Nursing Moms Guide to Flying While Breastfeeding

I’m what some may call a frequent flyer. I travel once a month for work by way of airplane. Since having my little one a few months ago I have begun to fly again. Like many moms I had so many questions. One in particular was. “Can I take my pumped milk on a plane?” 

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Yes! You absolutely can, but as you know flying period has a bunch of rules now so here is your guide on traveling with breastmilk.  

Prepare

You want to make life easier and prepare your milk before getting on a flight. You are allowed to carry your milk in both your checked bag and carry on.

Checked Bag

If storing in a checked bag that is going under the plane you want to store your milk in either breastmilk storage bags or milk storage bottles. You then want to place your milk in a cooler bag with icepacks to keep your milk cold.

Carry On

If you will be bringing your milk on board, the first thing you want to do is make sure your milk is stored in clear milk storage bags or bottles. I suggest using bags so that you are not taking up a ton of space in your carry on. You then will want to place all your milk in a large clear bag like a zip lock for getting through security.

Once you are going through security you immediately want to let the security know that you have breastmilk. In my experience they have been extremely accommodating so hopefully its the same for you. They will ask you to remove your milk separate from your carry on. You will then place your milk in a bin and your milk will be x-rayed or scanned.

The Food and Drug Administration states that there are no known adverse effects from eating food, drinking beverages and using medicine screened by X-ray. (Source)

In some cases they may open your milk. Be sure whomever is checking your milk is wearing gloves. Clean gloves. Do not be afraid to ask them to change their gloves are to put on gloves when handling your milk.

In the Terminal

Once you have passed through security you are now headed to your terminal. If you will be there a while, you want to make sure your milk stays cool especially if you choose not to freeze it before hand. Be sure to bring a cooler bag and ice packs.

If you need to pump or nurse if baby is traveling with you, a few airports have nursing rooms or lactation suites. Unfortunately, this is not all airports so be sure to ask an airport worker if they have one or you can go online to search if they offer one. If you are in an airport that does not have a designated nursing area you can nurse or pump right in the terminal with a nursing cover (or without! Remember you can nurse anywhere anytime your feeding you baby and trying to maintain your milk supply so do not feel uncomfortable). You are allowed to bring your pump on board a plane. Your breast pump is considered a medical device and does not count toward your bag allowance.

In the Air

Once you are on the plane if you need to nurse your baby again you can choose to use a nursing cover or do as I do and simply just feed your baby. If you need to pump I suggest a manual pump. Manual pumps are so convenient and easy to use. You can check out Why I Love My Manual Pump to learn more about manual pump benefits.

As a frequent flyer these tips are coming in handy for me and my little one on our trips. I’m a mom who needs and wants to be prepared for everything when going into restricted situations, so I hope this helps another mom out.

 

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