Breastfeeding on a Plane

Breastfeeding on a plane is one of the best ways to soothe your baby .  There have been so many times when I’ve been flying and been incredibly thankful that God gave me this natural gift! 

I know that breastfeeding is not accepted in public by some people in various parts of the world. However, I have never had any problems with breastfeeding on an plane. 

Maybe it’s partly because you can do it so inconspicuously.  And other passengers, even if they realize what’s going on, wouldn’t have the guts to be bothered – especially if it’s keeping your little one quiet. 

Tips for Breastfeeding on a Plane

1.  Request a window seat or ask to switch with someone after you board.  Having a window seat affords you a little extra privacy, and you don’t have to worry about your infant being bumped on the head when someone walks down the aisle.

2.  If you’re sitting beside a stranger and you need to breastfeed, use the breast you are most comfortable with and the one that will bother the other passenger least.  Sometimes when I’m getting my baby all set, I have accidentally elbowed the passenger beside me.  (They just don’t give us much space to do this on the plane!).  Other times, I have had a baby who likes to kick while they breastfeed.  This can be a little disturbing to your next-door passenger, too.  Just be sure you are aware of the other person’s space.

3.Wear appropriate nursing attire.  When I fly with a nursing baby, I always wear a nursing tank (as opposed to a nursing bra) under my shirt.  Nursing tanks offer much more cover-up.  I like that my stomach doesn’t have to be shown every time I go to breastfeed my baby on the plane.  A nursing tank is also best when you’re in the airport and can’t find a private place to breastfeed.

4.  Carry an extra receiving blanket with you on board.  This can be used for covering up a baby on a chilly plane and for being more discreet with breastfeeding. Personally, I don’t cover my baby’s head when breastfeeding – even in public.  I wouldn’t want to eat with a blanket covering my head!  (That’s why I wear a nursing tank, and I pull my outer shirt down just to my baby’s nose.  There’s nothing inappropriate showing that way.)  Most of the time, I don’t think people even realize I’m feeding my baby.  It just looks like she’s sleeping.

5.  Breastfeed your baby as often as you need to.  Don’t be afraid to change your feeding schedule or break your ‘rules’.  Traveling with children on a plane provides all kinds of challenges.  Do what is best in this particular circumstance, and forget some of your rules – for now.  When you’re on the plane, do what is best for your baby and the other passengers.  If you can’t soothe your baby any other way – (even if you just fed her 3 times!) – try breastfeeding again.  It usually helps calm your baby and keeps the other passengers calm, too!  If you’re lucky, your baby will fall asleep.

6.  Try breastfeeding on a plane during take off and landing.  My children often have problems with their ears (especially on the descent).  Older children can be given gum or lollipops or taught to pop their ears.  But breastfeeding is the perfect sucking solution for an infant’s ear problems on the plane.

7. Listen to the advice of the crew members.  When I’ve had a fussy baby, I’ve even had flight attendants suggest that I breastfeed my baby.  They’ve seen it done many times, and it often works!

Any other tips for breastfeeding on an plane?

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