M.B. asks from Austin, TX on August 10, 2010
Traveling on Plane with Breast Milk
I have to travel for 3 days in September without my son who I am still nursing. I will pump while I am away but I wasn't sure the rules on traveling on a plane with breast milk. My milk is like gold to me because I don't get that much so what I do get i am not about to toss down the drain. Have any of you had to do this??
M.L. answers from Austin on August 11, 2010
I have had to travel for business a few times this spring and pumped the whole time I was gone. Needless to say over 2-3 days, there was a lot of milk. I printed out the TSA web pages that outline traveling with breastmilk (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm and http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/sop/index.shtm) which they say is medically necessary as long at it is declared at checkpoint.
I wasn't sure if I needed to check it with my ice pack on my return, so I told the gate agent that I had over 30 oz and she said it was fine. Each time I got to a checkpoint I declared the milk and had no problems. One time I flew through Regan National, which has pretty tight security and they had no issues at all.
Best of luck to you!
1 mom found this helpful
Z.D. answers from Chicago on August 10, 2010
I would call the airlines, and the airport, and talk to them. See if there is a way to make an exception for you. If not, I guess figure out how to store the milk in check-in luggage :(
K.G. answers from St. Louis on August 10, 2010
Yes. A lot, actually.
I've called hotels to see if they had a freezer I could use. The answer was always "yes." When I was away, I pumped and stored it in the hotel freezer. Then just before I left, I would pack the milk in a travel cooler and take it with me on the plane. This was after 9/11. I just talked to the airline representatives beforehand, and they were always willing to work with me.
Depending on the timing, I would also pump at the airport before the plane left and just add that milk in with the frozen milk. All the milk stayed frozen pretty well until I returned home, at which point I would either put it in my home freezer or put a bag or two in the refrigerator for day care the next day.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, let me know!
M.G. answers from San Antonio on August 11, 2010
As long as it is breast milk in a bag and you show your pump, you will be fine. I had to bring breast milk on the plane and they saw it was for the baby and they passed me through. They will pull you aside and double check it, but I as long as it is something for the baby, you should be fine if you just explain. The only difference is that I had my baby with me. It sounds like you will not, so explaining may be a little more difficult.
When in doubt, call the airline.
C.S. answers from Houston on August 11, 2010
get a doc note, you can only have 3oz of liquid, even if it's breastmilk, they're sticklers about it
K.H. answers from New York on August 10, 2010
I have done this many times. It is absolutely NOT TRUE that they will make you dump it out. If you have your pump with you and your cooler full of breastmilk, when you get to the security line, you just need to notify them that you are travelling with breastmilk. I usually tell the person who is checking my ID and then s/he directs me to the person who is doing the security line and tells me to inform them. They will take the pump and the milk and test it. I have never had them ask me to dump the milk, ever.
I have also shipped my milk home on occasion if I was not able to leave enough behind to make it through my whole trip. The best way to do it is with dry ice, but I couldn't find any, so I just went ahead and froze the milk, wrapped it up with ice packs in a cooler, put everything in a cardboard box and overnighted it home for early morning delivery. It worked out fine.
Best of luck!
A.C. answers from Houston on August 16, 2010
I was breastfeeding and travelling a lot for business right when they started the liquid restrictions. It was the ONLY time I've ever had to "argue" my way through the TSA checkpoint...before there was any exemption specified for formula or breastmilk.
Some trips were easier than others, but I went from one end of the U.S. to another...Canada, too and never had to dump anything out.
I would give yourself extra time to get through security and ask the agent who checks your id and boarding pass right at the beginning. Let them know you have breastmilk and need and extra screening.
I actually had more issues with my breast pump needing to be checked out than I ever had with the milk itself....and I've taken more than 40 ounces through (I was a dairy cow in another life).
If you encounter any resistance, the key is to politely ask to speak with their supervisor...and the next supervisor and so on and so forth until you reach someone with the authority to allow you through.
As a side note, don't call the airline for security questions...you need to call the TSA. They are the governing body...not the airline.
C.N. answers from Minneapolis on August 10, 2010
They have things to test it now- and you can bring it along. I understand the "gold" comparison- I am/was the same way. Make sure you get a good ice pack(the one that comes with the Medela pump was great) because you don't want it to not stay "fresh". Airport security and breast pumps- I could write 1000 stories because it is usually awkward(but totally worth it).