Carring Breast Milk onto Airplane

Updated on March 26, 2009
N.B. asks from Cottage Grove, MN
6 answers

I need a little help. I keep looking into this but I'm still not finding my answer, so I'm going to see if anyone out here knows what to do?

We are getting on a airplane to Vegas. I'm in a friends wedding out there. We are leaving on a Friday and coming home on that Monday. I'm still nursing my 4 month old son. I plan on bringing my pump with to Vegas since my son is staying home with his Grandma. I don't want to waste any breast milk so I'm pumping out there and plan on bringing it all home with me. (I'm carrying everything on the plane with me. I'm not checking any luggage.) I've looked into Northwest policies regarding carrying more than 3oz of a liquid, and that policy doesn't pertain to breast milk/formula you can bring as much milk as you need. question do I get the milk home? We have a fridge in our hotel room. I would bring the milk home in a cooler, but how do I keep it cold? Can I put regular ice in the cooler? Ice packs/gel packs I wouldn't think that you can use. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your help. The TSA website helped out tremendously. We came home on Monday and did not have one single issue with bringing all of that breast milk home. I just let the security agent know what was in the cooler right away, and we were in and out in minutes.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

N. - I had a similar situation when my baby was 3 months old, but mine was for work travel.

I froze the milk in the freezer compartment of the hotel fridge (just request a fridge for your room that has a freezer). Then I put the frozen milk bags in my checked luggage, inside of a few layers of large ziplock bags, in the center of my suitcase. They were all still frozen when I got home. So, my advice: consider checking a bag.

And don't worry about any comments that your baby is too young to leave for a few days. When you get home just start nursing again like normal and it'll be fine.

Way to think ahead!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

If you are bringing your child with you, you can bring as much milk on the plane as you need. If you are leaving your child at home, you will NOT be allowed to bring ANY breastmilk home with you. The liquid regulation, unless things have changed in the last 6 months, only applies to mothers traveling with their babies.



answers from Minneapolis on

You CAN bring gel packs and/or ice in your cooler:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

This has general info on traveling with breastmilk:

Be sure to declare the breastmilk and gel packs right away at screening, and allow yourself some extra time at the airport.



answers from Minneapolis on

Is there any way you could bring your baby with you instead? 4 months seems really young to me to leave for that amount of time, especially with a breastfed baby. Just pumping during those days could really hurt your supply as well. He may not latch on when you get back and it will probably be pretty traumatic for him during the times when you are gone.

It is obviously a hassle to try to pump and store all that milk and since he is so little all you would have to do is call the airlines and tell them you have a lap child. When you are in Vegas perhaps your husband could watch him while you are fulfilling your bridesmaid duties and you could wear him in a sling the other times. You can even nurse in a sling if you are in public doing stuff.

Just my advice, I don't know anything about bringing that much liquid on the plane, but I do know that the test baby water/milk cups with some sort of strip going through security so it would probably take a lot of extra time if they do let you bring the milk back.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi N.,
Regulations must have changed recently because right now you CAN bring your breastmilk on the plane even if you do not have your baby with you. You will have to use gel packs to chill it or something similar because you can not use ice. If you can get enough gel packs around the edges of the cooler and then put all the milk in the center then it should be fine to transport. Just keep the cooler closed as much as possible. Obviously security will need to look at it so you should make sure you have extra time necessary for that.

I am disappointed in Erica's response to your post. I don't think that you deserve to be made to feel guilty for taking a few days to yourself. There is no reason why you should be worried about him latching back on when you get back, it might take a little work, but that short amount of time with a bottle shouldn't affect your ability to breastfeed. My child did a mix of both breast and bottle for months and I never had an issue with her latching or it being "traumatic". My advice would be to make sure he is comfortable with the bottle before you leave (if you haven't already) that way you can be confident he will be eating fine in your absence.

You should take these days off to enjoy yourself, relax and refresh yourself so you can be the best mom you can be! You deserve it!! Have a great time in Vegas!



answers from Minneapolis on

when I traveled - I foze the mile in the bags and brought them on the plane frozen - but you should be able to bring them on in bottles or bags - they may check them by holding them up to a machine to see if they are harmful or not.. just let them know you have breast milk and you shoudl be fine... I would suggest a bigger cooler than the one that comes with the breast pump as I was only able to get 5 bags of mile into it... I would look at using the frozen bottle ice pack... or gel depends on how much you will be pumping..

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