When the time comes to travel without baby and your are breastfeeding, that means a lot of PUMPING will ensue. I had to travel to Phoenix at 6 weeks postpartum for work and was pumping every three hours so I have some tips and tricks to share.
Helpful Resources for Travel
- this is a service that will deliver your milk from the hotel in the location you are staying at to your home. Important to note that you must bring the milk to your local FedEx by 4pm to be shipped home for the next day, so if you're flying at night you'll have to prepare for your baby to have milk some other way for 36 hours as you wont be able to bring the milk to FedEx until the next day and it will arrive the day after. ALSO i learned this the hard way but FedEx doesn't do Sunday delivery. So if you're traveling on the weekend, again, anything you ship on Saturday won't arrive until Monday.
They do two types on service
Pump and Ship - A cooler box is shipped to you, you pack it accordingly, drop at Fedex with the preprinted label and ship home
Pump and Tote - They provide a cooler box, tote bag, and list of TSA regulations so that you can bring this tote bag through security. To be honest you can probably do this yourself and don't need a Milk Stork Tote bag BUT if your employer is paying, then why not?
- these were a lifesaver! Almost every airport has one, and a lot of convention centers are now incorporating these into their layouts. Download the app, which will help you locate the nearest pods. They are pretty clean, and have a seat for pumping, an electrical outlet, a mirror, and on the app you can control the light setting and the airflow (noise). I actually found these to be quite a nice retreat from the loud bustling airport AND much nicer than the lactation rooms that some airports have.
Product List - here are some products that made traveling easier for me
Pack-It - these bags are unique in that you can put them directly in the freezer and after 12 hours the gel inside freezes to keep everything cool. Pretty sure it lasts 12 hours. Some people who fly recommend getting the tote size to transport your milk home
**NOTE - I brought this through security and will say the airport security person was a bit confused as you can't see the gel pack and informed me that "in the future" the gel needs to be COMPLETELY frozen to travel. If you don't want to risk it, you can also just buy a regular cooler and ice packs like this. I also liked these
** REMEMBER - ICE PACKS MUST BE FROZEN TO GET THROUGH TSA, NOT LIQUID FORM
Planet Wise Wet Dry Bags - Instead of Zip Lock bags I bought a few of these and can throw the wet pump parts in there without them getting gross until I get to the room. The downfall is that once I use this I don't reuse this. It might not be the best option for you, but when I can I try not to just burn through a million ziplock bags. These are machine washable so really more ideal for home use, but not bad for travel.
Ziplock Bags - still bring these!
On The Go Cleaning Supplies:
Babyganics Travel Size Bottle Wash - you can really choose any brand you like
Boon Travel Drying Rack - this is nice because it folds up
Medela Quick Cleaning Wipes - these are a good solution when you dont have access to a sink and water - i.e. in a mamava pod
Medela Microwave Steam Bags - in a bind in the hotel, conference center, or wherever you can do a quick sterilization
Chucks or Puppy Wee Wee pads - i brought a ton of these and would lay them down on a surface for two reasons:
1) When i had to pump in a place like a family bathroom on the changing table (yes this happened)
2) When I was cleaning my parts in to hotel room and needed a surface for things to dry on
Surface Wipes - Any brand you like
Pumping on the Plane
Hands Free Pump - I used my willow pump on the plane since I was still pumping every 3 hours for Quinn. In MY personal experience, I get more milk out using my regular pump than a hands free one, but everyone is different. I put ON the willow in the airplane bathroom (a great place to have those wee wee pads). Then went back to my seat, pumped, and actually removed it in my seat relatively discreetly.
**People love the baby buddah with Freemie cups, this may be a good options.
In my opinion there is no pump that is NOT noticeable. MAYBE the Freemies but i've never tried them. In any case you MAY feel more comfortable wearing a nursing poncho or a Milk Snob cover.
TSA Rules for Breastmilk - I would print these so you have them. Most security agents aren't very familiar with people bringing/carrying on Breastmilk. The TSA agent I ran into was a mom herself and totally understood/applauded me, but some of the guys were like "wait, what?"
Mamava "In Plain English" Rules
Best Travel Bag or Backpack
I bought the Luxja
, because there was a sleeve for my laptop. It is bulky, but I liked being able to carry a backpack. I wouldn't SWEAR by it though, so I would browse some articles to find what works for you.