By Bob Morey
Becoming a new mother comes with a lot of new information to learn and new habits to adopt. Luckily, there are tons of guides, books and apps out there to help new moms navigate this lifetime experience, especially for working moms who just want some tried and tested reviews of products and tips from fellow women who have already been through pregnancy and motherhood.
For those new moms, who are used to always being on the go and flying from one place to the next on business trips, breastfeeding is an understandably stressful subject. On the one hand, they want to do the right thing by their babies and try to keep it up for as long as possible, and on the other, they do not want this issue to take over their lives and how they go about up keeping their careers.
So, if you are a new mom or a mom-to-be, who wants to be ready with answers regarding this tricky matter, then the below breastfeeding, air-travel tips are for you:
Make the Necessary Arrangements with the Airlines
It is always best to make the necessary arrangements when your baby is traveling with you. Make sure you inform the airlines to provide you with a bassinet and save you an aisle seat to allow you to move freely when calming your baby or shushing it to sleep. If you will be traveling alone, ask for a seat near the toilet for your breast-pumping sessions. Almost all planes will have blankets available inflight. However, it is worth it to confirm beforehand. It will come in handy for extra warmth for your baby, or to use to cover up when you are breastfeeding.
Dress in the Right Undergarment
Dressing for the occasion is exactly what you will need to do since it can be a little tricky. Just because a brand says “maternity-wear”, does not mean that it is right for your needs. You will need to do some more research to find the right undergarments for traveling while you are breastfeeding. A good place to start is looking into this essential collection that comprises leak-proof bras and soft seamless underwear to give you the comfort and practicality you will need while flying. Look for breathable material with easy snaps and clasps to give you the privacy of breastfeeding your baby on board, or use the pump when you are flying alone but want to store the milk for when you go back home. However, it is always a good idea to pack some extra clothes to take on board just in case things get messy.
Make Sure You Have All the Important Equipment
Even if your baby is traveling with you, you will need to store the excess milk. There are many great breast-pump options on the market nowadays; however, it is all about having the important features within your budget. For air travel, you will need a battery-operated breast pump that is compact enough to carry around and pack with your carry-on luggage. It is also recommended to steer-clear from manual ones when looking for travel-appropriate breast pumps. A silent, electric one-although a little more expensive-will offer you the discretion to pump while seated instead of being crammed in the extremely uncomfortable tiny plane toilets for a good 15 minutes. Make sure you have all the complimentary items you will need like bottles and a cooler bag with ice packs to preserve the milk.
Try to Remain Rested, Hydrated, and Nourished
Flying with your baby can be pretty stressful. The thought itself might keep you from sleeping at night weeks before. In order to mentally and physically prepare for this challenge ahead, be adamant about your nourishment and physical well being ahead of your travel time. Schedule your meals and get as many naps as your baby whenever possible to ensure you are ready for the flight. If you are going on a long flight, it is necessary to remain hydrated as this might affect your milk supply. Pack some extra snacks and fruits to take on board to munch on whenever you feel hungry. Also, try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps to recharge before it wakes up.
Flying with or without your baby as a breastfeeding mom can be overwhelming. There are items to pack and schedules to stick to; otherwise, you might find yourself in some embarrassing situations. The best thing you can do is to plan ahead and make a checklist of everything you will need to see you through this new adventure. With some trial and error, you will get enough practice; and you will know exactly what works best for you and your baby to avoid any disruptions in your normal routines when flying.