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Are you thinking of how to travel with breast milk? Feeding the baby becomes a challenge when you are on the road if you are breastfeeding. You will have to think of how to travel with breast milk. There have been incidences of people not wanting mothers to breastfeed their children in public, sometimes there aren’t any private nursing areas where a mother could pump breastmilk.
It gets even more challenging when there are restrictions on how much breast milk you are allowed to carry onto the plane. This is because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland security have made specifications on how much of anything can be added on to a person. After all, they become suspicious.
Some airlines do not let women on board when a specified amount of milk is exceeded. However, women are allowed to come into the plane with a breast pump as it is termed a medical necessity. Below are tips on how to travel with breast milk. This will help to keep the milk fresh and viable through the journey:
1) Do not leave unfrozen
When milk is expressed into a bottle, a container or a plastic bag, make sure you do not leave the breastmilk on a surface or in a place where it continues to warm up. Unfrozen milk can remain viable for six hours. When this time passes, it is strongly advised to discard the milk and express a new batch. Therefore, when on a journey that will take that long, take precautions to save your milk.
2) Take extra milk bottles
When on a journey, it is always good to take more than one of everything. Having an extra milk collection bottle or plastic bag provides you with another place to pump milk if the need arises.
3) Use cover-up
Some people don’t care about what others say about them while breastfeeding in public. Even the most progressive communities still have something negative to say when a mother breastfeeds. As a precaution and to avoid harassment, use a breastfeeding coverup for when you’ll feed your baby in public.
4) Get an Insulator Cooler
For your milk to last and remain viable during the journey, you need to get a standard insulator cooler that keeps most of the cold in and prevents the warmth from coming in which ensures that the milk maintains its freshness.
5) Do not mix your milk
When you don’t have enough bottles to collect your expressed milk, you may be tempted to mix some of the milk and use its container. This is a big no, every batch of expressed milk has its date of expiration, do not mix two things that have different expiry or else the two will be lost.
6) Bring your breast pump
Whenever the pumping of breast milk has begun to augment the baby’s milk supply or for medical reasons, it is important to maintain whatever schedule you have for pumping because the body is already accustomed to that routine. This ensures that you still have fresh milk whenever your baby needs it.
7) Do not refreeze
To feed your baby from the frozen milk you’ve expressed, you need to thaw it. You thaw the milk; get it to a temperature that can be tolerated by the baby and you discard it whether or not the baby completely drank the milk or not. Refreezing previously frozen-thawed milk is not advisable for your baby.
8) Bring Ice Packs
This is more achievable when you travel by yourself or on the road and you can bring along as many ice packs as you would need. If you’re traveling by air or on a cruise, you would have to make preparations to keep your milk from thawing before getting to your destination.
9) Do not pump too often
Yes, your baby needs the milk but that doesn’t mean that you need to pump in excess. Especially when you don’t have the right places to keep the milk fresh. Do not pump what you may end up throwing out.
10) Talk to the TSA
Most TSA staff and personnel do know about the nature of pumping and they understand the regulations of breastmilk and pumping gear, however, some don’t. If you come across someone like that, explain to the person about what’s going on and advise him to get more information from his superiors.
11) Always Declare
When you get to TSA, it always makes the process of checking the milk smoother when you declare it to them. If you have any specifications on how they should handle the milk, feel free to tell them.
At your hotel, ask for a room with a refrigerator or a freezer. It will save you the stress of having to go down to the reception and asking for an ice pack when you need the milk frozen. The hotel staff is always more than happy to help, so do not worry about creating an inconvenience. Also, having the freezer in your room gives you a place to keep any freshly expressed milk.
13) Use Ice packs
This comes in handy when you take a short trip with the milk, use as many ice packs as needed to keep your milk fresh throughout your journey.
14) Try FedEx
You can send the breastmilk through FedEx as well. To pack the milk, use a cooler with dry ice after sealing the milk bottles or containers in ziplock bags and wrapping in another container, most likely a newspaper.
15) Check Regulations
For international travels, you will have to find out what your destination’s specifications are and try to adhere to them.
With the 15 tips on how to travel with breast milk above, you’ll be able to do all your activities whether work or travel and still be very well involved and a hands-on mom.