So the time has come to take a holiday, but undoubtedly with your baby in tow for the first time you are bound to have some questions. Our in house lactation consultant, Sioned Hilton, has stepped in with some advice about breastfeeding your baby abroad.
The ultimate survival guide to follow when travelling with children, whatever the age is to take the sensible approach, always make a list and run through the usual common sense stuff, that in the mayhem of holiday planning can go amiss!
- Preparing a bag, with plenty of nappies etc
- Spare top for mum in case baby is sick, or any leakages.
- Lots of nutritious snacks for mum as you might find when on the move baby is keen to be on the breast a lot. And water, lots of it!
Starting out – leave plenty of time so you can take regular stops. Baby needs to come out from his car seat for a stretch every 1-2 hrs – long periods in car seats are not advised so good to plan in extra time for regular stops. You can coincide this with a power feed or dream feed!
If it’s hot in the car baby can find themselves thirsty so may just want a power feed to quench thirst, this will also be relevant on all modes of transport and at your destination in sunny climes!
Whilst flying baby’s, just like adults, can have difficulty with the air pressure causing ear pain and discomfort – feed baby whilst you are taking off and landing as when baby is swallowing and sucking the ear pressure equalises.
Wear an item of clothing that is loose when flying, space is limited and so will need easy access – you may find that baby will graze more because you are close to each other, a feeding baby is a happy baby, which will help on their all important first experience on a plane!
- Will you be travelling with expressed milk?
Some airport security systems will question your milk. If you need to travel with expressed breastmilk ask your Gp to write a letter to state that it is needed on medical grounds and that you need to keep it at below 6′ to maintain its safety. You may not be allowed to travel with cooler freezer blocks as these contain fluid so use an insulated cooler bag and keep your milk in the frozen state as long as you can. You may be asked to drink the milk yourself so don’t be alarmed, remember your baby drinks it. Talk to your airline before you travel to get further guidance.
Here are some more handy tips… http://tinyurl.com/pn9vma
- So you’ve arrived… now to relax! And, of course you will but do bear in mind the below:
Foods to be wary of when breastfeeding baby abroad, will be just the same as the ones you would naturally take when abroad street stalls from a normal hygiene point of view, shell fish, meat properly cooked, salad washed , ice cubes. Everything that we would be wary of from a food poisoning point of view, be extra cautious! But, also be considerate with spices – as these may upset baby.
If it’s a warm day / hot climate you don’t have to give your baby any extra fluids if you are exclusively breastfeeding as your body just adapts and the more he feeds the more milk is made. You don’t need to give any extra boiled water.
Also in sunny climes don’t forget your sun cream of course, but mums not to apply to nipple area as the perfume taste will not be nice for baby.
In the heat you might also find your baby’s stool pattern may change. It is normal for breast fed babies not to pass a stool for 7 days so if it’s hot expect this. But, keep an eye on the colour of the wee, you should still have lots of wet nappies and the colour of the urine should be straw coloured not dark or concentrated. Mum you may need to drink more than you think… making milk is hard work.
Finally, if you want to express while away, you will also need to consider sterilising your kit. If you have a microwave a quick clean bag (http://tinyurl.com/p5ow6qo) these are ideal for travelling as they don’t take space, alternatively you can use cold water sterilisation bags or Tupperware box, or boil your equipment in a saucepan for 10 minutes.