Flying and breastmilk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone flown recently and had pumped milk with them? I'm wondering how airports are handling this now. I have to take a 2 day trip to Alabama at the end of the month and will hopefully have about 60 ounces of milk flying home with me. Any suggestions on how to pack it, carry on or pack a in cooler in checked luggage? Any advice would be appreciated.

Jenn
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#2 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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The LA Times recently had an article about Armenian Orthodox priests having to pack holy oil in checked bags, so my best guess is that you'd need to check it as baggage. I know....not the same thing at all, except in terms of volume.

How long is your flight? In terms of checking it through, is there a way you could freeze it (and then pack in a cooler w/ ice packs), just to be sure it would stay cold?

Mom of two girls.
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#3 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Hm. Should have researched before I answered.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...n/formula.shtm

Quote:
TSA is also modifying the rules associated with carrying breast milk through security checkpoints. Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.

Mom of two girls.
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#4 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I flew from AZ to PA with about 80 oz of frozen milk in my checked luggage.

I bought one of those insulated cooler bags at the supermarket for $10 and had a frig put in my hotel room for "medical purposes" (you may have to pay extra - like $10) while at the conference. The freezer in the little mini frig worked well . I loaded gallon sized freezer bags i brought from home with ice from the ice machine in the hotel and packed everything in the insulated cooler bag with towels, etc. around it. I made it home fine with no problems. I did end up pumping and dumping on the trip home since it was just easier not to have to worry about keeping everything clean.

I had a hand pump with me in my carry on and my electric pump in my checked luggage. I must say, the looks I got from the security guys were priceless!
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#5 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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TSA saw the light of many angry women and their elected officials and made it allowed to bring any amount of milk in any size containers with or without the child.

Unless you can't carry it physically, I wouldn't check the bags. Jet Blue lost 40 oz of my milk (and the rest of the suitcase) before the TSA rule got fixed.
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#6 of 12 Old 10-15-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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When I flew in August there was actually an annoucement over the loudspeaker at Logan Airport - part of regular rotation of announcements - saying that breastmilk and formula are exempt from the rules about liquids on carry-ons.
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#7 of 12 Old 10-16-2008, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice!

The other question I have is about carryons. I vaguely remember the rule being 1 carryon and 1 personal item i.e. purse. Is that still true? I'll have a laptop and my pump bag, is there any chance I can carry them both on because I need to pump on my layover in Atlanta. I do have the Medela freestyle so the other option would be to put that in my computer bag with 1 set of pump stuff so that I have it with me but I would really like to keep it seperate if possible.

I did call the hotel and asked for a fridge in my room but didn't say "medical necessity" so they said there's no guarantee that I'll have one but said it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe I'll call and say it's for medical purposes. I was planning on packing a soft cooler in my luggage with a bunch of gel icepacks then packing that for the trip home. So then the question is can I carry on the cooler bag and my computer bag on the trip home?

Thanks for all your help. Can you tell it's been a long time since I travelled for work?

Jenn
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#8 of 12 Old 10-16-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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Yes- last month I brought a carry-on AND a purse, diaper bag and pump. The purse, diaper bag and pump are not considered carry-ons.
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#9 of 12 Old 10-16-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom_2_carson View Post
Thanks for all the advice!
I was planning on packing a soft cooler in my luggage with a bunch of gel icepacks then packing that for the trip home.
Jenn
When I saw the pp's link with the new rule, my first thought was, "THANK GOODNESS!" I don't have to pump anymore, but I remember when my daughter was 1, I agonized over the newly implemented gels and liquids rules. It only took them 3.5 years to fix it!

I always wondered whether the gel packs would be a problem. It used to not be allowed. I think the quote below means that gel packs are now okay. Maybe the quote below also means that dry ice is okay as well?

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1059.shtm

Additional items you may bring include:

* Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
* Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
* Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
* Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.
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#10 of 12 Old 10-17-2008, 07:21 AM
 
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I just flew round trip to southern California for a conference. I flew out with my breastpump bag that included one ice pack as a carry-on. I put several other ice packs and a collapsable cooler bag (square with flat bottom) in my checked luggage. I was stopped at security and asked if I understood the rules on liquids. I just explained that I needed the ice pack for breast milk while traveling. No problem. The TSA agent advised me to let them know up-front next time. Also, when I asked him not to touch any of the plastic parts in the bag because it was a breast pump, he was very respectful.

I got a fridge put in my room at the hotel. I froze the ice packs but not the milk. Partly because the little dorm-room fridge has a freezer about the size of a deck of cards but also because I didn't want frozen milk to thaw on the way home and then be stuck with a bunch of milk I couldn't refreeze. I transported the milk in Lasinoh plastic bags.

On the way home, I had the cooler bag with several ice packs as a carry-on. I have the Medela Freestyle pump, so I just put the pump and parts in the cooler so I could pump on the plane and not have too many things to carry.

When I got up to the agent in the security line, I just told her the cooler was full of breast milk. They put it through the scanner and I was on my way.
So, seems to me the TSA has really changed its ways on this. I couldn't have had an easier time.
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#11 of 12 Old 10-18-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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At my last conference, I got a fridge put in my room and used the freezer. I have excess lipase in my milk so I have to scald it and freeze it to keep it long term. I brought a small bottle warmer with me and scalded my milk with that and then froze it in the fridge. The freezer worked well. I turned it up to the max level and kept the door closed as much as possible. I was able to freeze 50oz in Lansinoh bags and keep it frozen. I stacked some of them close to, but outside the little freezer area in the fridge and they stayed frozen.

When I left, I packed the milk in a cooler bag with just the frozen milk, some blue ice packs and newspaper filling the gaps. If you are transporting frozen milk, do not add regular ice. It is warmer than frozen milk and will actually cause it to melt faster. After about 7 hours of travel, my milk was 95% frozen. The milk packs on the outside were a little slushy. If it is not completely thawed you can go ahead and refreeze it. I just made sure I used those up in the following week.

I couldn't imagine checking the milk. I brought a breastpump bag as my carryon and my milk as my "personal item". No one really questioned me about it but I decided that would be my response if I was questioned.

One problem I had during the trip is I was missing a part or I broke a part I can't remember. I missed a half day session and paid a fortune in cab fare so I could hunt around in an unfarmiliar city for the part. It was probably the little yellow thing on the Medela horn I think. Anyway, after I got back I posted my experience on the pumpmoms yahoo list and a few women told me they would have brought me the part if I had asked on the list!!! So, I think if you are travelling and have any type of pump issues. Email and/or post your problems and there very well could be someone in that city that could help you!

p.s. I read a story that a woman had her blue ice packs confiscated at the beginning of the trip because she didn't have any milk yet. She then started bringing 2 oz of milk from home with her at the beginning of the trip. Maybe it's a little paranoid but I did too.
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#12 of 12 Old 10-18-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a little concerned about traveling with the blue icepacks so I was thinking of packing those in my luggage on the way there because milk is good at room temp for up to 8 hours. So if I pump on my layover I only have about 4 hours and then I'll have a fridge to put it in at the plant. I can freeze the ice packs at the plant or my hotel fridge and have them for the trip home. I'd hate to have them confiscated on my way there.

Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. It's enough to worry about DD while I'm away because she's never taken a bottle at night before but I know DH will figure something out.
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