6 Ways To Keep Breastmilk Cold While Traveling
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Hitting the road with breastmilk – and no baby – is weird. Whether it’s in planes, trains, or automobiles, you’re adding physical stuff to whatever you’re already lugging, and that stuff is frozen and/or liquid, it has the potential to leak, and it needs stuff like ice. Weird. And new moms tend to freak out quite a bit about whether their breastmilk is staying cold, on the car ride home from work, on a train commute, or on a two-layover flight home from a business trip. I know I did…but then I wised up, and figured out some keep-milk-cold tips for travel, so you don’t have to worry:
1. You don’t really need ice (most of the time).
Breastmilk is SO stable, and it can totally handle a few hours at room temperature. Pump at work at 4 pm? Totally fine at room temp through the commute home, and into the fridge at 6:30. 2-hour flight? Whatever ice packs you have handy are great, and you don’t need to panic and keep opening your cooler bag to check if it’s cold.
2. Frozen milk bags act as ice packs to each other.
I used to fly home with bags and bags of frozen milk AND ice packs. Then I realized that bags of frozen milk ARE ice packs. Duh.
3. Breastmilk storage bags make great emergency ice packs.
Ask a bartender or flight attendant for ice, fill a couple of your empty breastmilk bags, and voila.
4. Get your cooler game sorted out.
Soft sided, lined cooler bags are the best. Try a lunchbag-sized one (make sure it has a good closure) for a trip of 1-2 days. You’ll need something that would (and hopefully will again) hold a six-pack for a 3-7 day trip.
5. Ship your milk home.
The badass former Navy mechanic at Breastfeeding in Combat Boots has a technique for active duty military moms to ship their milk home, without any annoying dry ice. If it works for actual warriors, it’s gonna work for you.
6. Go work for IBM.
Did you hear? Big Blue is now paying to ship business tripping workers’ breastmilk home.