Travel by Plane
If you're uncomfortable nursing in public, you might be worried about traveling by plane with your baby. However, the high-backed seats of a commercial airliner give you a fairly private setting for nursing. The only people who can see you are the ones seated in the same row as you and anyone who walks past. With that in mind, it's usually best to ask for a window seat near the middle of the plane, with your partner or traveling companion seated next to you. The majority of passenger foot travel is headed toward the bathrooms at the front and back of larger aircraft. When you're seated in the middle, passersby will be kept to a minimum. With your partner blocking your rowmates’ view, you can feed your baby in privacy.
The CDC advises women with infants or toddlers to breastfeed throughout their trip. Breastfeeding enhances a child's immune system, protecting him from a whole host of infections. As an added benefit, breastfed children aren't exposed to potentially impure local water supplies and foods.
If you find yourself in a plane with only one bathroom, try to book a seat as far away from it as possible. If all else fails, ask your flight attendant for assistance. He or she will be glad to get you a blanket to use as a screen, along with extra pillows. There might even be a more private seat open that you can use.
Ideally, you want your baby to be breastfeeding at takeoff and landing. These are the times when the air pressure in the cabin is changing quickly and can cause ears to pop. Sucking and moving the jaws help to equalize the pressure within your baby's ears by way of the eustachian tubes that connect his ears to his mouth. It's the same relief you get by chewing gum.
Depending on your travel time to the airport, your check-in time, and boarding delays, it might work to your advantage to feed your baby just before leaving the house. Sometimes, the numbers just don't work out in your favor and you'll find yourself with a hungry baby as you wait in the airport terminal. If he seems hungry, nurse him in the terminal. A deserted passenger gate can be a comfortable and private location. Nurse him again at takeoff even if he's not hungry; he'll probably suckle for comfort.