Traveling for vacation or work? This post will help address some concerns you may have for travel with and without your baby.
If you’re traveling with your baby bring along a nursing cover to help give you privacy in a crowded, busy place. This can also help with nursing an older baby as they may be easily distracted by things around them. Many nursing covers can also double as a car seat cover, high chair or shopping cart cover.
When traveling by plane, breastfeeding during take off and landing can help ease pressure changes that may upset your baby. Sucking at the breast can help relieve pain in baby’s ears associated with flying. Look for “nursing pods” in airports if you would feel more comfortable nursing or pumping in a more private setting.
Do the best you can to stick to your baby’s feeding routine, watching for hunger cues. This will help to maintain milk production and prevent problems such as blocked ducts and mastitis.
If you’re going to be traveling without your baby be sure to maintain a pumping schedule. Practice hands on pumping. Look at videos or pictures of your baby, or sounds of your baby crying to help your milk let down. Bringing along an article of clothing your baby has worn (and smells like them) to keep with you during pumping can also help your milk to let down.
Your breastmilk can be stored in an insulated cooler with 3 frozen ice packs for 24 hours as long as it remains below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Breast milk can be left at room temperature for 4-6 hours at temperatures below 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have refrigeration available to you while traveling, your milk can be stored here for up to 5 days below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Always make sure the refrigerator is plugged in and running before leaving any breastmilk in it. However, it is best to freeze your milk within 48 hours if you do not plan on using it right away. You can consider packing it in dry ice for transport to keep it frozen.
Another option for moms traveling without their baby is to ship collected breast milk to their home. FedEx is one company that offers this service. You can find out more by visiting: http://images.fedex.com/us/healthcare/pdf/Cold-Shipping-for-nursing-working-moms.pdf.
For moms concerned about traveling by plane with breast milk the TSA states you are allowed to bring any amount on board. Breast milk is not subject to the 3 oz liquid limit, regardless of whether your baby is with you or not. You will need to declare your breast milk upon security screening. Visit tsa.gov for more details.
Please contact The Care Connection at 716-725-6370 should you have any additional concerns regarding traveling and breastfeeding.