One of the largest challenges during allergen-free breastfeeding is navigating travel. Between milk storage, TSA, meal prep, and finding places to pump are so problematic that it causes anyone to avoid traveling at all costs. However, this isn’t feasible for most.
Read some tips for successfully traveling with or without your baby!
Food Prep Is Important and Will Ease Stress:
Find a great breast milk travel cooler that will transit well, something that you can easily secure or tape shut. Consider how many days you will be gone and prepare to have a protein, carb, fat, and vegetable source for each meal plus some extra snack food.
Meat such as chicken and steak can be pre-cooked, vacuum sealed, and frozen. This serves as double duty by keeping other foods in your cooler chilled. Pull out meat to thaw as needed. Grilled chicken breasts travel well and are enjoyable cold if a microwave isn’t available. The cooler can then be used to transport milk back home.
Keeping you nourished during your travels is just as important as when you’re at home. Whether you’re traveling for work or fun, it’s an added stressor ut being prepared can help you feel better about it.
Pro tip: A hard plastic cooler with a flat top doubles as a seat if you end up pumping in an obscure location.
Pumping While Traveling:
Many airports now have nursing/pumping rooms available and can be located with a quick google search. Make sure the pump has a battery pack and you bring extra batteries in case you cannot find a good location with an available outlet. An extra Ziploc works great for used pump parts until you can properly clean them.
Transporting Your Breast Milk When Traveling:
Use the cooler that you packed your food in to transport your milk home. Freeze your milk flat in bags to maximize space and add frozen water bottles or ice packs. Frozen water bottles are allowed if they are solid. Consider also grabbing ice from a restaurant once you are past security. Alternatively, you can use a handy breast milk chiller such as Ceres Chill to easily transport up to 34 oz! Even if you aren't traveling, this amazing product is a breastfeeding game changer.
It’s likely you’ve heard horror stories of parents having to pump their milk when going through security at the airport. These alarming instances leave behind a devastated family and an outraged public.
This had led to the following guidelines for breast milk transportation through the TSA: