Tips for traveling with breastmilk

Tips for traveling with breastmilk

Ah, air travel with breastmilk - intimidating? Yes! Impossible? No! Especially with our step-by-step guide below. Read on to learn more. 


The details:

  • Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby food/pouches are considered medically necessary liquids and are allowed in your carry-on bag.
  • These items are not subject to the 3.4 ounce (100 milliliter) maximum liquid allowance and you’re also permitted to bring ice packs and/or ice to keep your milk cold.

What you will need to pack:

  • A lightweight cooler large enough to hold your milk and cooling devices.
  • If you have access to a freezer during your trip, opt for a high quality ice pack (preferred over a gel style pack as they tend to stay cold longer).
  • If you do not have access to a freezer, you can fill a plastic bag with ice. If your ice starts melting before you go through security, replace with fresh ice at the airport. You can also ask your flight attendant to replace your ice on long flights.
  • A printout of the TSA guidelines for traveling with milk so you can reference them if need be and the number for the “TSA Cares Helpline.”
  • Your baby is not required to be present for you to travel with the above items in your carry-on.

When you are at security screening: 

  • Let the TSA agent know that you are traveling breastmilk, ice packs and/or ice.
  • These items will have to be screened separately. Pro tip: keep your breastmilk bags in clear gallon bags so you can pull them out of the cooler easily. 
  • Pumped milk does not need to be x-rayed or opened, but the agent might request to swab the outside of a container and order additional screening measures. Be sure to remind them to change their gloves before handling.
  • If the agent tells you you have to dump out your milk, reach out to the TSA Cares Helpline at 1-855-787-2227 for assistance.

A few notes:

  • These guidelines are for domestic travel within the US. For international travel, different countries might have different guidelines, so we suggest researching their specific requirements beforehand. It can also be helpful to translate the word “breastmilk” into that country’s language so that you can inform the agent at security. 

As you can see, traveling with breastmilk can be a trip in and of itself, but if you’re looking to simplify things, mothership milk has got you. Just toss your packets of freeze dried breastmilk powder into your carry-on (as it weighs about 87% less than frozen milk does and requires no freezing or refrigeration) and be on your way. 


Bon voyage!

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