Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    I just learned that I am going to need to travel for work for an overnight.  LO will then be 12 weeks (ugh!) and is exclusively breastfed, and I pump for his daycare bottles.  Any tips on how best to air travel with expressed milk?  I'm guessing I'll have anywhere from 30-40oz (maybe more?) that I will want to bring home.  I've got the cooler section of my pump that holds (4) 6oz bottles (plus an ice pack) and I have another old pump's cooler bag... also (4) 6oz bottles plus ice pack.  Will I be able to bring this much milk through security?  I've got plenty of freezer stash at home, so I'm not worried about him having enough in my absense.  He's nowhere near sleeping through the night... so he's probably not going to like a bottle once/twice overnight.. (neither is DH, who doesn't have to get up now!).  Would love any tips for pumping, being away from home and airline travel with milk.


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from siena09. Show siena09's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    I traveled for 3 nights and pumped for my 6 month old.  The Isis webinar was invaluable in planning this:

    See the one from 9/13.  It was super helpful.

    This post has some quick tips, but the whole webinar is worth watching:

    The quick answers are:

    Yes, you can bring it through security, just declare it.  However, I checked my cooler bag in my suitcase and was really glad that I did because my plane was 8 hours delayed, and I was hanging out at the airport forever.  Checked luggage was stored in a non-heated outdoor space, so my milk stayed frozen.  

    I requested an empty mini-fridge "for storing medication" from the hotel before I arrived. I cranked the temperature down to the lowest setting, and stored my milk in freezer bags lying flat in the freezer compartment or right under that (coldest part of the mini fridge).  It was mostly frozen that way.

    For travel, I stored the milk in a soft-sided cooler that I bought for this purpose. I filled the cooler with a couple big bags of ice from the hotel ice machine and packed the milk into it, crumpling up newspapers for extra insulation and padding to fill up the cooler completely. Then I put the cooler in my suitcase and checked it.

    Pack dish detergent for washing pump parts.

    DD had never gotten a bottle at night before either.  She wasn't thrilled but she did take it. My DH says it was a really good experience and he is actually happy that he had that opportunity.  So don't stress too much.  You will hopefully get some needed rest, and it might be a nice chance for daddy-baby bonding. :)


  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    Read the TSA website:




  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jc1973. Show jc1973's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    I traveled overseas for about 4 days when my daughter was about 7 months old and I actually shipped my milk back in a box that I put into my suitcase and checked-in.

    I purchased a medium sized styrofoam cooler (one that would snugly fit into my suitcase) in an accompanying box  I then purchased which are flat gel packs that freeze after soaking in water.  I pumped into the medela freezer bags and then stored them in insulated containers with these gel packs whenever I was not near a fridge, and then packed them in the box (they all layed pretty flat and were stackable).

    As for pumping, I found many places to pump in airports (e.g., family bathrooms, VIP lounge bathrooms (I asked nicely) and special pumping rooms).  On the plane, when I was lucky, I could do it under my breast feeding cover when the lights were out, otherwise I just dealt with the grimaces of the people in line outside of the stall doors after I had been in the restroom for 15 minutes.

    Good luck, you're a great mom!

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    I have not done it, but this is a frequent topic on somerville moms.  You may want to print out the TSA guidelines and leave some extra time.  It seems like people have had varied experience with screeners' knowledge of why someone would have b-milk and a pump.  (One example was a suspicious screener wanting to know why they had it when they didn't have a baby with them!)  I guess an inexperienced screener might not get the concept and be more familiar with exceptions for actual traveling babies.  Good luck with your trip!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_3952634. Show user_3952634's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    Hello, I travel regularly for work (weekly) and nursed for 10 months. I request a fridge in my hotel room and keep milk in little plastic nursing bags by medela.  You can technically put milk through security xray (it is a medical exception over the 3 ounce rule, I have brought more than 70 ounces back at once after a several day trip).  I opted not to put through X-ray and would ask for a side check. This is where you could potentially have issues as not all TSA people are educated on this. It should be a simple procedure where they take you aside and wave a wand over a bag of your milk to check it. However they will try to get you to put it through the X-ray and I had many TSA officials give me a hard time, extensive pat downs etc. Key is know your rights, print out the rules on TSA website and also just allow yourself extra time at security for any problems.


    Also, if you have a long flight, just ask the flight attendants for ice to refill. They are more than happy too. I've actually pumped in a plane bathroom on a cross country flight...

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from JeansAndFlips. Show JeansAndFlips's posts

    Re: Current/Former Pumpers and Air Travel

    They are very nice about this! I went to Miami for a girls' weekend for 4 days and pumped while I was there. I didn't bring it all back with me. TSA was super nice and didn't really seem to notice or care. 

    Some other helpful tips:

    1. There are lots of family bathrooms in the aiports with OUTLETS so you can pump without the battery pack.

    2. If you don't know how to already, learn to self express. It is kind of gross but helpful if you get uncomfortable on the plane etc. and don't want to pump. 

    3. Make sure you get a hotel room with a fridge!

    I had a friend who used to pump in public - even on the plane! I'm not that brave, but I'm sure will make you feel better. GOOD LUCK!