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Navigating Travel as a Breastfeeding Mom

Essential Tips for a Smooth Journey

Traveling as a breastfeeding mom can be quite challenging, with the stress of keeping breast milk safe, pumping on a plane, and navigating through airport security.  Let’s break down some essential tips to make your journey smoother.

Know Your Rights:
First and foremost, understand your rights as a breastfeeding parent when traveling with or without your baby.

The challenge lies with airport security than the airlines themselves. Always make it a point to notify the airline’s ground personnel about the “package”. They consistently indicate that the decision rests with airport security however, most moms experience that with that with the assistance and encouragement of a a female security agent, you’d always be allowed to proceed. Male airport security personnel may be less familiar and informed about regulations pertaining to the transportation of breast milk.

Additionally, you can bring your breast pump, extra pump parts, chiller or cooler, and any other necessary gear on the plane.

Carry-on Essentials:
In your carry-on, make sure to include:

  1. Breast Pump: Considered a medical device, it’s advisable to keep it in your carry-on for easy access.
  2. Milk Storage Option: Choose a method that suits your convenience, reliability, and minimizes stress.
    • Flying with a Chiller: Fill the outer chamber with ice and water before leaving, and inform security about your breast milk.
    • Flying with a Cooler: Ensure your ice packs are fully frozen. Prepare milk bottles before leaving, leaving space in the cooler for pumped milk. Try to minimize opening the cooler during the journey to retain chill.
  3. Cleaning your tools: Clean pump parts, bottles, and more between pumping sessions. Use wipes or a portable washbasin with warm water and soap.

Pumping on the Plane:
If you need to pump during the flight, decide whether you’re comfortable doing so in your seat or in the bathroom. Set up everything you need beforehand to streamline the process.

Remember, it may seem overwhelming initially, but being prepared with these essentials will make your travel and pumping experience much smoother. For additional tips on pumping and flying, explore the Pumping & Flying Travel Guide for insights on the best places to pump and information on milk storage, cleaning, and bottle warming options.

Safe travels, and pump with confidence, mommy!

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