Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nursing on the move

We just completed a cross country move and even though it was very stressful and breastfeeding added just one more thing on the “to do” list we kept at it. I found that it helped my daughter to relax a little and sleep better, plus it helped me knowing she was getting some extra nutrients along with those French fries and chicken nuggets. We are still going strong coming up on 21 months. Here are a few things I learned nursing on the move.

Don’t be shy, you can’t afford to. Nurse when the baby wants to when you are out of the car. The first few times it is hard to be discrete, but I quickly became an expert at discrete nursing while shopping, ordering food, checking out of hotels, and everywhere in between.
It is possible to nurse in the car. It’s easier in a rear facing car seat, but possible in a front facing one also. You will be surprise how versatile your nipples really are. In either instance I suggest sitting next to your child (otherwise it ain’t gona happen sister-our nipples are versatile, but they don’t stretch…hehe). You have to only wear the lap portion of the seat belt for it to work so I would put the shoulder part behind me. I would then get my breast our and ready and lean towards my daughter, pulling the car seat a little towards me also. My daughter did the rest. The only down side is one breast gets lots of attention while driving so when we stopped I would nurse off the other side to keep things even.
Drink lots of water when you can. I have what feels like a very small bladder so I wouldn’t drink much while we were driving, but I would when we stopped for the night and before we’d stop for lunch. You will want to drink some in the car and risk those stops (the little one will need them anyways) and you don’t want to get dehydrated or your supply will drop.
Don’t expect to do more than 8 hours a day driving. Plan your trip that way or maybe with a little leeway (we planned for only 6 hours of driving time and ending up with 8 each day got to our new home a little early) that way you don’t have to get stressed for getting behind.

It is possible to nurse through any difficulty so just stick with it and the closeness will be a familiar comfort to you and your child through a stressful period.

On a non-nursing note, if you are moving from family your child is close to I strong recommend taking everyone’s picture and bringing them along in a little photo album in the car. Our daughter is only two, but she misses her grandparents terribly and I wish I had though of that before we left. We had to make an emergency run to a print shop to get photos of everyone printed up. Calls home to the family left behind help too. Your little one may not talk much to them, but just hearing their voices will help calm anxieties and fears.