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Advice for Breastfeeding While Out and About
Postpartum Planning

Advice for Breastfeeding While Out and About

The things we never knew!  This one falls into that category 100%. Breastfeeding. Such a private moment - yet life isn’t always private. We need to come and go, and baby needs to nurse, right? Let’s read on to see what our Mommy's Bliss 360 expert and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, Sterling Grey-Simmons has to say about breastfeeding on the go…aka, how, and where, do we do this?  

Mamas, I get it – life doesn't hit pause just because you're breastfeeding. As a Mama who’s breastfed her 3 children a total of 55 months, it can be a little overwhelming leaving the house as a new breastfeeding mama. As a lactation professional it is a very common question I’m asked about from my clients; “It’s easy in the house but what about when I have to go out?” Eventually, you will need to feed your little one while you are out and about. In this blog, we will explore tips and strategies to help you breastfeed with confidence while on-the-go.

Your Rights

First and foremost, you have a right to breastfeed in public. You don’t have to be in a designated area. You can feed your baby whenever and wherever they are hungry. All fifty US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in public. This is important as sometimes, knowing you have the legal right to breastfeed without fear of judgment or discrimination might take a little of the edge off.

What to Wear

Choosing the right outfit can make breastfeeding on-the-go more convenient. Opt for clothing that provides easy access to your breasts, such as tops with buttons, zippers, or wrap styles. If you don’t want to change your entire wardrobe you can do the T-shirt method. This method basically consists of wearing a tank top under your regular T-shirt. You simply lift the outer shirt up and pull the tank down to keep your back and stomach covered. You can use a stretchy tank top that is easy to pull down, or a breastfeeding tank top with special snaps, either will work. Using a nursing bra and tops can be game-changers, as they allow you to feed your baby comfortably while maintaining your privacy.

Breastfeeding Kits

Some of my clients swear by breastfeeding kits in their diaper bags. They usually include items like nursing pads, in-bra milk collectors, a lightweight blanket or nursing cover if you prefer added privacy, and storage for milk if they plan on pumping while they are out.

Where to Breastfeed

Lots of places have designed spaces for breastfeeding. If that’s something that interests you, research where you’ll be going. Mamava has pods in all 50 states and you can use their app to see if they have one on your path. Another great place to check is your local facebook mom groups as they may know of some spaces in your area. Familiarizing yourself with these locations may help you to feel more comfortable when it is time to feed your little one on the go.

If a private area is not available or time doesn’t permit a full sit down breastfeeding session, another helpful tip I give my clients is the option to breastfeed baby in their carrier or wrap. Breastfeeding in a wrap requires practice but once you get it you can comfortably feed your baby, who might not like being covered, in the privacy of the wrap. If the wrap seems overwhelming to you there are companies with baby wearing clothing that can help make wearing your baby a little more feasible.

Pumping

For longer outings where you are away from your baby, pumping requires just as much planning ahead, if not more. Make sure you can power your pump wherever you will be. If you have a rechargeable pump be sure to charge it beforehand. Some pumps also have battery packs or car chargers. If you don’t want to be bothered with an outlet or charging a pump a manual pump is also a great option.

One helpful tip for pumping on the go is to put your pump parts, bottles, pump wipes and everything else you need together. Store them in a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag or wet bag in your pump bag along with the caps for your bottles. This will eliminate the potential of needing to search through your diaper bag and you will easily find everything.

You also want to make sure that you are able to store expressed milk. This can be done using cooler bags designed for breastmilk or the Ceres Chill, a cooler that you can pump directly into. By pumping directly into a cooler, you will not have to wonder if your milk is being stored at the correct temperature. Breast milk can be stored in a cooler with an ice pack for about 24 hours.

Once you have finished pumping and will not need to pump again, you can put the parts back into your wet or zip-top bag and wash them when you get back home. If you will have to pump again, you can use pump wipes to clean your pump parts in between uses.

As you can see, a little planning will help you get the most out of your on the go experience. Just like the rest of parenting, it may take some getting used to but it’s not an impossible task. From my own experience it was much easier than I expected, I never got any dirty looks and no one ever told me to feed my baby in the bathroom. I actually have stories of other Moms commending me and supporting me for breastfeeding. By embracing your right to breastfeed, making thoughtful wardrobe choices, packing essentials, and mastering the art of discretion, you can navigate public breastfeeding with confidence.

So, go out there, hopefully these tips will encourage you to feed your little one with confidence and a sense of pride.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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