The holidays are upon us, which can sometimes include traveling with small children. ARC recently sat down with board-certified lactation consultant, Cassie Terrillion, IBCLC, RLC, from the Breastfeeding Success Company. She answers some questions about how to manage travel with a breastfeeding child whether you plan on traveling by car, bus, train, or plane.
Should I bring my breast pump?
One of the many benefits of offering your milk is that there is less to carry! So if you do not have any plans of separation from your baby it might be okay to skip it. Although, if you anticipate being separated from your baby it might be a good idea to have a breast pump on hand. If you decide to bring it, make sure you bring bottles, storage bags, a portable cooler, and ice packs. Store your breastmilk in a freezer or refrigerator as soon as you are able to. A manual breast pump may be a good option as it is smaller and takes up less space, making packing easier.
Is it okay to breastfeed on an airplane?
Breastfeeding on an airplane can be incredibly helpful! It can help soothe babies during take-off and landing, easing any ear discomfort. Wear something that makes the breast easily accessible like a nursing shirt/tank top. A scarf or baby sling that can double as a cover may provide some discreteness. I would also encourage utilizing “family boarding” and boarding the plane early so that you can get yourself and your baby situated before everyone else boards the plane.
What if I am traveling by car?
If you are traveling by car, give yourself plenty of time so that you can take feeding breaks when necessary. You may want to stop for every feeding or pump in the car and bottle feed. Either way is fine and is up to your personal preference. Driving at night can sometimes make things easier, as the baby may sleep a longer stretch during that time, which will decrease the frequency of stops.
What items should I bring with me?
- a sling or baby carrier
- extra clothes for baby
- an extra top for yourself
- empty gallon storage bag to store any dirty items if necessary
- extra wipes and burp cloths
Lactation care is a covered benefit
Lactation support is a covered benefit many parents don’t realize they have. BFS services are in-network with all major insurers so ARC families can feel supported, informed, and empowered to make the best feeding choices for themselves and their babies.
Talk to your ARC Pediatrician or Ob/Gyn to refer you to the services you need.
For more information on all the services available to you, check out ARClactationservices.com.
ARC and The Breastfeeding Success Company
ARC and The Breastfeeding Success Company work together to provide guidance to ARC parents seeking guidance about feeding their infant. BFS lactation consultants deliver compassionate lactation care at the highest standard of breastfeeding medicine, offering medically-integrated, physician-supervised lactation support for all Central Texas families.
In-clinic advice and counseling are available at ARC Center Street in Kyle.