Planning your day around a new baby and (possibly) other kids, school, work, after school commitments, and all the life in between is no easy feat. Here are some tips I've learned from what worked best for our busy life as a full-time working mom with three kids.
Tip #1: Feed, and then Drive
Always plan to drive after a feed. This way baby is content and full prior to departure, and you have a good 2-3 hours to do that errand, school pick up, grocery run or drive to work before you need to feed again. This saves you from getting stuck in traffic with a hungry baby, or having to pull over on a busy highway to feed in the car. You also might get lucky and baby will sleep contentedly in his car seat while you’re out and about.
Tip #2: Be Prepared to Nurse Anywhere
Even if you’ve master the feed-before-you-drive technique you still are bound to wind breastfeeding someplace unexpected. Last year, travelling from Newark to Honolulu, I found myself breastfeeding my 6 month old while standing in airport security lines. We’d been standing in line for more than an hour, and sure enough baby was hungry. So, right there in the crowded line I pulled up my shirt and we breastfed right through the metal detector all the way to the gate. I will honestly say that was the fastest I ever went through security, the TSA agents looked right at me and quickly moved me along! If you ever have the chance, read this comical yet real book by Lauren Hirshfield Belden on all the places you’ll feed your baby.
Tip #3: Use a Nursing Cover, or Not
For those times you find yourself breastfeeding in front of a crowd, try a nursing cover for peace-of-mind feeding. This one is a personal favorite because it allows me to watch baby when nursing, but I also am in love with this multifunctional cover. If you feel comfortable without a cover, that is OK too! I find myself more and more comfortable without a cover when I'm feeding on the go. The main point is that you’re comfortable. The more stressed you are the harder it will be to nurse comfortably and the longer it will take to let-down your milk.
Tip #4: Invest in Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes & Bras
Investing in breastfeeding friendly clothes will be the best choice you ever made, trust me! Tops and dresses that give baby quick and easy access to the breast mean that you can quickly and discretely feed baby while on the move.
Tip #5: Keep your schedule fluid
Even if you plan your schedule perfectly, taking care of a baby isn’t always predictable. Things happen that you don’t expect, so instead of setting an exact time to meet your bestie for coffee try using a window of time. This gives you extra time to tend to baby should she need to breastfeed longer before you leave, or if you find yourself changing clothes after getting drenched in spit up. If you end up arriving early, well, take a deep breath, relax, and know you’re doing a great job, mama.
Stay strong, mama!
Photo credit to AK Photography Oahu