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Breastfeeding And Bottlefeeding

At Superdrug we’re proud to support all mums: breast
feeders and bottle feeders alike! We understand that whether
you’re a brand spanking new mum or a champion mother of five,
the prospect of feeding your baby while you’re on the go or
travelling abroad can be pretty daunting. To help out, we’ve
come up with a handy guide of tips and tricks to make it easier for
you to juggle feeding the little ones while also enjoying that
precious trip away.

Air Travel

Planning a flight? Feeding your baby when you take off and when
you land is a great way to calm young babies, but there are a few
things to think about if you want to feed your baby pre-packed
breast or formula milk on the plane. First of all, you’ll
always be allowed to bring enough milk, sterilised water and/or
baby food to last the journey if you’re travelling with your
baby. This is quite often more than the normal 100ml hand luggage
allowance so you should be prepared to have containers of foods or
liquids checked at security first. If you’re flying without
your baby this time, but want to bring any of these items with you
in your hand luggage, then unfortunately you won’t be able to
pack any more than the usual 100ml allowance.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is probably the easiest way to feed your baby on
the go for all the women who can and want to do so. It’s a
great way to travel light whilst giving your baby all the nutrients
and goodness they’ll ever need, and you won’t need any
extra equipment to boot! It could also prove to be the safest and
most practical option if you’re staying somewhere where the
local water seems dirty or unsanitary (although we really
wouldn’t advise travelling anywhere like this with a newborn
or young infant).

Remember that if you’re travelling somewhere hot then both
you and your baby are likely to get dehydrated unless you’re
both drinking enough liquids. Make sure you’re drinking
plenty of water so that you can stay healthy and produce all that
extra milk for your baby, too! If you are going somewhere really
warm, speak to your GP about how to keep your baby hydrated.

Bring a muslin cloth or blanket if you’re travelling
somewhere hot to shield your baby and give yourself some privacy,
if you want it. You should always feel happy and able to breastfeed
in public but do be aware of any local cultural sensitivities
around this depending on where you go.

Vaccines and Malaria Prevention

Both you and your baby should be vaccinated according to the UK’s recommended routine vaccine schedule. Don’t assume that just because you’ve been vaccinated against something, that your baby will also already be immune. They will also need to be protected properly. Speak to your GP or someone at your local Superdrug Travel Clinic about what you and your baby will need before travelling anywhere outside the UK. Your baby can catch infections from local food and water, so may need vaccinations against things like typhoid and hepatitis A, if this is appropriate in terms of age and destination.

It’s always so important to let your midwife, GP or local travel nurse know about your situation and whether or not you plan on breastfeeding your child if you’re getting any vaccines or antimalarial tablets for a trip. There is some evidence that live vaccine viruses like yellow fever can be passed on through breast milk so you should always discuss your options with a medical professional well in advance of any trip that might require you to get vaccinated.

We would always advise against going anywhere with a high risk
of diseases like yellow fever or malaria as it could be dangerous
for your baby. But if you do decide to have the vaccine or take
antimalarials then you may need to consider bottle feeding
instead.

Bottlefeeding

For lots of mums, using bottles is the easiest and most
comfortable option for feeding their baby. However, if you’re
planning on bottle feeding whilst on a trip abroad or travelling
away from home, this will take some extra planning and thinking
beforehand. Here are our top tips for breast feeding while
you’re on the move:

  • Be prepared: always bring plenty of formula milk, sterilising
    equipment and bottles because you can’t be sure you’ll
    be able to get your normal brands while you’re out
    there!
  • Good hygiene is the most important thing for bottle feeding
    both at home and abroad. While your baby is young, their immune
    system is still developing and this means that they have a much
    higher risk of getting scary infections. Make sure ALL the water
    you use for your baby’s bottle is 100% sterile and safe.
    Obviously don’t use any water that looks dirty, but remember
    that you should even avoid anything from the tap unless
    you’re boiling or sterilising it first.
  • Bottled water is always best to use if you can while
    you’re abroad. However, it’s important to check that
    the salt levels (sodium) and sulphate levels aren’t too high
    before you use it because this won’t be healthy for your
    baby. Before you use it, always check that the seal is intact, and
    check out the label on the bottle to make sure that the sodium
    level (written as Na) is less than 200 mg per litre. The sulphate
    level (written as SO or SO4) should also always be less than 250 mg
    per litre.
  • Mother knows best! Sterilising the water you use to make the
    formula milk needn’t be much more difficult than boiling it
    well beforehand. This is the oldest and best trick in the
    book!
  • Make sure ALL the water you use is sterile: it’s
    important to know that even though bottled water is a much easier
    and safer option for making formula milk on the go, it won’t
    always be sterile. This means you’ll still have to boil it
    before you prepare the feed. Never re-boil bottled water because
    this could increase the sulphate and sodium levels.
  • There are all sorts of amazing gadgets out there to help you
    sterilise your water while you’re travelling: look up
    disposable steriliser bags, sterilising tablets and travel
    sterilisers online to check out your options! For general tips on
    water purification, check out our travel page on safe drinking
    water.

Happy Travels!

We hope that our guide on breast and bottle feeding while travelling away from home has helped! In addition, we would recommend that it’s always a good idea to see your midwife, GP, or one of our friendly nurses at a local Superdrug Travel Clinics well in advance before travelling to make sure that you and your baby stay healthy while you’re out there.

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