When you think about vacation, many people may picture relaxing by the beach, possibly a with margarita in hand. But for breastfeeding moms, that image is often squashed by the feeling of your milk letting down or the sound of a machine pumping away. There’s no getting around it: breastfeeding can definitely be a slight annoyance and interruption to what is supposed to be a stress-free break. But it doesn’t have to ruin your trip. There are some solid tips for breastfeeding while on vacation that can make feeding or pumping less of a drag.
Whether you're going on a relaxing getaway to the beach or planning an activity-packed vacation at an amusement park, you can't exactly escape needing to breastfeed or pump. And being away from what's familiar and off schedule can add stress to your travel and vacation. So, wondering if you'll be able to balance some much needed rest and relaxation with your breastfeeding responsibilities is completely normal. If you're worried about how you're going to enjoy yourself and deal with feeding your little one at the same time, these six tips for breastfeeding while on vacation will get rid of some of that anxiety and help you enjoy your time away.
1. Bring Your Own Breastmilk
Beer can easily be found during a vacation – breastmilk cannot. Pumping a small supply that you can carry on the flight with you and keep in your hotel refrigerator is a great way to create a back-up plan or allow for some mommy-time while on vacation. If you’re flying, no worries: moms (with or without their children) are allowed to bring breast milk in quantities over three ounces as long as you declare it for inspection at the security checkpoint according to TSA.
2. Pack A Pump
If you’re not used to pumping or don’t have a breast pump, consider getting one and incorporating it into your routine before packing your bags. Because healthcare legislation requires the majority of insurance plans to cover breastfeeding supplies, using a pump would come at no extra cost to you according to Pumping Essentials. When you’re traveling, breastfeeding schedules go off track and having a pump available is a simple way to make your trip less stressful for everyone. If you’re traveling overseas, keep in mind you may need an adapter for your pump.
3. Don’t Be Modest
You’re on vacation to enjoy yourself, which means getting away from rules and expectations. If you’re out enjoying your day and your baby gets hungry, pull up the nearest seat (preferably poolside) and breastfeed him. Don’t add unnecessary stress to your vacation time by feeling the need to seclude yourself or trying to stick to a schedule. Instead, relax and go with the flow if you can.
4. Keep The Essentials With You
Grab an oversized purse or your favorite diaper bag and keep it with you while you’re out and about. Some breastfeeding essentials you might think of including are a cover up, burp-cloth, hand pump (just in case), water to stay hydrated, snacks to replenish the energy you exert breastfeeding, and a good book to read while you breastfeed.
5. Plan Ahead
If you’re flying, check with your airports or airlines to see whether or not there’s a private area you can breastfeed or pump. Then, plan accordingly. According to Mom Aboard, there are lots of breastfeeding-friendly airport options to take advantage of. If you’re driving to your vacation destination, however, take a few minutes and look up rest stops or resources along the way. Because no one can predict when babies are going to get hungry, knowing your options ahead of time can alleviate some of the stress or questions that come with being in an unfamiliar situation.
6. Make Your Wardrobe Work For You
When you’re on vacation, most of the time you want to be as comfortable as possible. Luckily, nursing tanks and bras, while not always the most fashionable, are very comfy. If you’re going to be out with your little one and think you’ll end up breastfeeding, throw on something you can be comfortable feeding her in.