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Thread: Pumping and traveling without baby

  1. #1

    Angry Pumping and traveling without baby

    I am traveling for the first time for work. I want to pump and bring the milk home. I will be gone 3 full days. Where do i pump in airports? And what is the best way to get milk home? I was thinking of shipping it FedEx on dry ice. But that means buying a styroform cooler and dry ice. My trips are not always to the same places either!! But I will still have to carry some milk home and on the plane. Will ice packs go through security? Do I just use a small bottle carrier? how much milk would I have be carrying if I pump 2x the evening before I leave and then I travel the entire next day? Do bags work better? How many freezer packs????
    SO stressed and frustrated because I cant find anyone who has done this before! I have a refrigerator in my hotel room. I am taking 2 flights and a layover. Do I pump on the plane bathroom?? it is a 4 hour flight and a 1.5 hour flight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    612

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    I haven't done this myself (yet). Here are the TSA's guidelines for traveling with BM without baby: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...n/formula.shtm It sounds like you basically just need to declare that you're traveling with breastmilk at the security checkpoint, and they'll screen you separately.

    Some ladies report having had success packing breastmilk in their checked baggage, but . . . Personally, one of my first plane trips after high school (with my new luggage), my bag fell out of the luggage tram and they ran over it (I saw treadmarks on it) and broke a bottle of perfume all over my clothes. I'd be heartbroken if something like that happened to expressed milk. Also, they will probably open your checked luggage to inspect the BM, and there's some risk they won't repackage to keep the BM cold.

    As far as how to keep milk cold for shipping:

    You might look into something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Control-Temp-P...3589321&sr=1-4

    It looks like you could pack that box in a collapsed state and then assemble at your destination (smaller than a cooler). It has gel packs that I think you'd have to pack in checked luggage to get to your trip destination, though. The milk shipper says it has tips on shipping milk, so it may have ideas about whether you can do it without dry ice. You'd need to FedEx this, but it should be easier.

    One other thing I've seen is that some ladies say they pre-chilled the milk with dry ice, packed into a soft-side cooler, and just packed into their checked luggage (subject to the caveats above). Or I wonder if you could just check the milk shipper box on the airline? You might call TSA and see what they have to say about that.

    ETA: As far as pumping in airports (or on the plane), I'd just bring a nursing cover and go at it wherever. I'm not sure that any state has a specific law about pumping in public, but you might check to see.

    ETA 2: Actually, I'd probably be very cautious about pumping under a cover or in the bathroom on the plane (underwear bomber). I'd first ring the flight attendant and let her know what you'd be doing, so no one freaks out.

    ETA 3: I wonder if you could order the milk shipper and have it delivered to your hotel room to avoid needing to travel with gel packs for it? Just brainstorming.
    Last edited by @llli*manatee; March 18th, 2010 at 09:09 PM.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    I have travelled for work a few times. On the where to pump at the airport, you can check the airport's internet site. I ended up pumping in the airport bathroom. I wasn't comfortable doing it in the terminal. They might let you use the executive lounge (or you could possibly pay to use it). I didn't pump on the plane - I just waited until I got to my destination. I also called the hotel in advance and asked them to put a fridge with a small freezer in my room - basically like a dorm fridge. The minibar fridges they normally have in the room are not big enough for a multi-day trip. I didn't freeze the milk - just left it in the fridge part - but this enabled me to freeze the ice packs for the way home. I think I used 2 of the blue ice packs - one on top and one on the bottom and it was fine. I carried the milk on and just declared it when I got to security (before I went through or my bags went through). I didn't have any problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    1,056

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    Sending you a PM.

    I'm doing this in a month, and am probably stressing over it more than I need to, but I have nightmares about what will happen to my liquid gold!
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    68

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    If you guys want to pm me, you're welcome to and I'm happy to share everything I did. I've traveled for work by plane three times since LO was born - once was a 3 day trip and the other was 2 days. It actually wasn't that big a deal (for me anyway).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    I definitely recommend bringing it on the plane with you. I've been given grief, but they have ALWAYS let me through with it, and they are supposed to let you. Bring a printout of the TSA rules to show them just in case.

    I have pumped in airport bathrooms and airplane bathrooms. Neither is pleasant and I would pump and dump and then wash your equipment after - it's not that sanitary.

    I agree, given everyone's heightened sense of security (I've read multiple stories of Orthodox Jews getting into trouble for praying on airplanes for example) it's a good idea to give the flight attendant a heads up if you're going to bring a big bulky bag into the bathroom and stay there for a while. Plus then they can divert other passengers to the other bathroom if need be.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    Also, from personal experience DON'T skimp on pumping while you're gone. If your baby is still nursing at night, wake up and pump at least once. I made myself ill by not pumping enough on at least one trip.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    One other thing - pumping in an airport bathroom is MUCH preferred to the airplane itself (though with the 4-hour leg you will probably need to do one session on the airplane). Many airport bathrooms have an area that is hidden from public view but not in the stall section, so you can hang out there, which is much more hygienic and that way you aren't preventing others from using the bathroom. The other option often in the airport is a separate "family-style" bathroom that has a lot more room, a separate lock, and if you're really lucky, a nursing chair that you can sit in to pump.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    41

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    Don't stress - it'll be ok! I had a bunch of interviews while nursing & pumping and pumped through them just fine. I think people's points here have been pretty good. I'd highlight:

    * Family / companion restrooms in the airport! Yes! I didn't realize these the first time I flew and things improve dramatically when I did.
    * If you can arrange to have longer layovers so that you can pump on them, it's definitely easier than trying to pump on the plane. (but if you can't, don't panic, it'll still be fine!)
    * bags are definitely easier for carrying larger amounts of milk - I would generally bring one day's worth of bottles to pump into, then move to bags as I went. they just take up MUCH less space in a cooler that way
    * you can definitely take those commercial ice-packs through security. just be sure to have pumping stuff with you and explain why you have it upfront. I was given a little crap a few times, twice made to show that I had other pumping things with me. Just keep explaining and ask to see a supervisor if necessary.
    * for 3 days, if you're using the bags, you'll probably need like a lunch-box sized cooler at least - I just got a cheap one at walmart. but it's best to estimate based on how much you usually pump

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    41

    Default Re: Pumping and traveling without baby

    Oh! And, I'd also second the suggestion to wake up and pump at least once if your baby is nursing at night. I as well had the experience of figuring it wouldn't matter & I could use the sleep... and I felt just achy and crampy the whole next day (plus I didn't sleep well the second half of the night for engorgement & that panicky feeling that I should be nursing anyways!). From then on I'd set and alarm and wake up once to pump at it worked great.

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