If you’re traveling with an infant who you’re still nursing, breastfeeding is a gift from the gods…literally! There are no bottles to remove from cumbersome, bags, no precarious balancing of bottle, baby and formula, and no need to sterilize bottles or ask the snooty stewardess to warm your pre boiled water for you. Breastfeeding is completely safe, extremely convenient and doesn’t take any space in your carry on luggage!

Having said that, be aware that not all passengers will be comfortable with the thought of a mother nursing in such close proximity to them.

For some reason, people are accepting of breast feeding if the mother is question isn’t sitting very close to them, or is discreet about it. But on a plane where passengers are all packed together in a tight space for a few hours, the sight of a nursing mother has even led to controversy. Last year, a mother was asked to get off a plane after she refused the stewardess’ request to “cover up.” As a mother, you shouldn’t be apologetic about nursing in public, and you are under no obligation to use a blanket to cover your baby while you do. As any mother who’s ever used another piece of cloth to cover up her nursing baby knows, holding a cover over your baby when he’s nursing only works when the baby is a couple of months old. Once they get a little older and more curious, they want to not just nurse, but have a look at everything else that’s happening around them as well! Difficult to do if they are being blocked by a blanket.

Consider asking for a window seat and using the blanket not to cover your breast, but to create a screen between you and other passengers by attaching it to your seat and the seat in front with pins.

If that sounds like too much trouble, ensure that you’re dressed for nursing. Wear a loose tee and a bra with extendable straps, so all you have to do while nursing is pull the top up and the bra down. Avoid tight tops and bras that require you to expose the entire length of your side, your stomach and a considerable portion of your breasts.

Always make sure you ask for your window seat, or ask passengers to trade. If the plane isn’t full, ask the crew to keep the seats around you empty – this is easy if you’re traveling during off season.

If you have a co passenger, let him know right at the beginning that you will be nursing during the flight – it gives him time to look for another seat if he’s uncomfortable.


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