There are many reasons why a nursing mom may need information on how to pack breast milk for a day out. Perhaps you are returning to work and want to be sure that you know how to safely pack breast milk to take to daycare or the baby’s caregiver.
Maybe you are planning a getaway and want to know how to pack some for a weekend trip. You also may be looking for tips on how to fly with breastmilk, or it could just be that you want to get away from the house for a day in the park.
No matter where you are going, it is vital that your milk is packed correctly so that there is no danger of it ruining or becoming contaminated with harmful bacteria. After all, your reason for breastfeeding is to give your baby the best nutrition possible, and you don’t want to risk that by packing the milk incorrectly. There is no need to stress. We are here to give you helpful tips and ideas on packing breast milk for a day out.
Packing Fresh Breast Milk for The Day
If your baby’s outing is just for a few hours during the day, there is no reason that you can’t pack fresh breast milk. You can pump or express enough milk to last for the required time or use the one that you have stored in the refrigerator. Using fresh milk instead of frozen will help ensure that it does not need to be thawed when it is time for your baby to feed.
Fresh milk can be packed in bottles or silicone bags. If you only need enough milk for a few feedings, a small breast milk cooler is the perfect way to carry it. Many moms use these coolers to take their breast milk home from the job after pumping during the workday or to carry their milk to the babysitter before dropping off the baby.
These coolers make the perfect travel bags when you only need enough milk for a day or less. You will want to make sure that you choose one that will hold as much breast milk as your baby will need for the outing. It is best to use cooler bags that are insulated so that they will keep the milk cold for a longer period of time. You will also want to add ice packs inside the cooler, around the breast milk containers.
If you need to pack larger amounts, you could choose a bigger cooler bag or even a hard cooler to put your breast milk in. For this option, you might opt for adding ice around the milk bags or bottles instead of ice packs, although either would be acceptable. Since breast milk is fine in the refrigerator for up to four days, it is possible that you have enough ready to go. Just remember that your milk is only good in a cooler for up to 24 hours. After that, it should be disposed of.
You might want to add a thermometer to the cooler or cooler bags where you will store your baby’s milk. According to hospital guidelines, ice packs or ice should be in contact with the bottles or bags of milk the entire time that they are stored. The temperature inside of the cooler or bag should be at 5-39 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 to 4 degrees Celsius. You will also need to limit opening and closing the bag or cooler, as this will raise the temperature and lower the amount of time that the milk is safely stored.
Packing Frozen Breast Milk for The Day
If you decide to pack frozen breast milk, it will still need to be stored in a cooler bag or hard cooler. You may need to make sure that at least one bottle or bag is thawed beforehand so that your baby won’t have to wait for their first feeding.
Remember that breast milk should never be heated or thawed in the microwave, as it can affect the antibodies and also poses a scalding risk. Instead, place it in a bowl of warm water or hold it under running water.
Before packing frozen breast milk, make sure that the containers are sealed tightly. You might choose dry ice for this instead of ice packs or regular ice, but either is fine. The important thing is to make sure that it completely covers all of the milk containers. You can do this by packing the ice on the top, sides, and bottom of the cooler, cold box, or cooler bag. If you decide to use dry ice, remember that it may need to be vented.
Whether packing fresh or frozen breast milk, it is a good idea to add extra, just in case some of it spills or there is any other type of mishap. You will also want to make sure that the cooler is full. If you don’t need to pack enough milk to fill the cooler or bag, then finish packing it with ice. You don’t want your breast milk bags or bottles being tossed around inside of the cooler.
Packing Breast Milk for A Plane Trip
When packing breast milk for a plane trip, it is best to use a hard cooler or cold box, depending on how many hours your flight will be. It is also better to use dry ice, which means that the cold box will need to be vented. Use the same method for packing frozen breast milk. Call ahead and find out what the regulations for breast milk are with the airline that you intend to fly with.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), both baby formula and breast milk are allowed in your carry-on bag “within reasonable amounts.” You will need to remove your breast milk, breast pump, etc., from your carry-on bag so that it can be screened separately from your other belongings. You are allowed to take breast milk with you on a plane, even if your child is not with you for the flight. These are special instructions to follow for breast milk in carry-on bags, however, checked bags are allowed with no particular rules.
Packing frozen breast milk for a flight might seem a bit overwhelming, especially with everything else that you have to pack. Flying with a baby can be even more overwhelming, and a hungry baby will only make things worse. You will want to make sure that you have enough breast milk in your carry-on for the flight. This will remove the frustration of trying to breastfeed or pump while in an airplane with a fussy baby.
FAM Act Supports Traveling for Breastfeeding Moms
Some new moms are hesitant about taking their breast pumps and milk to an airport. There are a few horror stories out there about unexpected and unpleasant confrontations with TSA over breastfeeding or carrying breast pumps and milk onboard. Thankfully, legislation known as the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act (FAM) has put an end to a lot of those issues.
According to this bipartisan law, all large and medium-sized airports in the United States are required to provide a clean, private space that is not a restroom for breastfeeding moms to pump milk or feed their children. In addition, each room must be made accessible for disabled moms, be made available after the security checkpoint, and include a table or other flat surface, a place to sit, and electrical outlets. Grants were given to airports to make these changes possible.
With this act now signed into law, traveling by plane has become a bit easier for the breastfeeding mom. You no longer have to worry about pumping milk or breastfeeding in a bathroom area with the risk of bacteria and germs. This is just something to keep in mind if you are going to be traveling by plane anytime soon.
Once upon a time, if a nursing mother needed to leave her baby for the day, go back to work, or travel for long periods of time, she either had to breastfeed along the way or pack formula for the trip. Luckily, the world has become more supportive and aware of its benefits.
Breastfeeding for at least six months gives your baby a much greater immunity to all sorts of illnesses. And studies show that the longer you do it, the more protected your baby will be. By making sure to pack breast milk properly for a day out, you are helping to keep your baby’s milk safe and its nutritional value at optimal levels.
The most important things to remember are to sanitize all equipment and containers before pumping and packing, to be sure that the milk stays at the right temperature, and to always thaw it properly. We hope this article helps provide information on packing breast milk for a day trip. Feel free to browse our site for more tips and ideas for your baby!