Going on trips to see family and friends is one of the highlights of the holiday season. But as a breastfeeding mom, you may be experiencing some additional stress! Before you start to panic, here are some tips to make traveling with breastmilk a breeze!
Do Some Prep a Few Days Before
Whenever possible, planning in advance can be a massive help when traveling with breastmilk! If you have the time, here are a few things you can do:
1. Review the TSA rules
Knowing what is allowed on your flight is important! Luckily, there are very few limitations for breastfeeding moms.
For example, you can bring a "reasonable" amount of breastmilk with you on the plane! Be aware, however, that you may need to have any milk or formula screened before boarding.
Additionally, any items needed to keep breastmilk cool, including ice packs and storage bags, are allowed on with your carry-on. You can also bring your pump and other supplies on board. On top of that, all of these items are in addition to your carry-on (meaning they don't count as your carry-on luggage)!
2. Get some extra sleep
Traveling is exhausting! Making sure you get some extra sleep before your trip can make everything much easier for you and your baby. It can help prevent unneeded stress and make sure you are feeling your best before you go!
3. Pack all of the necessary gear
As mentioned above, you can actually bring a lot on board if you're traveling by plane! Items such as toys to entertain your little one, breast milk storage materials, your breast pump, and chargers are definitely necessary when traveling!
Before you head out, make sure you have a portable breast pump and that it is charged so you don't have to stress about it while on the road or on the plane. You'll also want to put together any pumping supplies, bottles, and flanges for your trip. If you have room, bringing an extra set can make things much easier as well!
Additionally, have a plan for how you will clean your pumping supplies while on the go. When traveling with breastmilk, it's important to keep everything sanitary! You can purchase something like these pump wipes from Amazon for a quick clean-up before you reach your destination.
Some other items you don’t want to forget are extra bottles, frozen or cooled breast milk (if you will need to feed your baby on the go), burp cloths, and a nursing cover if it makes you feel more comfortable pumping or nursing in public!
Safety When Traveling With Breastmilk
No matter how far you're traveling, making sure your breastmilk is safe to consume is important! Luckily, you have a few options to do so.
For example, Junobie milk boxes are a great way to get your breastmilk to and from your destination without having to worry about tons of individual bags! They also stand up easily in a fridge or freezer so you're not taking up tons of space on the go.
Beyond storage materials, though, you should also make sure your breast milk is kept at a safe temperature. This is to prevent bacteria from growing and make your precious breast milk unsafe for your baby to consume!
The CDC explains that breastmilk can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours and still be safe. However, if you are traveling longer than that, you should have a plan in place to keep your breastmilk cold!
The breast milk cooling cup is a great option when traveling with breastmilk. Because it is battery-operated and portable, you can easily transport breast milk on the go!
You can also use ice packs to keep your breast milk cold, but it's important to keep in mind that ice packs can't always stay temperature regulated and will melt after a certain period of time. That's why using a cooling cup is a great option because the temperature is kept regulated!
Know That Things Might Be Off Schedule
If everything seems to fall apart while you're away, that's okay!
Both you and your little one's schedule is being thrown off. Normal, everyday things like sleep, breastfeeding, and activities throughout the day will look a little different when traveling!
When it comes to breastfeeding, keeping your supply solid while you're traveling is important! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and eating regularly to keep your breastmilk supply regular. You also might find that your child wants to nurse more frequently for comfort, so preparing for that in advance is helpful!
Also, when you get to your destination, make sure that you have a place to keep your breast milk cool. Using a family or friend's fridge is a great option. If you'll be staying in a hotel, making sure that they will have a fridge in your room is important. You'll want a space to store your breast milk that will have a consistent temperature throughout your visit!
Traveling With Breastmilk Doesn't Have to be Stressful!
If you are headed out of town this holiday season, there are easy ways to prepare in advance and plenty of tools to make your life easier!
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