Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time for family vacations for many. It is a time to recharge, however for nursing mothers, the thought of traveling with the little ones can feel less than relaxing. Here are a few of our tips to help ease your mind and get you breezing through your next vacay.
Before heading out to catch a flight, it’s a good idea to set aside some extra time to nurse and bond with your baby. Although we’re rooting for your relaxation, sleeping in when you are a nursing mother can easily set you back on your baby’s feeding schedule, which you’ll want to keep consistent when traveling.
All parents dread a fussy baby on a flight, but here’s where you breastfeeding moms have an advantage. The physical contact that nursing your baby provides can help address his or her physical and emotional needs. During takeoff and landing are great times to breastfeed as it can help calm your baby and minimize ear pain.
Take a quick look at your itinerary and begin identifying opportunities for breastfeeding breaks throughout your day. At Imalac, we are huge advocates of a woman’s right to breastfeed wherever she is most comfortable. However, if you prefer privacy, call the places that you’ll be visiting in advance to ask about the facility’s private areas that would be most suitable for nursing.
If you are currently pumping, it may also be more convenient to travel with a manual or battery-operated breast pump that can easily fit in your personal or carry-on bag. Double check that you have all the required pumping parts, cords, adapters, and an extra battery pack.
Don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself before breastfeeding duties actually begin. Visit the hotel gym, book a massage at the resort spa, or explore the local area to make the most out of your time off.
Also, remember to drink plenty of water and get enough rest while away as all of these factors can affect your milk supply. When a new mother takes time to nurture her mental, emotional and physical health, the result is increased benefits such as improved overall mood, reduction in stress and anxiety, and a huge confidence boost on breastfeeding.
Getting ready to travel with a new baby and family seems like a daunting task but setting aside additional time to focus on you and your baby’s needs is how you can ensure a smooth sailing vacation!