get there. And a recent federal act requires most airports to provide private, lockable, non-bathroom places to pump or nurse in every terminal, so be on the lookout!
- Practice at Home. While you don’t needto be discreet at home, it isa great place to practice stealthily opening your shirt and bra and getting baby going. Take the timing of your feedings seriously, too – make sure baby is hungry enough to get right to it but not so hungry that they’re fussy or upset.
- Let’s Talk TSA. Parents are permitted to bring breast milk on board the plane in “reasonable quantities”. The milk does not need to fit in a 3-ounce container and be stored in a freezer-sized bag, like other liquids do, but it does need to be removed and announced to the TSA screening officer. You can also bring ice packs or gel packs to keep your milk cool. Both the milk and the packs will likely be sent through the X-ray screener, which has no known adverse effects.
More from Jana at One Love Our Love . . .
Mikey and Jana are two vegan gypsy souls that enjoy spreading love while traveling the world together. Their blog, One Love Our Love, is filled with gorgeous photos of the couples’ adventures, including destination advice, travel tips, and inspiration. Recently the two embarked on an adventure of another sort – parenthood! We asked Jana about her experiences breastfeeding her 3-month-old son.
Q. Why did you want to breastfeed?
A. I strongly believe it’s the healthiest and most nutritious way to raise my child. Women’s breastmilk is packed with vitamins and nutrients that help fight infections and illnesses. It’s also a very special bonding time with my baby.
Q. What’s been your biggest challenge?
A. It was very hard and challenging in the beginning and I struggled. My baby had a very narrow latch and he wasn’t getting enough milk. He developed jaundice and it was very stressful and emotional.
Q. How did you overcome that?
A. I started pumping so I could monitor how much he is eating. Once he reached his birth weight on the 9thday and the jaundice was gone, I tried breastfeeding every time before or after a bottle. With a lot of persistence, after a week he was exclusively breastfeeding and no more bottles. Also, recently I had a challenge with my milk supply. It seemed that it wasn’t enough for my baby, so I started taking fenugreek and it did increase.
Q. Do you have any funny breastfeeding stories to share?
A. Well, when my son was 4 weeks old we drove to a nearby beach neighborhood for a walk (at that time I was feeding on demand). He got hungry and there was nowhere to sit and feed him, so for the first time I learn how to breastfeed him while walking and holding him in my hands. My back hurt so much after that :)