Breastfeeding during a Road Trip
Have a long road trip planned with a newly born baby? Don’t know how you will manage the breastfeeds and diaper changes? We’ve got you covered!
Did you know that breast milk has a shelf life of only four hours at room temperature? Lowering the temperature increases its shelf life to almost a year if kept in a freezer. So, keep this in mind while prepping for your long journey with your little one!
Before diving into some breastfeeding dos and don’ts, here are a few things to consider and a few items to facilitate such long distances with a newborn baby.
- Babies are, by law, expected to be seated in a car seat for safety purposes. However, keep in mind that they should not remain in a car seat for more than two hours at a stretch since it effects the development of their still fragile and soft spines. Hence, plan your trip in excruciating detail. Research up on all the pitstops along the way and be ready for emergency bathroom and cuddle breaks.
- Breast Pump: If you don’t normally pump your breast milk, you might want to consider doing so for a long journey. This will ensure a steady supply of milk and your feeding times won’t have to be limited to pre-planned feeding breaks. Since you won’t be able to hold your baby while the car is in motion, pumping will allow you to store milk for whenever your baby gets hungry. Furthermore, you won’t have to wake your already fussy baby from a nap just for a feed because you are expressing.
- Car Adapter for your breast pump in case you are driving and need to pump milk while keeping your hands on the wheel. Manual breast pumps can be laborious on your breasts and your hands as they begin to cramp. Do yourself a favor and buy a car adapter and make some of those mommy duties just a little easier. The car adapter is also useful if you plan on buying a car refrigerator.
- Car refrigerator to store the excess milk that you pump. This will increase its shelf life and you won’t have to pump again and again.
- Alternatively, you can place dry ice in a cooler to keep the temperature low enough to increase the shelf life of the milk you pump.
- Swaddle blankets to soothe your baby and help them sleep in the moving car, after you feed them.
Breast Feeding Dos
- It is alright to drink moderate amounts of coffee while breast feeding a newborn.
- Drink water and fluids before settling in to feed your baby.
- Change your baby’s diaper prior to a feed.
Breast Feeding Don’ts
- Do not feed your baby while they are all swaddled up. Their movements are restricted while they are wrapped up in muslin swaddle blankets, and these tiny movements can be quite indicative to a mother during a feed. Furthermore, the baby might not feed to its hearts content, which means the crying will only resume after a short hiatus of peace.
- Don’t wait for your baby to cry before you feed them. Stick to the set feeding times and routines even if they don’t cry out for it. Early indications of a hungry baby include sticking their tongue out, or licking their lips or hands.
- Do not apply any scented lotions or perfumes around your chest area, that may irritate the baby.