Tips for Traveling With Breast Milk

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7 Ways to Make Traveling With Breast Milk Easier

I consider myself an experienced traveler, but traveling with my son has presented a new level of planning for travel. One of the biggest challenges thus far has been traveling with breast milk.

In the first seven months of his life, we have taken a number of major road trips and flown twice. My milk supply is good, but I like to travel with back-up milk. I prefer to have at least a bottle of fresh milk and a few bags of frozen breast milk during each trip.

According to the Center for Disease Control, fresh milk may be safely stored in an insulated cooler bag with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours. Refrigerated milk can be stored for 5 days.

Keeping the CDC recommendations in mind, you can easily travel with breast milk, whether packing it along for your traveling baby, or packing milk you have pumped while away from your baby to take home.


Tips For Traveling With Breast Milk

    1. Pack a bottle with cold or icy milk. During my last trip, I pulled out a frozen milk and let it defrost enough that I could squeeze it into a bottle. It was still icy, but I knew I would not need it immediately. I was not sure if I would have time to use the nursing room at the airport and I am not one to nurse in public, unless absolutely necessary. The bottle with the icy milk was still cool (without being in a cooler) after we got on the plane.
    2. Pack a cooler. Whether you are packing milk for your baby or packing milk to bring home to your baby, a well insulated cooler is a good investment. There are a ton of breast milk storage coolers available. Or you can use a lunch box with ice packs. Depending on how long you need to keep your milk cool, you may want to invest in a more insulated option. When we road trip, I put frozen milk into our Yeti cooler to keep it frozen until we get to our destination.
    3. Frozen milk = ice pack. Instead of wasting space with ice packs, use frozen milk bags as ice packs.
    4. Freeze milk and check it. During my last trip, I packed a small, soft sided breast milk cooler bag, with four bags of frozen milk, in my checked bag. We left the house at 8am and reach our final destination at 4pm, and guess what, the two bags in the middle were still frozen solid and the two bags on the outside were just starting to defrost.

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      Four bags of frozen milk after traveling over 8 hours.
    5. Bring extra bags. Whether traveling by car or plane, have extra bags (Ziploc or even breast milk storage bags) on hand to fill with ice. Should you experience a travel delay, you can keep your milk cold longer.
    6. Leave it the pros. If you are pumping milk while away from your baby, consider shipping it home using a breast milk shipping service like Milk Stork or even ship it yourself to avoid carrying it through the airport on your way home.
    7. Follow TSA regulations. When it comes to airport security, make sure you understand TSA regulations. You are allowed to carry breast milk through security, but, if you take ice packs, they must be frozen solid.

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Do have any tips for traveling with breast milk? Please share below!

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