This is a reader contributed article.
Lately I’ve been hearing plenty advice for breastfeeding (or pumping) while flying, but for me and many other moms car travel is a far more frequent occurrence.
When traveling with baby in the car, Iâve heard many people say that you can lean over the baby and nurse him or her while in their car seat. However, this can be virtually impossible for a smaller busted mom to do while wearing a seatbelt so I always allow extra travel time for stops. Bringing a sling along also makes it easier (i.e. more comfortable for me) to feed my daughter in unfamiliar public places like restaurants or shops in different towns along the way.
Keep in mind that although you may have taken this trip many times before it will be a very different experience with your breastfeeding baby in tow. Be prepared for a longer trip that will be more tiring. If your little one sleeps well in a moving car, try to time your departure after a feeding or at a usual naptime to help cut down the number of stops youâll have to take during the trip.
For me breastfeeding has always been easier, than pumping while on the go, but you donât always have a choice especially if youâre traveling sans baby. If youâre going to be traveling without your little darling then itâs best to prepare for any pumping obstacles that could come your way.
An electric pump is a great timesaver, but itâs not always convenient when traveling. I suggest that if your pump takes batteries, a vehicle adapter or has a manual adapter, that you bring them with you because you donât want to worry yourself with trying to find an electric outlet every time you need to pump.
Finding a private place to pump can be a challenge, but it is possible. If your car has tinted windows, you basically have your own portable pumping station. I often pump in the backseat of my car while my husband drives to cut down on the amount of stops we have to make. When traveling alone, Iâve found that the designated breastfeeding rooms that may businesses now have work much better for pumping than breastfeeding (of course that is just my personal opinion). I also try to wear a nursing top to make it easier for me to pump discreetly in semi private areas.
The last aspect that you need to consider when pumping on the road keeping your expressed milk fresh. Unfortunately, there have been times when I had to pump and dump because Iâm not too keen on transferring my milk from cooler to fridge to cooler and then to my home fridge. If you think you might have to dump, be sure to have a surplus of milk stored in your freezer before hand. This will ensure that you have plenty of milk for feedings until you are able to pump and store again.
Whether you are traveling with your baby or without be sure to continue taking good care of your self. Youâre more likely to become exhausted or dehydrated when your normal routine is interrupted. Remember to stay well hydrated and to get enough rest so that you can keep up your supply and continue to provide your baby with the very best start in life.