Traveling with an infant is already tough enough, never mind the idea of having to breastfeed quite literally, on the “fly.” Today, the topic of nursing in public is very hot. Many airports expect mothers to nurse in the airport bathroom. Not exactly a clean and comforting space for nursing, right? Luckily, with the help of a dedicated company the landscape is slowly changing. Read on to learn our tips and tricks to make breastfeeding while flying easier.
Before the Airport
If you are nursing, it’s important to be prepared. TSA has specific guidelines when traveling with a breast bump and bringing breast milk on the plane. Check them out before you head out the door to avoid any mishaps!
In the Airport
In October 2018, the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act was signed, requiring airports to provide a clean, private non-bathroom space in each terminal for nursing mothers. Until this point, mothers have had to get creative with their lactation stations. If opting to skip the bathroom, many have settled on finding a quiet corner. Before recent times, a family restroom was your closest bet to a private room, but there are few and far to find.
Luckily, a new company has been tackling this issue head on. Mamava, is known for their portable on-the go lactation suites. They’re popping up everywhere from airports to office spaces and beyond. Their mission is to transform the culture of breastfeeding and we are HERE for it! Whether one breastfeeds or not, making it more accessible for those who do gets an A+ in our book!
On the Plane
Are bottles more your concern? Here are a few things to know. Most airlines state they cannot put breast milk in the fridge, however they’re more than happy to provide ice to keep it cold. Just ask a flight attendant after boarding. On the flip side, some airlines will heat up bottled milk if you ask. The best thing to do is to check your specific airline’s protocol before booking.
When it comes to nursing, your choices are your seat or the bathroom, though sometimes neither are comfortable. Often women are shamed for breastfeeding in public due to others feeling uncomfortable, which makes flights stressful. Many feel guilty for nursing in their seats, yet the bathrooms are cramped, dimly lit, and not always readily available when they need it. If you’d like to nurse from your seat, discrete maternity clothing that hides mostly everything is available and has come a long way in terms of style. If you’d like to use the restroom, let a flight attendant know beforehand so they don’t become concerned if you are in there for a hot minute! At the end of the day, it’s your choice and don’t forget: Breastfeeding is your right as a mother. Doing what’s best for you and your baby is always the way to go.