Firstly, there are no restrictions on breastfeeding on an airplane. Some airlines have kindly provided me with information to what they can provide and their general breastfeeding policies, but here are some useful tips if you are a little nervous about feeding on a plane for the first time.
8 Breastfeeding On A Plane Tips
- Do ask the crew for a spare blanket or pillow (if available on your airline) to make you more comfortable when you do so. If not, a travel neck pillow can prove useful or bring your preferred one from home.
- If you are breastfeeding, your supply may also need time to re-adjust to the new time-zone, so keep hydrated and consider napping when baby does.
- You can feed during taxi, take-off, and landing as long as your baby has the lap-belt securing them (the lap belt requirement depends on the airlines’ aviation authority rules).
- Wear layers so you can keep comfortable throughout the flight.
- If you wish to maximise your privacy, a window seat is the best option. A window seat is also a better option than the aisle because you will avoid people bumping into you or hot drinks being passed over you. There are some great cover-up products on the market for a little more privacy when feeding, but unfortunately, there are no private areas on the aircraft. (Except the loo which is not a place where any woman would ideally want to breastfeed.) Therefore, the best option, if you are concerned about coverage, is to request a window seat. I have flown on Muslim airlines with no issues at all and just used a muslin cloth because I wished to cover up a bit more. No one batted an eyelid.
- If you are expressing on a flight too, check with your airline what power point socket (if any) is at your seat, otherwise plan on bringing a manual pump. If you are planning on bringing your electric pump with you, be aware that it may not work overseas. For example, the voltage in the USA means a UK pump will not function there. (I found this out the hard way on a trip to the USA and had to hand express)! If you need to sterilise pump parts or bottles, then this post on sterilising bottles whilst traveling abroad will help.
- If you are expressing, bring some zip-lock bags and a cool bag. You can fill the bag with ice from the crew to keep your milk chilled. If you need to transport breast milk whilst travelling this post will help you.
Do you have any more tips to add? Which airlines helped you?
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