Have a trip around the corner? We know that traveling away from your sweet bundle of joy can be a little stressful. That’s why we’ve put together this short list of tips for before, during, and after your trip so that things go as smoothly as possible while you’re away from your baby.
Plan Your Stash and Backup
There’s no such thing as being too prepared, especially when it comes to breast milk. Whether you are stockpiling or shipping your milk, always make sure that you have a plan for how you’ll keep your baby nourished while you are away.
Figure out how many ounces your baby needs per day, multiply it by how long you’ll be gone, and add a little extra in case of delays, growth spurts, or anything else that could happen.
If you can, always keep a couple of days’ supply of frozen milk at home. And, in case of an emergency, always have a canister of formula stored in an accessible location with bottled water. Make sure that your partner or caregiver knows where it is and how it to prepare it.
Make sure that you have everything you need to pump on-the-go while you’re away from home.
Don’t forget to pack:
- The power cord for your pump
- The car adapter for your pump (if you are renting a car)
- An outlet adapter for your pump (if you are traveling abroad)*
- Extra breast milk storage bags
- Gel packs
- Cleaning supplies (small sponge and dish soap plus microwave disinfection bags)
- Extra pump parts (breast shields, membranes, bag attachment parts)
- Gallon-sized Ziplocs (for ice, to organize pump parts, or to rescue a leaky breast milk storage bag)
*Be sure to check with your pump manufacturer to make sure your power and adapter setup will not damage your pump.
Be Security Savvy
Print out the TSA guidelines for traveling with breast milk and carry them with you.
In the US, breastfeeding mothers are allowed to carry on:
- Breast pumps and breast milk (regardless of whether or not they are traveling with their children)
- Breast milk in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces (breast milk is not subject to the three-ounce limitation)
- Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs, and other accessories required to cool breast milk
Note that all of these items are subject to additional inspections.
Also, you may opt out of X-ray screening of your breast milk, but in doing so, you and your milk will be subject to additional screening procedures.
Arrive early to allow for extra security screenings.
If your trip was for work, and you used Milk Stork to carry or ship breast milk, you could get your money back!
Many companies now are providing Milk Stork to employees as a benefit, and in most cases it was because a mom asked her company to support her commitment to breastfeed.
You can find the resources that have helped countless other moms get their companies on board with this benefit on the Milk Stork reimbursement page.