Safety while breastfeeding and riding in the car? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have seen many people talk about how they can breastfeed a child, while the child is in a car seat, and the mom is "safely buckled in" to their own seat and riding (not driving) in the car (presumably in the back seat next to the child).

I have a hard time picturing how this can be safe. I thought maybe people who hang around in this forum might have an informed opinion, or access to an expert opinion on this subject.

Is this possible? If so, would you please provide specific instructions for how it might be done?

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#2 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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No idea. We just park the car and take them out of thier seats!
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#3 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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On long car rides to the in-laws (4.5 hours with no stops) we had initially just stopped to nurse. That worked for a few months, and then what would happen is that as soon as she got out of her seat, she didn't want to nurse anymore. She just wanted to play. So back in the seat and resume screaming. We weren't going to do the "leaning over the seat and nurse" thing, but we didn't know what else could be done. Stopping didnt work. Continuing to drive while she screamed was not an option. Forward facing didn't help either, nor did we like doing that... So, this is what we did. I sat on my feet with the lap belt on. For us, it was the lesser of all evils.
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#4 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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It's not safe-- you'd crush your baby in a wreck.
That said, I've been guilty of it before. I've also pumped in the car on long trips and given the baby a bottle or sippy of EBM. And I've also stopped to nurse.
After 6 mos. I'm a big fan of water and snacks for the car.
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#5 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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It's not safe, but I've done it too. heck, the seat I have to sit in it to do it has the most ridiculous seat belt that my long torsos, 5'7" isn't even tall enough to sit there without getting tangled in the darn seatbelt (sorry, I'm mad at my seatbelt atm).
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#6 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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It seems to defeat the purpose of the carseat to me, to put the weight of your chest/torso directly in front of the child's head while the car is in motion. Definitely would not do it.
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#7 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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I did this with my first baby- I didn't have shoulder belts in the back, so I'd have my lap belt on and bend over the infant carseat while she was strapped in.

I didn't do it with my 2nd baby because the back seat was too crowded with 2 carseats, and in any case it wasn't needed because she had her sister to entertain and distract her while we drove anywhere.

By the time DS was born, I learned how dangerous this was. The carseat is designed to protect 22 lbs or so of baby in a collision- not 22 lbs of baby plus 175 lbs of mama!

It's far safer to pump in the car and then give the baby a bottle or sippy cup of pumped milk- the bottle is a LOT lighter than mama!

Smalls- did you try stopping the car, keeping baby in the carseat and nursing her without taking her out of the seat, but while the car was not in motion?

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#8 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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I tried to do this once on a long road trip and it absolutely didn't work, even with me taking my seat belt off to do it, which I know wasn't safe. I was also guilty of nursing her in the back while dh continued to drive.

He's a bit of a nut when it comes to wanting to get where he's going with minimal stops. With the next one, this will not be happening.
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#9 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 03:47 PM
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It's NOT safe...for the mom or the baby.
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#10 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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What we used to do was have me in the back seat, strapped in and then put baby in a ring sling to nurse. So baby is actually strapped pretty tight. This arrangement averted many accidents for us as DH is not a good driver with crying babies!! If you have large boobs (I don't!), then nursing in the carseat may work - I tried it and had about a foot left between my boob and babies mouth though! If you have larger boobs than AA cup, you may have more success
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#11 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by roxyrox View Post
What we used to do was have me in the back seat, strapped in and then put baby in a ring sling to nurse. So baby is actually strapped pretty tight. This arrangement averted many accidents for us as DH is not a good driver with crying babies!! If you have large boobs (I don't!), then nursing in the carseat may work - I tried it and had about a foot left between my boob and babies mouth though! If you have larger boobs than AA cup, you may have more success
OMG, please NEVER, EVER, EVER do that again.


In an accident your baby would be your airbag. You would kill your baby.
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#12 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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OMG, please NEVER, EVER, EVER do that again.


In an accident your baby would be your airbag. You would kill your baby.
Oh for gd sake! An airbag would be coming from the opposite direction. If I am strapped in, and baby is strapped in over my seat belt, in the back seat, it is not remotely like an airbag.

I can assure you, my baby was a lot safer like that than screaming in his carseat (physically and emotionally)
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#13 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:23 PM
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No, you are not understanding. The baby would BE your airbag. As your body mass was thrown forward, your baby would be pinned between your chest and whatever else was there (the seat in front of you, your lap, etc).

Let's say you're a 120 pound woman and you were in a 30 mph crash. That would be THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED pounds of force on your baby should there be an impact.

Your baby was not safer than in a car seat. Your baby would have been killed in a low speed impact (and you would probably have been criminally charged).
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#14 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by roxyrox View Post
What we used to do was have me in the back seat, strapped in and then put baby in a ring sling to nurse. So baby is actually strapped pretty tight. This arrangement averted many accidents for us as DH is not a good driver with crying babies!! If you have large boobs (I don't!), then nursing in the carseat may work - I tried it and had about a foot left between my boob and babies mouth though! If you have larger boobs than AA cup, you may have more success
I would never ever recommend anyone do this! There is never ever an instance when this action would be acceptable.

You can always pull over if it is really necessary to feed your baby on a road trip.

Have you seen crash test videos?
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#15 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I agree that baby should never, ever be removed from car seat while in car. I also see that my not wearing a shoulder strap, which I can't do while nursing, is not as safe as wearing it. But if I am buckled in, and leaning forward slightly so that baby can (just barely, mind you) reach my breast, I really fail to see how the baby's carseat is in any way whatsoever supporting my weight. In an accident I would be yanked back to my seat because of the seatbelt I am wearing. Am I missing something?
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#16 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jmmom View Post
I agree that baby should never, ever be removed from car seat while in car. I also see that my not wearing a shoulder strap, which I can't do while nursing, is not as safe as wearing it. But if I am buckled in, and leaning forward slightly so that baby can (just barely, mind you) reach my breast, I really fail to see how the baby's carseat is in any way whatsoever supporting my weight. In an accident I would be yanked back to my seat because of the seatbelt I am wearing. Am I missing something?
Sure


I'm sure you've read about how maturity is important for booster users, that they need to know to sit properly and upright. The reason for this is, the belt is desinged to function at a particular place on the shoulder and chest and the lap belt is designed to rest low on the pelvis or the thighs. Wiggling around or shifting dramatically alters what will happen to your body in a crash.

It could be as minor as some nasty bruises and whiplash, or it could be as severe as a spinal injury or internal abdominal hemmorhage.

Also, very few rear seat belts actually 'retract' when they lock in an emergency situation. They just lock where they happen to be. If you're leaning out of position, that's *that* much more slack that will allow you to whip around like a rag doll or even be ejected from your belt.
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#17 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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No, you are not understanding. The baby would BE your airbag. As your body mass was thrown forward, your baby would be pinned between your chest and whatever else was there (the seat in front of you, your lap, etc).

Let's say you're a 120 pound woman and you were in a 30 mph crash. That would be THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED pounds of force on your baby should there be an impact.

Your baby was not safer than in a car seat. Your baby would have been killed in a low speed impact (and you would probably have been criminally charged).
No,it wouldn't be like that though - I was strapped in, therefore my seatbelt would take the impact of the crash - then as ds was strapped to me over the seatbelt, he would be pulled back as well after me. He would be thrown forward at exactly the same rate as me in the event of a crash. I have had a carseat tech here, and a fireman at a car seat day tell me this is ok, so I am not too worried, but thank you for your concern. We are in different countries so I can undersatand you have a different view. I think Americans have different ideas of safety than Europeans, maybe we have something to learn off you. I am intrigued by RF till toddler age -I think with my next child, I will buy a US carseat. You can't RF past one here.
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#18 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:44 PM
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Roxy, it would be like that. We have dozens and dozens of crash tests that illustrate it.

I don't know WHO told you it was safe, but it definitely was not a technician.



I can't tell you how much I'm trying to emphasize, this is DEADLY. This isn't an iffy situation. This isn't "put my 40 pound 4 year old in a harnessed seat or put him in a booster". This isn't, "Should I put my 30 pound 2 year old rear facing or forward facing." It isn't even "Can I put my boostered 10 year old in the front seat?"

It's...in an accident, that would kill your baby. Not injure. Not bruise a little. Kill your baby. And it would be your body that would do it.

It isn't worth it, is it?
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#19 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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Sure


I'm sure you've read about how maturity is important for booster users, that they need to know to sit properly and upright. The reason for this is, the belt is desinged to function at a particular place on the shoulder and chest and the lap belt is designed to rest low on the pelvis or the thighs. Wiggling around or shifting dramatically alters what will happen to your body in a crash.

It could be as minor as some nasty bruises and whiplash, or it could be as severe as a spinal injury or internal abdominal hemmorhage.

Also, very few rear seat belts actually 'retract' when they lock in an emergency situation. They just lock where they happen to be. If you're leaning out of position, that's *that* much more slack that will allow you to whip around like a rag doll or even be ejected from your belt.
My back seat has a shoulder belt and I can nurse DS without leaning much. I guess my question is how is that different than a person who is say leaning on the arm rest in the front passenger seat? I don't know many adults who actually sit in one place in their seat the entire drive.
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#20 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 05:48 PM
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My back seat has a shoulder belt and I can nurse DS without leaning much. I guess my question is how is that different than a person who is say leaning on the arm rest in the front passenger seat? I don't know many adults who actually sit in one place in their seat the entire drive.
Well, you don't need to sit without budging, but for optimal safety, you should be upright, with your tush and back as far back in the seat as you can go and your feet planted on the floor.

The two things that you should pay most attention to are making sure the lap belt as drawn tightly under your belly, across your pelvis, and that the shoulder belt rests snugly between your neck and shoulder and crosses your chest in the center, without sliding off your shoulder or coming up against your throat.
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#21 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Roxy, it would be like that. We have dozens and dozens of crash tests that illustrate it.

I don't know WHO told you it was safe, but it definitely was not a technician.
Do you have a link to any of those? I'm intrigued that they would actually do crash testing involving and infant strapped to an adult over the seatbelt.
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#22 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 07:55 PM
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Crash testing is done with dummies not with real people

I'm imagining the laboratory right now
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#23 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 07:57 PM
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I bet they could get college students to do it if they gave them enough beer. hmmmmm.

Here, you, Johnny, strap Mikey in this sling. Yeah, I know Mikey is 250 pounds and MVP for the foozball team. Quit whining.

Get in the sling. GET IN THE SLING. IT'S AN EXTRA-LARGE MAYA WRAP, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!

Ok, Johnny, to make this more realistic, you're going to have nurse Mikey. What? Oh, no, I promise this isn't a porno. Here, have another Bud lite.
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#24 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Pulling off the road is always scary to me too. Sometimes the only place you have is the shoulder of the road and I'd hate to stop, have baby unrestrained, and someone hits our stopped vehicle (and this does happen).

I even read a story about a man who had to pull off the road due to vehicle trouble, got his family to get out of the vehicle and move far away from it to keep them safe, the vehicle was hit and thrown INTO his family hundreds of feet away from the vehicle.

So, isn't the only safe option really to take your vehicle some place not on the road, get out of the vehicle and go nurse some place safe? (i.e. restaurant, store, etc.) and then what do you do then when your hours away from any safe haven and your only option is to pull off the highway and park on the teensy shoulder that isn't large enough for your vehicle (so your vehicle is partially in the ditch and partially still on the road)? This was my last situation. Oh, and I don't get even an ounce pumping so a bottle of expressed milk wasn't the answer.

I think we need someone to invent extend-a-breast.

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#25 of 143 Old 06-04-2008, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think when people say "pull over" they mean go to one a rest stop, or fast food / gas station parking lot. ITA that the shoulder of a highway can be very dangerous.

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#26 of 143 Old 06-05-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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I think when people say "pull over" they mean go to one a rest stop, or fast food / gas station parking lot. ITA that the shoulder of a highway can be very dangerous.
I guess my point was that where I live, those things are often hours apart. We don't have interstates with rest stops here so often all you have is a lone highway with the next town 3 hours away that may or may not have an open gas station depending on what time of day you are travelling. A mom could easily be in the position of having to be on the side of the road unsafely or breastfeeding while leaning over her child. Neither are good options. Off to design the extend-a-boob....

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#27 of 143 Old 06-05-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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Crash testing is done with dummies not with real people

I'm imagining the laboratory right now
I think she meant...since you said there were dozens of crash tests proving what *she* was doing (riding with baby strapped to her in a sling) was dangerous...have there actually been crash tests, with dummies, dummy babies, and slings? I think that would be unusual (for the testers to even think of slings, rather than the dummy parent merely holding the child).

That being said, i would never ever ride with a baby in a sling...omg.

It would never have occurred to me that nursing while in the seat was unsafe until reading about it, so i would be less likely to do that in the future. (I probably will not have any more nursing babies tho...)...some have suggested sippy cups and/or bottles....but havent some here also mentioned that one shouldnt have "loose" things in the car, baby mirrors, toys, etc? Is a parent holding a bottle (esp a heavy glass one, considering the BPA issues! ) right in front of a baby's face while travelling also dangerous? Wouldnt that be smashed into the child, possibly blinding them or worse? How is that different than say, a toy bar attached to the carseat or a mirror etc? Arent all of those potential projectiles in the event of an accident? Probably better than the weight of a parent, but still.....

My vote would be for pulling to a safe spot, and nursing, if possible. If not, then i guess you gotta weight the risks and make that choice.


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#28 of 143 Old 06-05-2008, 01:24 AM
 
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Yeah, I KNOW they use dummies. I'm not a moron. But you said there was crash test data for this specific situation, which I find very interesting, and possibly exagerated. References?
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#29 of 143 Old 06-05-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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I guess my point was that where I live, those things are often hours apart. We don't have interstates with rest stops here so often all you have is a lone highway with the next town 3 hours away that may or may not have an open gas station depending on what time of day you are travelling.
Well, there must not be many people on the road then right? So maybe the highway is (relatively) safe. I don't know, I live in Boston, the highways are PACKED here and in rush hour people are allowed to drive on the shoulder like it's a regular lane.

roxyrox, the fabric of a ringstring is not strong enough to (or designed to) withstand a crash the way a seat belt is. I would not be comfortable with your technique at all.

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Well, you don't need to sit without budging, but for optimal safety, you should be upright, with your tush and back as far back in the seat as you can go and your feet planted on the floor.
Exactly - my husband is an auto safety engineer, and whenever we have passengers in the car he uses the rearview mirror to make sure no one is slouching too much. He says "don't make me tell you about the videos they make us watch."
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#30 of 143 Old 06-05-2008, 02:25 AM
 
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Well, there must not be many people on the road then right? So maybe the highway is (relatively) safe. I don't know, I live in Boston, the highways are PACKED here and in rush hour people are allowed to drive on the shoulder like it's a regular lane.
I was thinking highways, as in the road you travel to get from one city to another city many hours away, are you thinking the same? or do you mean freeways? I guess I don't know what your traffic is like there so maybe your highways (i.e. interstates) are that busy.

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