Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. It has tremendous benefits for both mom and her baby. But this privilege does not come without its sacrifices. It takes time, energy and effort to be able to breastfeed a child successfully.
A newborn breastfeeds on demand – no matter where we are, what we are doing or who we are with. A toddler, on the other hand, has an established routine, but it still puts us in situations where we have to whip out that cover and feed even in the most public places, or in the most complex situations.
As a mom, I used to dread traveling when I knew I have to breastfeed while on the road, or in the air. Long car trips became less enjoyable because breastfeeding in the car is uncomfortable and extremely tiring. Not to mention carrying a 15-pound toddler for several minutes (or maybe even more than an hour) who eventually would fall asleep in my arms and wake up the moment he is transferred to the car seat.
Plane rides also became more stressful. Aside from anticipating a possible meltdown, breastfeeding became unbearable on the plane because the seats were so tight, and I ended up banging my elbows or my child’s legs on the arm rests.
Thankfully, there are what I call “lifesavers” now. One of them is a travel breastfeeding pillow. It makes these long trips less exhausting, and more relaxed. Below are some of my thoughts on the best travel pillows out there.
MY BREAST FRIEND INFLATABLE TRAVEL NURSING PILLOW
My Breast Friend Inflatable Travel Nursing Pillow is great for plane rides and long overnight trips. A light nursing pillow will save up some space in your luggage and will also be more accessible whenever you’ll need it.
This inflatable pillow is similar to the original My Breast Friend Pillow, only its lightweight, easy to inflate, and can fit into a diaper bag when not being used.
When inflated, its dimensions measure roughly 7.8 x 6.5 x 3 inches, and it can carry up to 22 pounds.
|Flat when deflated, and can easily fit into any bag||When used on the plane, it can still be a bit too tight in the seat.|
|Lightweight||It may deflate while being used, or between uses|
|Easy to inflate||Once it has a hole, it cannot be used|
|it wraps around the body to ensure the proper position and latch|
|One size fits all|
LANSINOH NURSIE BREASTFEEDING PILLOW
The Lansinoh Breatfeeding Pillow is portable and light. It can fit in a backpack making it useful for travel. Its dimensions are measured at 10.5 x 6.5 x 8 inches.
This pillow, unlike other nursing pillows, slides unto your arm. It is more comfortable for C-section moms as it does not hit the stitches when nursing. This feature also makes it easier to bring the baby up to the breasts while nursing, and back down in a more relaxed position when the baby unlatches. Aside from that, this pillow allows dad to carry and bottle feed the baby, too!
|Lightweight and portable||Will take up a lot of space in the bag|
|The slid onto arm feature makes it easy for moms and dads to feed the baby||Size and thickness cannot not adjustable|
|Will not occupy too much space on the seat of the plane|
THE ORIGINAL INFLATABLE NURSING PILLOW
The Original Inflatable Nursing Pillow is another inflatable pillow used for travelling. It takes a few minutes to inflate, and measures only 8.1 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches. Once deflated, it can easily be folded and stored in your bag.
The pillow is made out of PVC material that is puncture resistant so you will not have to worry about holes, and will also give you peace of mind that it can handle the natural wear and tear that comes with months or even years of nursing. It also comes with a soft minky slipcover that will make it comfortable for your baby as you wouldn’t want your baby’s soft skin to come in contact with PVC materials.
|Lightweight||A bit wide, making it tight to use on planes.|
|Cover is soft and easily cleaned in the washing machine||If blown to full capacity, becomes too stiff|
|PVC material makes it puncture resistant|
|Compact when deflated, easy to store|
Can I Breastfeed My Baby in The Car?
When taking long trips on the road, there will be moments when you need to breastfeed your little baby. As a first time mom, you may wonder if you can actually breastfeeding in a car. The answer is yes! It will not be easy, but it can be done. The first thing to consider is safety. Be mindful of the stops you will make, plan it so it coincides with your baby’s feeding routine. Do not nurse while the car is moving. Bring the Breast Friend or Original inflatable nursing pillow. You will not have to worry about tight spaces as in planes, so you can make the nursing as relaxing as possible.
Can I Breastfeed My Baby on A Plane?
Breastfeeding on the plane has its own challenges. In a way, it requires less planning because you do not have to worry about making too many stops, and you can nurse on demand. However, it brings a lot of stress for moms as they anticipate all the crying episodes.
First, you have to relax. When you tense up, your baby feels that. Be calm. Next, you’ll need to get your baby to relax. Bring a small nursing pillow, so your baby is comfortably lying on a soft surface while you are nursing. If you don’t have enough space in your luggage, then I suggest using the Lansinoh nursing pillow.
Travel Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
Traveling can be scary and stressful for breastfeeding moms, especially if you are doing it for the very first time. Here are some practical tips you may want to consider when planning your next trip:
- Wear comfortable nursing clothes. Ideally something you can easily pull down or unbutton.
- Eat well, stay hydrated. Rest and sleep if you can.
- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. DO NOT LET ANYONE SHAME YOU FOR BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.
- If you are on a plane, get an aisle seat so you have more space to move around. You can easily walk up and down the aisle, and you get more elbow room, too.
- When riding a plane, it would be best to befriend the flight crew so you can ask for assistance if needed.
- Breastfeed when taking off and landing to help with the pressure in the baby’s ears. Make sure that they are secured with a lap belt. Breastfeeding while landing or taking off will also help the baby to feel secure, as it could be a little scary with all the loud noises the plane makes.
- When taking a road trip, make planned stops that will coincide with your baby’s feeding routine.
- If you are driving, know your route and identify in advance the spots where it will be safe to stop. Never breastfeed while the car is moving. You should NEVER get the baby out of his car sit while the car is moving.
- If on the road, try to travel during the day especially if you are alone. It will be easier to make unscheduled stops if necessary.
- Have a backup plan if your baby starts to cry and refuses to nurse. Bring their favorite toy or sing their favorite song. If your baby is old enough to eat solids, bring a snack they can munch on.
- Stay calm. Don’t shout at your baby. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you can calm down your baby, too.
- Bring your favorite nursing pillow with you. Make the nursing stop as comfortable as you can, not only for the baby, but for you too.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing, but it comes with its own set of challenges that can prove to be overwhelming for mothers, especially for those who are doing it for the first time. It is unchartered territory that will shake you to your very core. However, it is also one of the most cherished, priceless and beautiful things you and your baby will share. A memory that will forever be etched in your heart and mind. Breastfeeding can be a wonderful thing as long as you surround yourself with people who will help and support you, have the correct mindset about nursing, and find the perfect breastfeeding equipment and pillow that will make this journey more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your little one.