Breastfeeding and travel


Breastfeeding in a new, unfamiliar destination can be a worry, and as it’s hard to predict whether you’ll feel at ease, it is worth doing some research into local attitudes towards feeding in public before you go. But whatever you think reactions might be; the best approach is to prepare yourself for all eventualities. Wearing the right bras, loose, front-opening clothing and having a shawl to cover up with are obvious starting points, but you could also try finding some female company, such as you might expect in a women’s clothing shop, where you’re more likely to feel at ease than out in the street. Another idea is to head for the ladies’ toilets of a posh hotel; these are usually spacious, with seats and pleasant surroundings allowing for a quiet and peaceful break for you and your child to feed in comfort. You could also try asking women working in shops or restaurants where you might feed. With or without the right language, it’s likely you’ll be understood, and you may well be ushered into a comfortable back room.

When you go out on day-trips, take a flannel and drinking water to give yourself a sponge-down whenever you feel sticky. As long as your breasts remain covered and clean, there’s no need to use soap when on the move; soapy residues, while unlikely to do much harm, are not intended to be ingested by babies, and can end up irritating them. However, if you’ve been swimming and may have contaminated water or sand on your breasts, use a wet-wipe, and then rinse off with drinking water before the next feed.

Excerpted from The Rough Guide With Babies and Young Children copyright 2010 Rough Guides

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