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Breastfeeding in the car can be quite the stressful venture at first. You’re uncomfortable, the baby’s uncomfortable, milk may be spraying all over your seats, and things can get very messy. You may feel discouraged at first, but stick to it! The trip is good for both you and baby 🙂
I am a huge fan of road trips, and I was grateful that I didn’t have to stop adventuring once Emm came along. If you were a fan of road trips before baby came along, chances are that you still are, and you probably miss it. As a new mom, doing things that you did before baby was born can help you feel like you still have freedom to be yourself (and you definitely can still love life)! So read these tips, then go plan your next adventure, ladies!
When Breastfeeding in Vehicles
#1: Sit in the seat that’s next to the car seat and remove the actual car seat (but not the base).
In most vehicles you should have the car seat base in the center seat. Sit in one of the adjacent seats. You can lean on the base while feeding baby and it makes things a lot easier!
#2: Lean on the door next to you.
Most vehicles also have some sort of arm rest in the door. Our car has a tiny armrest in the back seats, but it’s just high enough to catch my elbow on and rest. This will help make sure you’re not drooping as you feed baby!
#3: If possible, travel in a bigger vehicle.
Leg room is so important. When nursing, you will want to move your legs around and get comfortable. Having your legs fall asleep and then get that tingly sensation makes things that much more difficult.
#4: Don’t sit in the middle seat.
Seriously, you might think you have more space, but really you’re just missing out on a free leaning object while feeding. Plus the middle seat is where your infant’s seat should be.
#5: Use the “boob press” trick to prevent squirting and making a mess.
Read this article! Press on the opposite nipple very gently when you start breastfeeding your baby, and continue to hold until letdown has stopped. It can be a minute or two. After that you can go hands free, and you’ve avoided a mess!
#6: Scoot the chair in front of you way out.
Leg room is essential. I repeat, you will not be comfortable if you can’t move your legs. Kick the person in the passenger seat out, scoot it out, and sit behind that one. I have done this in a tiny Ford fiesta and scooting the seats forward made it way easier.
#7: Use a blanket, NOT a nursing cover.
Cars are restricted on space already. Unless you have a very loose nursing cover, it’s too much of a hassle to put one on inside the car. The only reason to actually use a nursing cover is if there are visitors in the vehicle with you and you’re not comfortable with “slipping a nip” to them. In this situation, put it on outside the car and then sit down.
#8: ALWAYS stop the car to breastfeed.
Never take your baby out of the car seat in a moving vehicle. It is so dangerous! Yes, there was a time when most women could feed baby in the back of the car while moving. A lot of older moms and grandmas will tell you to do this. But it is simply not safe anymore and it is illegal to take baby out of their car seat in a moving vehicle!
It is worth the extra 20 minutes of travel time to make sure your baby is safe!
#9: Plan for taking extra stops.
Your baby will get hungry, especially if you’re going on a journey that’s a few hours long. Make sure to leave with enough time to breastfeed, however long it takes you at the moment, plus what you need to do a successful diaper change. If you give yourself plenty of time you will find that the experience is much less stressful!
#10: Most importantly: RELAX!
Even seasoned breastfeeding moms can still have a stressful day feeding baby in the car. You will have trips that are miserable. Blowouts will happen while your baby is hungry, and you’ll just have to say “oh well”, move them onto your lap, feed them, and then clean up the mess. But breastfeeding in the car doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can ease some of the stress if you follow the tips you just read!
Thanks for reading!
Have you fed baby in the car? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below!