By Rainbow Partridge, BCBrand Ambassador
Sponsored by Dr. Smith’s
Rainbow Partridge is a mother of two under age four with a third on the way. As a working mom who travels often, she decided that breastfeeding was what she wanted to do and she wasn’t going to let her travel or work interfere with that. She has successfully breastfed both of her children for two years.
- Bring copy of TSA guidelines, as many TSA agents are unfamiliar with guidelines, especially if you are traveling without baby.
- To carry pumped milk on plane: Pack milk in storage bags, less than 4oz is better, so it doesn’t spill out, in a soft cooler with ice packs or ziploc bags with ice. (We also love PackIt for this task.) Ask flight attendants for more ice if needed. You can carry pumped milk either frozen or liquid. When carrying milk, make sure to declare it to security and remember that you may need an extra security check. You DO NOT need to open bags of milk or taste.
- International Flights: Make sure to check guidelines on amount of milk you can carry, specifically if you are flying through London Heathrow.
- Feeding: You can bring formula, food, liquids on baby, in any amount (per TSA). Make sure to declare you are carrying it as you may need to do additional testing. They may ask to open pouches for testing.
- Nursing at the airport/on the plane: If you prefer to use a cover, a scarf or a poncho are great options. Molly Ades makes a few great poncho options and Itzy Ritzy makes a great nursing scarf.
- You can bring your pump on the plane. It should not count towards your carry on luggage allowance.
- Leave extra time to pump so that you don’t miss flight.
- Best places to pump: An empty gate, airline admirals lounge (even if not a member, ask if you can use it to pump!), or ask to board early with first class so that you can pump in seat or bathroom while it’s still clean and no one is in line. Check to see if the airport you are at has a pumping room. Chicago Midway has one now and O’Hare also has a room in Terminal 2.
- Pumping on plane: Keep in mind that there is so much white noise, no one can actually hear your pump if you decide to pump in your seat.
- You can travel with pumped milk, there is no limit.
Additional Travel Tips if you are Pumping:
- Ask hotel for medical fridge and a microwave if possible. You will not be charged for the refrigerator if it is for medical purposes.
- Medela Quick Clean Wipes and Medela Micro-Steam Bags are great to clean pump parts on the go.
- I like the Medela Freestyle pump, as it uses a rechargeable battery or plug for pumping in obscure places. You can also use this pump abroad.
- Make sure that you have all your parts to pump when you travel.
- A manual pump is also good for travel if you don’t need to pump a lot.
- You can ship pumped milk via dry ice–for larger quantities and if you are gone for a long period of time.
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