Tips for Traveling While Pumping

tips for travelling while pumping

When I first started out in my career {13 years ago, yikes!} I did a fair amount of traveling for work. Anytime a new project required someone to head out of town I’d happily volunteer, racking up frequent flier miles, personal and professional life experiences, and sometimes even stamps on my passport. While that feels like a literal lifetime ago that I’m sometimes nostalgic for I’m very fortunate to not have to travel for my job nearly as much as I used to. In addition to missing my kids like crazy and worrying about how my poor husband is going to juggle drop-offs, pickups, bath-time, and bedtime, as a nursing mom pumping while traveling is the pits. Since I haven’t had to pump and fly since Annabelle was a baby I recently asked my Instagram community for their very best tips and tricks for pumping while traveling. Whether you have an overnight work trip coming up or you’re heading out of town for a long weekend with your sweetie, I’ve got you covered. Have anything to add? Leave your questions or comments below! Xo

At the airport

  • Download the Mamava app, it can help you find thousands of approved places to pump (or nurse)!
  • Allow yourself extra time to get through security, while you shouldn’t have a problem sometimes they check and/or test every bottle of milk.
  • To that point, if you’re able to freeze your milk before going through security they don’t even have to test it.
  • Lay your milk flat to conserve space.
  • Print out a copy of the breastmilk policy from the TSA website and stick it in your pump bag. While every agent should be familiar, some are not and this will be extra reassurance.

On the plane

  • Bring a nursing cover in case you can’t pump in a private place, you’ll still have privacy.
  • Choose an aisle seat so it’s easier to get in/out/adjust as needed.

At your hotel

  • Request a room with a refrigerator/freezer so you can store your breastmilk safely.
  • If you’re hotel can only provide a refrigerator and you’re staying for more than one night, ask if they can store your pumped milk in a freezer.
  • Bring freezer bags for easier storage/transportation.
  • Bring ice packs if you are able to get a freezer in your room and bring ziplock bags as a backup, you can fill them with ice before you leave and pack them along with your milk in a cooler bag.

A few more tips

  • Bring extra pump parts in case of emergencies and also more parts = less washing.
  • Soap is your best bet for sanitizing pump parts if you have access to a sink but you can also bring pump wipes in case you don’t.
  • Write down your pumping schedule or put reminders in your calendar, if you’re distracted and not following your normal routine it’s easy to forget when you need to pump!
  • Call Milk Stork! I had never heard of this amazing service and honestly my mind is blown – you sign up before you travel and they ship a cooler directly to your hotel. Pump and pack your breast milk into your cooler unit from the privacy of your hotel room and then ship it home using a prepaid label right from the hotel lobby. Isn’t living in 2019 amazing? Make sure to ask your company if you can expense the cost!
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