before. You can easily throw it into a suitcase or just write the guidelines down. Here are the “rules” for storing milk freshly expressed milk:
– Get good equipment and plenty of storage. Obviously you don’t have access to a refrigerator or freezer 24/7 while you are traveling so it is important to have good quality coolers with enough room to store ice packs AND milk. A good pump is also a must and make sure you have plenty of storage bottles or bags (bottles are sturdier but take up room, bags can bust but are easier to transport). Don’t forget cleaning wipes! Check out our “All About Breastpumps” and “Supplies You Need to Nurse” blogs for our favorite brands and products.
– Have extras. It sucks to over pack but it sucks even more not to have what you need. Pack extra batteries for your pump and milk storage bags. Nothing worse than being delayed and not able to pump…or having to dump milk because you didn’t bring enough storage!
– Bring plenty of Sharpies and labels and…gift bags?. Traveling can make anyone crazy and do silly things. Make sure you label your milk with at least a date as soon as you pump it. That way you won’t be asking yourself “how old is this milk?!”. Gift bags are also super convenient to use when traveling with milk because you can easily contain all your milk in a fridge/freezer with them. Lots of hotels even have guest freezers…just hand over your labeled milk and they’ll throw it in the freezer for you.
– Plan ahead. You are probably going to need to pack a whole other bag of nursing supplies whether or not you are traveling with baby. If you are flying, check the TSA’s website for any updates in the requirements for breastmilk. A Mother is allow to take her milk through security (frozen or thawed) in more than 3oz quantities but it is subject to testing. This testing can take a bit so make sure you leave plenty of time in your travel schedule.