For a new, breastfeeding mum, a plan to travel can bring mixed emotions. You are excited to go to a new place with the baby, but at the same time, you are worried whether you will be able to comfortably nurse the little one. This concern is more pronounced when you are taking a flight to your destination and have the pressure to feed the baby in a cramped airplane seat. But don’t worry. Here are some trips that will make breastfeeding on a plane a breeze.
1. To cover or not to cover, choice is yours.
Know that covering while you nurse your baby is your own choice and depends on your and the baby’s comfort. Breastfeeding is a natural thing, it’s just a baby having her food. If you don’t want to cover, that’s your right. If you, however, prefer covering up, make sure to carry a nursing cover or a scarf to use while the baby feeds.
2. Keep yourself hydrated.
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Keeping yourself hydrated becomes even more important while you are in an airplane thousands of feet above the ground. The air inside the plan can be dry and dehydrating. Hence, drinking enough water becomes very necessary to keep the milk supply optimum.
3. Feed during take-off and landing.
Lots of babies cry during a flight because of pain in the ears. This pain is caused by changes in air pressure. And the change in air pressure is the most when the airplane is taking off and when it is landing. Breastfeeding the baby during these two times can be very helpful in reducing ear blockage and pain. The swallowing motion can help prevent or ease ear blockage.
4. Choose your seat wisely.
Choose your seat well. If you are traveling alone, an aisle seat can be practical. You can quickly access the restroom if your baby needs a diaper change or clean-up. An aisle seat also allows you comparatively more space when the baby is in your lap.
5. Plan ahead for pumping.
If you plan on pumping, plan ahead. Find out whether you will have access to a power outlet near your seat by speaking with the airline people beforehand. If you are traveling internationally, make sure you have the correct convertor so that you can plug in the pump. If a power outlet isn’t available, consider carrying a manual pump. Also, carry insulated bags to store the pumped milk.
6. Try to get as much rest as possible
An airplane is not the most comfortable place to rest. But, as a breastfeeding mother, your body needs rest. Also, if you are travelling across time zones, your body will need to adapt to a different time zone and regulate supply. A good idea is to nap while the baby naps. Even if you can’t go to sleep, close your eyes and rest while the baby sleeps.
7. Be as comfortable as possible.
You cannot possible have the same comfort as nursing at home. But using a cushion to support the baby can make a huge difference. Even the neck pillow used during flights can be helpful to rest the baby’s head while you feed her.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you are traveling alone and need help, ask a flight attendant and they will be able to help you. You should also tell the person next to you that you plan to breastfeed so that they are prepared for it.
Ladies, breastfeeding is a very natural thing. It is good to see that more and more people are now coming to accept this and are more supportive of mothers who nurse their babies. So don’t let anything hold you back and confidently travel wherever you want with your little one!
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