Quick tips for Breastfeeding During the Holidays

With holidays around the corner breastfeeding while visiting family, or hosting may seem a bit daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be, here are a few tips that moms find to be helpful.

Tips for self-care during the holidays:

  • Rest! (nap with baby naps)
  • Eat well (pack healthy snacks/meal prep and water if needed when on the go)
  • Get a massage or maybe do some yoga (anything to get your zen on)
  • Avoid skipping feedings because baby is being passed around or too busy, this will avoid the discomfort of breast fullness or lead to plugged ducts.
  • Take the opportunity to step away or relax for a minute when nursing baby
  • Cook ahead of time if able of recruit helpers!

Help baby navigate through the holidays with breastfeeding:

  • Help avoid baby getting overstimulated by being passed around to each family member, consider wearing baby during holiday events.
  • Baby wearing also allows mom to notice early hunger cues, and helps calm baby.
  • Shop on-line to avoid large crowds

Breastfeeding in public:

  • Dress in layers for easy access
  • Tops with prints help hide leakage
  • Use a breastfeeding cover, or a cute festive scarf, or have your partner prepared with a swaddle blanket to drape over you

Air Travel

  • Attempt to find non-stop flights or flights that don’t require a change in planes
  • Under the age of 2 not occupying a seat/adult
  • Birth certificate required
  • Medical release required if baby is under 14 days of life
  • To help equalize pressure in baby’s ears, nurse during take-off and landing
  • A breast pump is considered a personal item
  • Breastmilk is considered a liquid medication: separate it from other liquids and let security know. If agents must swab it, be sure they change their gloves
  • Airplane water has coliform bacteria. Purchase bottled water to clean pump parts or use pump cleaning wipes
  • 1 stroller & 1 car seat either checked or carry on

Car Travel

  • Plan ahead for frequent stops to nurse baby every 2-3 hours
  • Do not breastfeed in a moving vehicle
  • Pack a car adapter or manual breast pump
  • Take entertainment for baby (Pinterest has great mommy ideas)

Breastmilk transportation:

  • Frozen breast milk, must be kept frozen, using dry ice, once thawed it must be used within 24 hours
  • Fresh breast milk is good in a cooler with ice packs for 24hours. Breast milk can then be transferred to a refrigerator for a week
  • Request a hotel refrigerator ahead of time

Power statements to support your breastfeeding goals when in public: While most family and friends support breastfeeding, some may be unaware of how to best accommodate a breastfeeding mother or may lack awareness of the current research regarding breastfeeding.

Possible responses:

  • Smile- “Thank you for the advice” and change the subject
  • Respond with humor- “I think I’ll breastfeed until he goes to college”
  • Quote latest research- “WHO/AAP recommends breastfeeding until..”
  • Ignore comments- Simple smile, ignore all negative comments and continue to breastfeed baby

If attending a party, letting the host know ahead of time that you will be nursing baby frequently or need to pump, and asking for a quiet room to use is always helpful.

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