Have breast milk, will travel

Breastfeeding doesn’t have to stop when you’re on the go. Here’s advice from moms who have been there, done that.

If you are a breastfeeding mom, you know it can be challenging at times, especially when you are on the go. But with a little humor and flexibility, it doesn’t have to be.

We asked several moms to share their most challenging experiences breastfeeding their babies while traveling, and advice on how they got through it.

We have breastfed while hiking on a trail in Minnesota. I used a ring-sling and my daughter was teething, but that didn’t stop us! I had to support/carry her in the sling while she nursed, but I didn’t want to stop hiking, so we just kept going while she had her meal. She was about 10 months old at the time. –Kathryn (one daughter, nursed 18 months)

Grace is not my middle name, especially when it came to breastfeeding on the go. I couldn’t do it. It never failed that despite many “udder-cover” purchases or the pep talks I gave myself before leaving the house, breastfeeding in public was a hot mess. After many failed attempts and sprints to the Target dressing room to feed the little one, I now pump before leaving the house. It was the balance I needed. Maybe I was Boppy-dependent, or maybe my anatomy wouldn’t allow me to achieve the effortless look I pictured in my mind. Either way, I find comfort in knowing the little one is getting the same breast milk nutrients through the convenience of a bottle. Did I mention my child’s middle name is Grace? – Lindsey (mom of two, ages 3 and 3 months)

When my first daughter was about 5 months old, we took a road trip to South Carolina. We didn’t want to have to stop so I could breastfeed her, and nursing while the car was moving was not an option (safety first!). I pumped in the front seat thanks to a power adaptor. The truckers passing us must have wondered what I was doing! Then we pulled over long enough so I could sit in the back seat and bottle feed her. Then we stopped for burping, diaper change and a brief play time. – Maggie (two children)

One of my most memorable moments was on my own couch in front of my uber-conservative mother-in-law. She was never comfortable with breastfeeding, as she did not attempt it with her own children. After a weeklong visit, I got very tired of running to the nursery every two hours for one-hour feeding sessions. Once I decided to stop hiding in my own home, my mother-in-law truly saw what a peaceful, bonding experience it can be for mom and baby.  – Anonymous

I fed my babies on the go all the time. Feeding your baby is natural and necessary part of motherhood – try not to worry about what others think! Sometimes when the milk supply kicks into high gear you just need some relief ASAP, no matter where you are! Do what feels right to you, and remember patience with yourself and a positive outlook may be the most important tools in your new mom tool kit! – Jenita (mom of two daughters)

One of my kids had to have surgery at 10 months old. When she was brought into the recovery room, she was terrified and screaming with pain. I was able to hold her and nurse her, and she immediately stopped crying and calmed. It was a blessing to be able to comfort her with something so innately natural. We also nursed through most of her immunizations and they didn’t bother her much at all. She would unlatch, squawk and relatch! – Megan (mom of 3, ages 6, 3 and 3 months)

We have always been a family on the go, so breastfeeding at restaurants was a must. I always asked to be seated at a booth if possible, as it gave me the most coverage and support. I would cover with a blanket or “hooter hider,” and no one would have a clue. The key is to feed while you are waiting for your food so that when it comes you have a full and (most of the time) happy or sleeping baby, and you can enjoy your meal! – Lauren (one daughter, nursed 12 months)

Once I went back to work, quality pumping time was hard to find. I had a 30-minute commute to work. With a power adapter, hands-free pump bra and a scarf, I pumped on the drive in. It was quality, uninterrupted pump time and when I got to work I was ready to go — for a couple of hours anyway! I always wondered what I would say if I had gotten pulled over. Might have been hard to explain! – Amanda (mom of two, soon-to-be three)

Do you know about the Baby Bistro & Boutique on the Norton Healthcare – St. Matthews campus? Find everything you need for breastfeeding all in one place, including access to lactation consultants.

• Convenient one-stop shopping for breast pumps and parts, breastfeeding bras, nursing pillows and many other items that make life easier for breastfeeding moms

• A certified lactation consultant available by appointment to answer questions and educate new moms on how to properly use the equipment

• Breastfeeding services, including individual counseling, breast milk analysis to determine fat and caloric content, and follow-up for infants with poor weight gain

• Services for moms with special needs, such as feeding multiples, hearing impairment, vision impairment and needing language interpretation

• Services for babies with special needs

The Baby Bistro & Boutique is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (502) 899-6530.


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