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Thread: Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

  1. #1

    Question Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

    My sister is due to have her first baby March 3, and due to a medical issue will not be able to breastfeed. I just had my second child in September and have been blessed with enough supply that I can afford to give some of my breastmilk to my sister. The problem is that she just moved to California and I live in Missouri. I'd really like to do this for her, but am a little stumped as to how to get the milk to her. I've read some things about overnight shipping the milk, but it is VERY expensive. My parents are going to be flying back and forth several times, so I'm thinking it would be better to send the milk with them in a styrofoam cooler as a checked bag. Does anyone have any experience with this? Can you put dry ice in a checked bag or should it be an ice blanket? What happens if the milk starts to thaw, will it spoil faster? I'm hoping to send about 300 oz. to her frozen. How long will it take a newborn to blow through that? I'm feeling a bit lost. I have about 70 oz. stored up from the last couple of weeks in 3 oz. increments. Is that the best size for what I am trying to do? I've never really messed with frozen milk before. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

    I have no experience with this, sorry. Maybe this youtube video can answer some of your questions? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBmmR2WB5Ec

    Kudos to you for sharing with your sister.
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

    First, what is the medical issue your sister has? It might be a good idea for her to get some more input on whether or not she can nurse- it's really common for moms to be told that they cannot nurse when they actually can. For example, it's really common for moms with inverted nipples to be told that they can't nurse, when they can- though they may face challenges. Many moms are also advised against nursing if they are taking medications, or if they have certain conditions- but again, the real answer may be something quite different.

    I am not sure about the particulars of shipping, but I do know that milk that is partially thawed can be refrozen as long as there are still ice crystals in the milk.

    Most babies take about 19-30 oz of milk per day, from the newborn period on until they start transitioning to a majority solid food diet. So 300 oz is going to last around 10-15 days. Not long. But still an incredible gift!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

    Wow I just typed so much and was logged out so I lost it
    I had a few links and it seems mommal said some of what I said so at least I won't be redundant.
    Here are the links anyway.

    Look through all the links in this kellymom page specifically, how much, storage and handling and shipping.

    Tsa's info on dry ice. You might also think about calling the airline directly. People like to help generally and may have dealt with this before.

    I think it is great that you are willing and able to do that.

    PS. If it is a medication thing the best resource for that is Hale or even Dr Newman who might help you or her find a different treatment.

    Last edited by @llli*m11612; January 18th, 2016 at 08:01 PM. Reason: links not working

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Shipping vs. flying milk and how much do I need???

    I have had no problems flying with pumped milk. I printed the TSA webpage saying you can bring pumped milk and brought that with. If you have an itinerary showing a 5 day trip, I think you can definitely prove "reasonable" if that's how much you happened to pump. One good way to keep the milk cold while flying is to bring plenty of sandwhich sized zip top bags. You can continually refill them with ice in the airport terminal or from the flight attendants as they melt. I never had problems with my ice packs, either. The TSA information I saw just inidcated that it needed to be frozen when you go through security.

    IMO shipping the milk is a lot riskier due to lost packages and heat/cold you cannot control. If you pack milk in bags, you should be able to fit it in a hand cooler and take that as a carry on.

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