Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling While Breastfeeding

By on July 9, 2019

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Traveling while you’re still breastfeeding can seem off-putting. In fact, it sounds quite overwhelming. Luckily, thankfully, there are mothers out there who know how to play the game. In this case, our mom is Sara Novak, and she shares her ultimate guide to traveling while breastfeeding. The name of the game: planning ahead.

First, she breaks down the most important question: What should bring? When traveling, the following are not luxuries, they are necessary to ensure pumping success.

1) A nursing cover or top

2) Storage bags or bottles and a portable cooler

3) A portable pump

4) Dual-voltage power adaptor


If you are traveling with your baby, Sara share tips to ensure smooth sailing for the duration of your trip.


1) Allow enough time for emergencies unexpected setbacks.

2) Research available and/or designated lactation rooms.

3) If traveling with others, try to grab a window seat while your travel companion sits next to you. This can provide more privacy.


1) Along your route, keep an eye out for establishments that may offer clean and comfortable areas to nurse in.

2) Pump and then bottle-feed your baby expressed milk.

3) Make sure you stay hydrated.

4) Remember, in the U.S., breastfeeding in public is your right!


If you are not traveling with your baby:

1) Use this guide to determine how many bottles of breast milk you’ll need to store ahead of time.

2) Know where you can pump safely and privately.

3) If there are no lactation rooms, airport courtesy phone booths and lounges may be available to you.

4) Try your best to stick to a schedule.


Now, you are out traveling and feeling good, but where do you store all of your breast milk?

1) Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for up to four hours before it needs to be refrigerated.

2) Insulated coolers with fully frozen ice packs can cool breast milk for up to 24 hours.

3) Only fill your breast milk storage bags three-quarters full to leave room for expansion.

4) Always label your breast milk bags with the date. Use older milk first so you don’t have to throw it out.

5) You can thaw your breast milk by keeping it in a bowl of warm water or by placing it into the fridge for 24 hours.


So, you’ve just pumped all the breast milk you can (or until you have to pump again in 30 minutes) and you have it stored safely. But now it’s time to go home. What do you do? 

1) Breast milk and formula in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces are allowed in carry-on luggage.

2) Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other methods to cool formula, breast milk, and juice are allowed in your carry-on as well.

3) If you would rather not lug your breast milk through the airport, Milk Stork is available to ship your breast milk home overnight.

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