As parents, no longer can we just jump in the car unprepared and expect a nice day at the beach. This family trip especially requires a good deal of forward planning. Here are my top tips for beach going as a breastfeeding mum.
This is the only time you will ever hear me say this: For the love of sun, cover up! I most certainly do not want you to hide your baby under a hot steamy blanket. This is a sun safe reminder to shade those parts that the sun doesn’t usually see! On your day at the beach keep in mind your sensitive breast tissue rarely sees the light of day… well for some of us pale-ites anyway. Ensure you lather the sunscreen all over the body, paying special attention to the top of the breast. A natural sunscreen is a wonderful way to go, or just ensure no sunscreen gets onto the nipple / areola and therefore not directly into babies’ mouth. Baby’s head and neck will be exposed too so popping on a hat will ensure both of you can enjoy the sunshine!
While a foot stool and feeding chair may not be an option here, it doesn’t mean your back, neck and wrists have to suffer. Many outdoorsy kind of shops sell the low to the ground camping chairs these days which would be perfect in this situation. No chair? No worries! The go anywhere Feeding Friend is easily attached to the side of the beach bag and to whip out when you need to whip it out! Failing all of the above, roll up a towel on your lap to boost baby up as close to you as possible. The physio in me wants the best for you and your posture. Being able to bring the baby to the breast not the breast to the baby can help to prevent straining of the back and neck muscles and avoid spraining the wrist.
Zip it up
Are you planning a dip as well? Ensure your swimmers are feeding friendly. Breast access is imperative in a smooth beach breastfeeding session. Options include pulling down one side of the bathers, a cheeky pop out the top, or zip access allowing boobie access like a boss!
Shade it up
Set up your environment early for maximising sun protection, and factor in the movement of the sun. Do you have a shade tent? The added bonus here is obviously the privacy factor as well as a shield from the sun for both Mum and bubba.
Clean it up
A day at in the waves is also a day in the sand, the wet sticky sand that gets in ALL the wrong places. My number one tip for dusting off sandy boobs, sandy bums and sandy feet? Talc free baby powder! This little non-toxic gem is your new breast friend for removing pesky wet sand. Go ahead, try it!
This is my big fat, number one tip: Stay hydrated. We all know the damaging effects lack of fluid can have on milk supply. Milk doesn’t make milk; water makes milk so be sure to keep your levels toped up throughout the day. A large volume, BPA free, one hand accessible water bottle is the key here, such as the First in Breast Dressed H2O Bottle. Baby will also be feeling parched, so don’t be surprised if small, frequent feeds are on the menu. Breastmilk is all that is required to meet bubs nutritional needs until six months of age. You may find your milk is more watery on a hot day to cope with babies increased fluid requirements.