Tips for Breastfeeding on Your Wedding Day
Planning a wedding can be stressful even when you aren't breastfeeding too! Here's what to know as you plan your big day and decide how to best integrate your breastfeeding schedule into this exciting event.
As you likely already know – or may know very soon! – breastfeeding takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment on a normal day. But when you’re in the middle of planning a wedding ceremony, it can be downright overwhelming. Weddings, after all, can be stressful enough without having to account for all the extra work involved in breastfeeding and/or pumping.
Not to worry, mama – With a bit of advance planning, you can keep your little bundle of joy happy, full, and fed while also enjoying your special day.
Pack the Right Supplies
First things first, make sure you’re prepared with all your must-have breastfeeding essentials and accessories. Ensure you have a nursing bra that matches your wedding attire. You may consider having an extra bra or two on hand as well, just in case of any unexpected leakage. We also recommend bringing along the following supplies:
- Your breast pump, kit, and charger (if applicable)
- Breast milk storage bags or other collection containers for pumped milk
- Nursing pads
- Muslin cloths or a nursing cover
- Lanolin and/or hydrogel pads
- A portable cooler with ice packs, if no refrigerator is available to store pumped milk
- Cleaning wipes
- Water bottle and, if needed, extra snacks
If you’ll be mostly pumping or feeding your baby pre-pumped milk during the festivities, you’ll want to ensure your wedding venue has a cooler or refrigerator easily accessible and available for use. While this may provide more freedom to socialize without interruption throughout your ceremony and reception – and allow other loved ones or caretakers to feed your little one if needed! – following safe storage guidelines is ultra-important to ensure your pumped milk does not spoil. If no cooler or fridge is available at your wedding venue, pack a big cooler with lots of ice packs and your milk so it can be ready whenever your baby decides he or she is hungry!
Speaking of feeding your little one, you may want to inquire ahead of time with your wedding venue if there is a dedicated lactation space or mother’s room on-site for you and any other breastfeeding mamas to utilize throughout the festivities. If there is not a dedicated lactation space on-site, ask yourself – and the venue! – where you could express milk, if you wish to nurse or pump privately. Pro tip: Don’t settle for a restroom!
Schedule Feeding Breaks
While we're on the topic of feeding, you'll likely have a pretty good idea of when and how often your baby feeds by the time your big day arrives. Although breastfed babies feed on average every two to four hours, each infant is different.
A great way to account for regular feedings ahead of time is to ensure your wedding itinerary reflects your baby’s feeding sessions by scheduling consistent downtime where you can step aside and take care of his or her needs.
Ask for Help
As a new mother, it can be hard to remember that you don’t always have to approach your breastfeeding journey alone. We recommend finding a trusted loved one or caretaker to help look after your baby while you and your new spouse are enjoying the wedding. This could be a close friend or family member, or it could even be a trusted babysitter or nanny. Either way, the point is that you’ll have someone else there to help you so that you’re not juggling both your wedding and your baby’s needs simultaneously.
With that in mind, don’t assume that having a helper means you can’t check in on your baby at all. We know you’ll want to occasionally steal away to get your fix of baby cuddles – and that’s perfectly okay!
Choose Breastfeeding-Friendly Wedding Attire
If you’ll be nursing during your wedding day, take into consideration how your wedding dress will look and if it is conducive to easy breastfeeding. Shop for attire made from comfortable, flexible fabric that is also thick enough that you can discreetly wear a nursing bra underneath. We also recommend considering a strapless or open-shouldered gown, as this will support ease of access for your little one.
Remember - This is Your Day!
However you choose to manage breastfeeding at your wedding, the most important thing to keep in mind is that this ceremony is about you and your spouse—and your new baby. Don’t forget to enjoy it to the fullest!