Flying with Breast Milk

How do you pack breast milk for a plane ride? What do you need to do at the security checkpoint before flying with breast milk? Here we cover tips and strategies for making a flight stress-free with breast milk.

Breast Milk Storage

Storing Breast Milk

Cold storage is a must, while traveling or flying with breast milk. A small cooler with ice is a good place if you are flying with breast milk. Or some backpacks have a cooler if you prefer to have hands free when flying with breast milk! An airtight cooler that will allow the bags or bottles of breast milk to stand upright is ideal as it is critical that the milk remain chilled while flying with breast milk.  

Freshly pumped breast milk, if you decide to pump on the plane, can also be stored safely in a cooler this way for up to 24 hours. Another option is carrying one of the specially designed backpacks that have everything a breast feeding Mom needs for flying. These backpacks can include room for a breast pump and a cooler compartment and even a spot for your laptop.

Read #MomTalk: Products to Help Survive the First Two Weeks of Breastfeeding

Breast Milk Storage

Here are some general tips for Moms on breast milk storage:

  1. Store your breast milk in the refrigerator/freezer or cooler as soon as possible but always within 30 minutes of pumping your breasts.

  2. Do not to store the breast milk in the doors of the refrigerator or freezer because it is likely a lower temperature in the doors.  

  3. The longer that breast milk is stored, the more likely that it will begin to lose some of the vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs. So it is best to use stored breast milk within 3 months.

  4. Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored safely in a cooler for up to 24 hours.

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has made exceptions for those flying with breast milk at the security checkpoint.  And you do not have to be traveling with your baby or toddler at the time. The TSA has made exceptions to the amount of liquid you are allowed to carry: which permits MORE than the 3.4 ounces of breast milk, in a cooler or a back pack if you are flying with breast milk. You will most likely need to show the bottles or bags to the security officer. However, you do NOT have to have the breast milk bottles/bags opened or scanned.  

Flying with Breast Milk

Remember these few simple steps to get through security seamlessly when flying with breast milk:

Step 1
The first step is to inform the security officer at the checkpoint that you have breast milk.  

Step 2
It is likely that he or she will ask you to make the breast milk bottles or bags visible to the officer.

Step 3
Request kindly and respectfully, of course, that the breast milk not be opened or scanned.

Step 4
Proceed rapidly through the checkpoint with a big smile. Put shoes back on, while holding baby, carryon bag, and stroller.

Step 5
Have a safe trip!

Thank goodness for small favors for nursing Moms, who are flying with breast milk! If you are nursing and need a handy healthy snack for your flight or anytime, please visit