(Closed) Flying with breastmilk WITHOUT baby

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee

I would check it. There was an issue not long ago where a lady was made to throw away all her breast milk (Like 100oz.) because she didn’t have a baby. And they wouldn’t let her check it afterwards. I’d not risk it because we all know how much work breast milk is. when I’ve traveled, I brought a hard isulated cooler filled it with all my frozen bags and a few ice packs and they didn’t even really thaw out In the 10hrs it took me to get them in a freezer. I don’t think a soft insulated bag would be as good for a 12 hr trip. 

Post # 3
Member
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

You need to check it. There have been cases of women having to bin their frozen breast milk at security when travelling without a child. There was one recently at Heathrow airport which caused quite a stir. Have a look. But you should definitely check it.

Post # 4
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It depends on where you live! Most of those stories you hear are in the UK, NOT in the US. 

I have traveled quite a bit for work without my daughter and it’s never been an issue. I don’t freeze it, mostly because once it is frozen, you are on the clock to KEEP it frozen! As long as it’s just cold, you just have to keep it cold and you can put it in the freezer when you get home. I usually have ice packs (also not a problem with security) and then I bring ziplock bags for when I get through security and I have a restaurant or bar fill them with ice for me. I used around a 8-9 can sized cooler for a week’s worth of milk. 

I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have! I know it’s overwhelming, but it really isn’t TOO terrible!

Post # 5
Member
9818 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I only flew back with 30oz or so (I had recently quit pumping at work so I was down to just 2x a day).  I just packed it cold in my regular ice pack.  I didn’t bother freezing it.  If it’s frozen it needs to stay frozen, once it thaws completely you would have to toss most of it (use within 24 hours).  I think 12 hours it would stay frozen if you have ice packs.  I mean, I used to take frozen milk out of the freezer and it would take 4-5 hours to thaw out just sitting out alone.  If it is still partially frozen (if there are ice crystals) you can still refreeze it.  It is just if it is totally thawed then it needs to be used up. 

I would call the airline and ask the policy.  I would think since it is a medical item you would not be charged to carry it on or check it.  I think a hard insulated cooler with multiple ice packs would be safe (also having multiple frozen bags of milk helps because they’ll all stay colder longer) for 12 hours.

I am in the US.  I had no issue carrying on milk without a baby. They just put the milk through a special scanner and gave it back to me.  They didn’t bother me at all. LOTS of mothers travel regularly for work in the US without their babies and need to pump and carry breastmilk, I think it is far fewer cases where women are made to dump it out.  Most women aren’t bothered about it.

Post # 7
Member
835 posts
Busy bee

I agree with pp, I’m not sure you should have to pay to carry on “medical item”such as breast milk. That is usually allowed free even when you are not paying for the infant to travel (lap infant).

Post # 8
Member
9818 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

BlueEyes222:  No, I thought breastmilk was still considered medical.  Similar to if you had to bring lots of meds with you that needed to stay in a cooler.  I would think it is free to carry it on or check, worth a call to the airline to confirm but I wouldn’t pay for it up front and I would argue about it if someone told me I needed to pay.

Post # 9
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

BlueEyes222:  softsided cooler! I would usually just shove it into my giant purse.

Post # 11
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

BlueEyes222:  my computer isn’t letting me link it, but I have the Igloo Duo 9 Can Capacity Stowe Mini City Bag (omg longest name ever) and it easily fit a week’s worth of bagged milk. 

Post # 12
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I travelled without baby when he as about 9 months for 4 days. I had a mini fridge and decided to refrigerate and transfer o bags rather than freeze just in case they defrosted in travel and I’d have to throw it away. I ended up carrying on about 110 oz back with me in the storage freezer bags in a cooler and without problem. When I got through security I got some ice and threw it in the cooler juts to continue to keep cool. Good luck! 

Post # 13
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I took a work trip and I pumped about 30/oz a day and came back with a similar amount (90-100oz).  I froze them in the hotel fridge and carried them on in my luggage in a soft sided cooler.  I did let TSA know and they just sent them though x-ray, no issue.  I did the same as PP, when I got through security, I had some plastic bags I filled with ice and I put those in the cooler.

Post # 15
Member
9544 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I did the same and had no trouble bringing it through security. I prefer to carry on, so it’s always with me. Yes, frozen is easier, even if it thaws a bit, so long as there are ice crystals, you can refreeze. I put a cooler in a rolly carry on bag for easy transport, plus there was room for other stuff in the bag around the cooler. If you get in. Bind, you can always ask for ice from any restaurant.

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