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Travel Tips for a Breastfeeding Mum

Travel Tips for a Breastfeeding Mum

We asked our local IBCLC Lactation Consultant, Abi Barham, for the down-low on the ultimate travel tips with bub as a breastfeeding mum.

Abi is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 25 years experience as a Paediatric and Neonatal nurse, working in tertiary Neonatal Intensive Care Units in London, Oxford and Sydney. She's a Mum of two teenage girls.

Travelling with a baby is not always easy, but breastfeeding means that you do always have your baby’s “food” ready to go.

Whether you are direct feeding or expressing and bottle feeding, there are a few things you can consider and plan to make the journey run as smoothly as possible.

If you are expressing and bottle feeding, wearable breast pumps like the Bubka Move or Pro pumps can be a game changer. You can wear your pumps whilst driving, use the USB charging facility to keep charge topped up, and your baby’s feed will be ready to go for the next stop. Breastmilk is safe at room temperature for 4+ hours. You might want to carry a milk chiller or small portable esky for longer journeys.

Remember timing your journey to work best for your little family is a good idea. Some families choose evenings when they know baby will generally extend out a sleep or early mornings when everyone including the driver is at their freshest. Planning to start a journey soon after a feed, when you hope they may drift off to sleep can be a good way to get a bit of a head start.

Be sure to build in extra travel time for necessary stops, so that no one is stressed when the journey takes longer than expected. Holiday traffic and pit stops for feeds, breaks, re fuels all add in time, if you can research a few good rest stops along the route, where you find clean washrooms, somewhere to stretch your legs and food and fuel options all together, this can be a timesaver.

If you are breastfeeding  you may find you need to stop every 2-3 hours. Try not to skip a feeding or pumping session, to avoid running the risk of blocked milk ducts and possible mastitis, use each stop to offer a feed, even a short one is good if that is all the baby wants. Make sure you are comfortable, wear stretchy, accessible layers and a soft fabric nursing bra ( no tight straps), and be sure to relieve the tension of the seatbelt regularly to avoid restriction on any one particular part of your breasts.

Pack a bag with all your essentials, that you have close to hand, you might want to include:

  • Spare clothes, breast pads, burp cloths
  • Pump, charger cable, bottles and teats /  bags for milk storage
  • Nappies, wipes and plastic bags
  • Cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer and microwave sterilizing bags can be useful once you reach your destination for pump parts and bottles
  • Extra layers, pacifier, comforter, familiar blanket
  • Fabric books, rattle, toys for distraction
  • Relaxing playlist that works for everyone!
  • Water bottle and easy snacks for the adults, travelling in air conditioning can affect Hydration levels and a breastfeeding parent is always hungry!

Warm weather can make a small baby more sleepy so waking them around 3 hourly is a good idea, long periods of time in a car seat are not really recommended, with a very new baby, one parent sitting in the back with the baby can be a good idea.

One last reminder, it is never safe to feed in a moving car. Use a feed break for the driver, nursing parent and baby to rest, reset and eat and accept that it might all take a little longer and need a little more planning than pre-baby road trips. With a bit of planning it can go surprisingly smoothly. Safe travels this Easter.

Want to chat to Abi?

She would love to hear from you! You can reach her here

Abi can do home visits within Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. If you are located outside this area, she can provide phone/video ‘virtual’ consults.

To book an appointment, click here

A little bit about Abi:

"I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 25 years experience as a Paediatric and Neonatal nurse, working in tertiary Neonatal Intensive Care Units in London, Oxford and Sydney. I’m a Mum with two teenage girls of my own.

I care very deeply about supporting Mums (and their Partners) through the joyous and sometimes challenging journey welcoming and learning to feed one or more babies.

My approach is a gentle one, I know that this time can make Mums feel vulnerable. Every family, every Mum, every baby is unique. I am here to support and empower you with your breastfeeding. Together we will make you a consistent plan that works for you and your personal breastfeeding goals.

I am based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. I offer home, phone and video consults in Sydney, and phone and video consultations Australia-wide."

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