How to Travel with Breast Milk and While Pumping

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Are you about to take a trip, but you’re also breastfeeding and you’re a little nervous about how to safely travel with breast milk?

Will you be flying soon and are wondering what the protocol for taking breast milk on a plane is?

Let me help and give you some traveling with breast milk tips!

Read on mama!

How to Travel with Breast Milk on a Plane

We are all aware of TSA’s strict liquid policies. This is worrisome for any breastfeeding mom when it comes to traveling with breast milk.

The thought of any of our hard earned “liquid gold” being dumped or confiscated is heart-wrenching.

I did some research of TSA’s breast milk policies.

I suggest you look through it as well and print it off to have with you just incase you encounter an officer that lacks training on this topic.

Keep reading to get the details on everything you need to know about traveling with breast milk on a plane.

How to Get Through Airport Security with Breast Milk

Rest assured mama, a reasonable amount of frozen breast milk is permitted to take through security.

However, this may be different when flying internationally.

Be sure to notify the TSA officer ahead of time and remove all frozen breast milk to be screened separately from your other belongings.

Your breast milk will need to be screened and passed as safe to fly just as any other liquid.

The officers will most likely want to X-ray the breast milk, which you can decline and they will proceed using a different method of testing.

Summary

Frozen breast milk is permitted on planes, but it must be scanned separately and you can request to not have it be x-rayed.

How to Keep Breast Milk Cold on a Plane

Success, you have your frozen breast milk on the plane with you, but how are you going to keep it from thawing during your trip.

This would be a disaster!

Good news mama, because you are also allowed ice packs, freezer packs or frozen gel packs in a carry on to preserve the breast milk.

If you need a little breast milk cooler that comes with icepacks, I highly recommend these Cold Gold Coolers by Sarah Wells.

They also make matching breast pump bags so you can be that adorable coordinated mama for your trip!

Best Tip: If you don’t want to mess with ice going through security, wait until you are through and get ice at a restaurant in the airport terminal.

Can I bring My Breast Pump on a Plane?

Thankfully, your breast pump does not count as a carry on item, it is considered a medical device.

However, any other pumping supplies you bring on the plane, such as bottles and pump parts will be counted as a carry on or personal item.

So, make sure to pack wisely and think about investing in a good breast pump bag.

How to Pump on a Plane

It’s well known when traveling, especially via airplane, there can be a lot of down time spent in-between getting to where you need to be.
If you are stressing about when and how to pump during those extended stay layovers and long flights, I have some ideas that may make things easier for you, mama.

Use a Portable Pump

A wearable electric breast pump is going to be your best option when pumping on a plane.

Investing in one of these handsfree pumps like the Willow, is a smart idea for any kind of pumping on the go.

They are small and discreet and no worrying about finding a suitable spot to plug in. The best part of all, you maintain your privacy.

In fact, no one even has to know you’re pumping!

If you’re not ready to commit to a Willow Pump, I also recommend the BabyBuddha portable breast pump for your travels and here is a discount code you can use to put towards it!

Pair a portable pump with Spectra Handsfree Cups and you’re winning at this airport pumping game!

How to Breastfeed at the Airport

The best way to breastfeed at the airport, or anywhere in public is with a baby carrier.

These Solly Baby Carriers are designed with the most up to date technology for mom and baby’s safety and comfort.

You will also want to have a dual purpose nursing cover for added discretion.

These jersey stretch covers can be used as a car seat canopy, shopping cart cover or on a high chair, which makes this item perfect for travel!

Use the code LOVEOURLITTLES and get one for FREE! You can even get your little one’s name embroidered on it for less than $10.00!

Read Next: Benefits of Baby Wearing

Pumping on Road Trips

Pumping in the car and road tripping it with breast milk is much less formal than flying.

However, there are still some logistics that need to be worked out and here’s what you need to know.

  • If you’re pumping in the car, get a converter so you can use your standard electric pump! Grab one at Amazon and it should be to you within a couple of days!
  • Pack a handsfree pumping bra, my personal favorite is this one by Simple Wishes.
  • If you’re traveling without your little one, use a breast milk storage system that allows you to pump right into the bag. The Kiinde twist system allows for this option.

I have been using this system for a long time now and I have been extremely happy with it! See if you are eligible for free supplies using this link!

How to Safely Keep Breast Milk in the Car

I’m not going to lie, traveling with breast milk far distances can be a big inconvenience, especially if you are traveling without your little one.

You can end up with a lot of breast milk that must be carefully stored and protected from spoiling!

I’ll state the obvious, you must use a good cooler!

There really can’t be any opportunity for the breast milk to increase in temperature more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures above 45º F allow for harmful bacteria to grow that can compromise the quality of the breast milk.

Whatever method of cooling you choose, be diligent in checking the temperature of the breast milk as often as possible.

Although, maybe you’ll be lucky with some chilly weather and won’t need to worry as much about the breast milk getting too warm!

Even so, get your breast milk in a freezer as soon and for as long as possible when you can!

Summary

Traveling with breast milk and having to pump on a plane or in a car can be a an inconvenience to say the least.

However, you learned some tips today to hopefully help you get more prepared for your journey ahead.

You are now aware that you can take breast milk on a plane. You just need to bring frozen breast milk and it does need to be screened first, but you can decline an x-ray of the milk.

Your breast pump can accompany you on the plane and it is considered a medical device.

For the best pumping experience while flying, use a wearable electric pump like the Willow. 

If you are going to be breastfeeding at the airport, use a comfortable and safe baby carrier designed for nursing while baby wearing and use a dual purpose nursing cover.

For pumping while driving, bring a power converter for your breast pump and wear a handsfree pumping bra. Keep your fresh breast milk on ice always and do not let it reach temperatures of more than 45º F.

Traveling with breast milk tips and pumping in strange places

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