If you are traveling with your baby this holiday season, prepare for a lot of inconveniences. After all, you are no longer in your regular work-home routine. There are quite a few arrangements you need to make before you travel, especially if you are a breast-pumping mother. With just a few tips, however, you should be able to keep the issues down to the bare minimum.
Tips for Holiday Travel
Tip #1: Prepare Everything in Advance
Preparation is key to any kind of stress-free traveling. If you are a breastfeeding or breast-pumping mother, this is even more important. Make sure that you have the breast pump machine sterilized and ready to go, every tube and connector cleaned and fitted. If you have just gotten the breast pump, practice with it before going on the road.
Remember to bring a nursing cover at least, for both breastfeeding and breast-pumping purposes. Unfortunately, there are not always stations for those in every airport or terminal (if traveling by road). A nursing cover or blanket would go a long way towards helping keep the travel stress-free.
Tip #2: Pack Extra of Everything
When traveling, it is the worst feeling in the world when you run out of something while on the road. It is much more difficult to find or buy what you need when you need it. As a result, when it comes to breast-pumping, remember to pack extra of all its components. Well, maybe not the motor. But pack extra sterilized breast shields and bring extra milk collection units.
Tip #3: Plan Your Traveling Schedule
To keep your breastmilk flowing properly, it is important to keep to as regular a schedule of expressing milk as possible. Even if you are on the road, even if you are pumping milk, the same rule applies. Every 2 or 3 hours, you need to pull over (if you are driving) or excuse yourself in an airport or terminal to express milk.
If you are taking a long plane or bus ride, breastfeeding would be easier because you can keep your regular schedule. You can also express milk for the long ride, but then keeping the schedule would be harder. If you are in a car, and driving, plan the stops along your route where you can pull over and breastfeed or pump milk.
Tip #4: Inform Security and Customer Service About Your Needs
While you can bring milk with you into airports and airplanes, tell security at once so they can pass you through quickly. Both security and customer service counters can also help you find clean, isolated places to breastfeed or pump milk. If you are not traveling with anyone, it is best if they can look out for you.
Tip #5: Watch Your Health
Because of travel conditions, you will not be able to keep the breast-pumping equipment as sterilized as it would be at home. Even washing the equipment in regular tap water can be dangerous. Bring bottled water for that purpose, or sterilizing solution.
Travel Safely and Stress-Free This Holiday Season
With some preparation, and a lot of thinking ahead, even travel with an infant and a breast-pump can be an enjoyable experience. These tips will help you avoid many issues that a breastfeeding mother can run into. Happy holidays!