How to Breastfeed in Special Situations

By Gerber

Breastfeeding while traveling

Breastfeeding while traveling


With baby:


Consider your means of travel.


If driving, anticipate your baby’s feeding frequency to determine if you will be able to pull over to direct breastfeed or if you will need to pump breast milk for some bottle feedings.


If flying, it may be helpful to plan on wearing easily adjustable top for breastfeeding. The use of a baby sling or wrap may become very useful for a safe way to carry baby and even breastfeed while allowing for a free arm or two. It may also be a great way to protect baby from direct contact with potential undesirable travel conditions. Keep in mind that most airlines limit bags to two personal carry-on items per person. A pump bag and diaper bag are both considered to be personal items allowed.


Without baby:


First, begin the introduction to an alternative way for your baby to drink your expressed breast milk. If your baby is under 6 months of age, they will likely do best with a bottle introduction but if older than 6 months, the introduction to a cup may be even easier. Begin to pump expressed breast milk about 30-60 minutes after a breastfeeding session about two weeks before your travels. This may vary depending on how much milk you pump per day and how long you will be away from your baby. Get tips on how to introduce a bottle.


Next, determine how you will protect your milk supply while away from your baby. Pumping “to empty” as often as baby typically feeds will be the best plan but it’s not always feasible. If you are unable to pump as frequently as necessary, you will at least want to hand express to relieve any periods of discomfort from breast fullness to prevent breast engorgement. Resume pumping on your baby’s feeding schedule as soon as possible.


Finally, determine if you will be able to save your milk, donate it or need to discard it. Check out our breast milk storage guide to learn more. Expressed breast milk may be maintained chilled or frozen with the use of dry ice. Dry ice provides an option for transporting refrigerated or frozen milk for up to 24 hours until able to transfer back to a refrigerator or freezer. Your access to dry ice and the cooler size may determine if this will be a feasible option for returning with stored milk for your baby. Another consideration is the ability to at least save the milk expressed on the same day of travel. Using a cooler with ice packs will allow for breast milk storage up to 24 hours.



C-section deliveries


Nursing in the traditional cradle position can be painful for mothers after a C-section. If you find this position uncomfortable, try the "football" or "side-lying" hold.
In the football position, hold her body on the same side as the breast that you’re nursing from. Her face should be even with your nipple, and her feet should point behind you. Support her head and shoulders with your forearm (the one on the same side as her) and rest your arm on a pillow.



Pregnancy and nursing


You can nurse one child when pregnant with another. If you continue to nurse through your pregnancy, paying close attention to getting enough calories and nutrients will be extremely important.



Nursing more than one


Breastfeeding two babies at the same time sometimes works out right away, but many times may not work out until you are first able to comfortably position and latch them on individually. This may take a few weeks to figure out before mastering simultaneous feedings. Don’t be discouraged. Practice and patience make all the difference.