Breastfeeding Your Baby in the Airport & on the Flight
- May 31, 2014
- Airport Tips
- No Comments
Breastfeeding moms on the go may be anxious about taking a baby on a plane for the first time and adding even more anxiety is the thought of having to breastfeed the baby at the airport or on the airplane.
Breastfeeding while at the Airport
Laws concerning breastfeeding are different in each state. Some states allow a mom to breastfeed her child anywhere while other states allow businesses to determine how breastfeeding will be handled on their property, this includes malls and airports. If you will be traveling through a number of states you’ll want to check the breastfeeding laws for each state.
When you arrive at the airport and have checked in for your flight find the information desk and ask for an appropriate place to breastfeed. Some airports might surprise you and have a nursing mother’s room. If no designated nursing area is available, try to find a quiet corner in an unused gate where you will be out of the way, will have some privacy, and where your baby is less likely to be distracted by other passengers. Come prepared with a lightweight blanket or some sort of cover-up so you can shield your chest from onlookers. If you have access to a private lounge area you might discover that the bathrooms there are big, clean and empty of long lines. Some airports have family rooms that would offer more privacy. Or you could try the public bathroom. A handicap stall will offer more space. Unfortunately it won’t be the most sanitary of spaces but it is an option.
If you can wait to feed your baby on the plane try to wait. Nursing will help your baby with the air pressure change during takeoff so this would be an ideal time to nurse. Plus if the baby falls asleep while nursing this will be ideal so you don’t need to worry about a fuss baby on a plane.
Breastfeeding while in Flight
When the time comes to board the plane some new issues might arise. How will the crew and passengers react to a breastfeeding mom? A tip is to reserve a window seat so you have a little more privacy. Also come prepared with a light weight blanket or nursing cover-up to shield your chest from others and your baby from distractions. If more privacy is needed the airplane bathroom is an option though the close quarters and seating options are not the most comfortable.
Some recommend having a brief discussion with the person seated next to you before take off. Let them know that at some point during the flight you will need to nurse your baby. Explain that if they’re not comfortable with the situation you’d be happy to talk to the attendant and make arrangements to move. This removes any element of surprise for your neighbors.
For additional assurance contact the airline you’ll be flying with to ask about their on board policy for breastfeeding or pumping.
In the end, remind yourself that you will most likely never see any of these people again and what you’re doing is good and healthy for your baby.