This post is sponsored by Milk Stork, but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be present in this post.
When I went to BlogHer a few weeks ago, I was as prepared as possible for pumping while I was gone. I had my trusty Sarah Wells Abby bag filled with everything I needed – my pump, my flanges and additional parts, my freemies, storage bottles, and more. I had extra supplies loaded into my checked baggage – my tea, Oat Mama bars, bottle soap, a bottle brush, and even a roll of paper towels to air dry all my parts on. I was incredibly prepared for everything.
But guys, I was SO nervous. I had never flown as a nursing mom before, and I had never taken breast milk through an airport.
You all know the horror stories – the TSA officer that didn’t know the rules and made a mom throw milk away, or the one that treated a mom terribly, or wouldn’t let her through because she didn’t have her baby. You know logically that these stories are not the norm… but they scared me just the same. I was terrified that all the hard work of pumping for Ella while I was gone would literally go down the drain.
You can read the guidelines here, but breast milk is allowed through security in a carry on in any amount. Because of the timing of my trip, I had to carry a small amount of milk to Orlando with me and the majority of it back. On the way down, I only had about 2 ounces – milk I had pumped in the car on the way to the airport. Thankfully, I got through security with it and an ice pack, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then there was only the ride home to contend with. Thankfully, I had the help of an amazing company for that – Milk Stork.
See, getting breastmilk to stay cool the entire ride home was a puzzle for me. Since I was leaving on a Sunday, using FedEx to get it home wasn’t an option, and I needed to carry my milk with me. Enter Milk Stork‘s Pump and Tote.
Since I was away from Thursday through Sunday, I chose the 72 ounce option. The Pump and Tote was delivered straight to my hotel with absolutely everything I needed to bring my milk home with me. There was a simple cloth tote bag, a boxed cooler with instructions, and a Nanocool cooling unit to activate just before my trip and keep everything cool. It even came with a full card of instructions of how to pack everything up.
When it was time to leave my hotel on Sunday, I packed everything else up first, then carefully packed up my milk. I had all my milk bagged in 4 ounce increments, and was just short of the 72 ounce capacity. I placed all the bags in the cooler, activated the Nanocool unit, and set off for the airport. Even though it came with sealing stickers, I made sure not to seal the box – I knew TSA would likely need to inspect the contents, and I knew I’d be pumping at the airport and would need to store that milk.
I got to the airport, and as I waited in the TSA line, I got more and more nervous. All those horror stories started popping up in my head – all the things that could go wrong. I finally got to the front of the line, took a deep breath, and placed my milk on the belt before going through security myself. Once I was through, I anxiously started looking for my milk, and as expected, found it with a TSA officer. I collected my other things and walked over to him, telling him it was my breast milk… and waited.
I watched him open the Milk Stork box, remove the Nanocool unit, and pull out a few of my bags of breast milk to look at. It felt like the longest 3 minutes of my life, but before I knew it, he was putting them back in, replacing the Nanocool unit, and handed everything back to me with a smile. I said thank you and breathed a sigh of relief. My milk was through security, it was secure and cold, and I would be bringing all that precious milk home to my girl. It was so much easier than I expected and nothing like the horror stories, and I have Milk Stork to thank for that.
I had other travel headaches that Sunday, but thanks to Milk Stork, carrying my breast milk was not one of them. The Nanocool unit kept everything cold – it was even still cold 3 days after I got home! I loved using their Pump and Tote service and would absolutely use it again. They do offer a Pump and Ship service as well, but I can’t speak to that since I didn’t use it. From all my experiences with the company, I’d expect it to be just as easy!
Have you traveled on a plane with breast milk? If you’re going to, make sure you try Milk Stork for yourself!