How to Transport Breastmilk

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding mothers know that nursing, pumping, transporting, and storing breast milk can become quite a full-time operation. This is especially true for mothers who are on the go, traveling, or even going to work in the office every day. There are many reasons why mothers may need to transport breast milk.

This blog will review how to safely store and transport your breastmilk and how Tushbaby products can aid the process. Like, maybe, the Tushbaby Carrier, which can make sitting down for feeds or pumping feel like the one time you can let your shoulders down throughout the day. 

How to Transport Breastmilk Properly

Table of Contents

Why might breastmilk need to be transported?

There are plenty of reasons why breast milk may need to be transported. Here are just a few of the most common reasons you may find yourself needing to pump and transport your breast milk:  

  • You have pumped while not at home. This is common for mothers who are at work or away from their children during the day.  
  • Your baby is off to daycare and needs a supply of milk. 
  • Your baby is spending the day with a loved one or babysitter.
  • You are traveling with your baby and need a supply on hand. 
  • And many, many more.

While transporting breast milk can be done safely, it may also be an option to nurse in public when you’re out and about or traveling with your baby. Remember, moms, breastfeeding in public spaces is totally normal. Understandably, it may feel awkward at first, but there are plenty of ways to make it a more enjoyable experience. Read more about nursing in public and how the Tushbaby carrier can aid in making it a more relaxed experience for you and your baby. 

Is it safe to transport breast milk?

Yes, transporting breast milk is safe when done correctly. One of the main considerations when transporting breast milk is keeping it at a safe temperature. This can be done by using coolers, insulated storage bags, ice packs, or even dry ice. Keeping your breast milk at safe, cool temperatures can keep it from spoiling and prevent you from having to toss what you put so much energy into pumping. 

Products like the Totebaby and  The Pack can help you safely transport your breastmilk and stay organized while you do it. For quick outings, the Pack can be used on its own to transport breastmilk. You can even slide some ice packs in if you need to keep your breastmilk cool. On days when everything needs to go with you, simply slide your Pack with breastmilk into your Totebaby, keeping it snug on one side with Totebaby’s divider pocket. This fashionable tote bag gives you space to pack along any insulated bags or ice packs to keep your breast milk at a safe temperature for transport. 

How long can breastmilk stay out of the fridge or freezer?

Once you’ve pumped breast milk, it may stay out of the fridge or freezer for up to four hours if it’s at room temperature. Keep in mind room temperature is about 77 degrees. If you’re anywhere where the climate may be warmer, you’ll want to consider a shorter duration before chilling your breastmilk. 

How to transport frozen breast milk

Breast milk stored in the freezer can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Compared to a much shorter duration of  4 days if refrigerated, many mothers will pump and freeze their breast milk. Once breast milk has been thawed after being in the freezer, it’s advised to use it within 1 to 2 hours. If you’re transporting frozen breastmilk, the key will be to keep it cold enough not to thaw. This can be done with the use of a well-insulated cooler and ice. 

How to transport breast milk when flying

With regulations on traveling with liquids in a carry-on, you may be wondering how to travel with breast milk when you’re taking a flight. The good news is that there is no restriction on the amount of liquid you can have when it comes to breast milk in your carry-on; you'll just need to keep it separate through security. One of the best ways to fly with breast milk is by carrying on a small cooler or insulated cooler bag. Fill your bag, cooler, or Totebaby with breastmilk and frozen packs to keep your milk at a safe temperature. You can transport breast milk in an insulated cooler with ice for up to 24 hours. Once you’ve landed at your destination, get your breast milk back into a fridge or freezer as soon as you can.

How to transport frozen breast milk when moving

As we’ve mentioned, breast milk can safely transport for 24 hours in a well-insulated cooler with some form of ice (ice packs, gels, ice, etc.). If your move involves a road trip or travel that lasts less than 24 hours, transporting frozen milk can be done safely. Just be sure to unpack that liquid gold ASAP when you reach your final destination. We’ll later discuss the option for dry ice if you need more than 24 hours in a cooler. 

How to transport breast milk from work to home

With plenty of storage and an elevated vegan leather design, the Totebaby can be the perfect office bag that doubles as your breast milk transportation bag. When you’re done with a day at work, simply pack up your breast milk to bring home to refrigerate or freeze. If your place of work doesn’t have a refrigerator to store your milk, remember your freshly expressed breast milk can last up to four hours at room temperature before it needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

How to transport breast milk on a road trip

Again, breast milk can be stored for up to 24 hours in a well-packed cooler. If your road trip will last longer than 24 hours, you may need to get creative or store in hotel fridges along the way.

If your baby is coming along for the road trip, you’ll also need to get creative when it comes to nursing comfortably at rest stops. Breastfeeding with a baby carrier, like the Tushbaby, can give you extra support while you’re on the road without a comfortable place to feed. 

How to transport breast milk to daycare

Knowing that your daycare will likely have a fridge for storage, transporting breast milk to daycare can be pretty easy. Following the guidelines for the safe amount of time for frozen vs. freshly pumped milk, you may be able to simply pack your breastmilk in your child’s daycare bag without the need for ice or extra cooling help. 

How to transport breast milk with dry ice

Transporting breast milk with dry ice can allow breast milk to stay cool for about 24-48 hours. For longer trips like moving or road trips, dry ice might be an option worth exploring. Using gloves and keeping extra safety precautions in mind, you can wrap dry ice in newspaper and place it under, around, and above the breast milk storage bags in your cooler. A well-packed cooler helps keep the milk cooler longer. 

Other considerations for transporting breastmilk properly

Packing, transporting, and storing breastmilk is all about keeping the milk cool enough to avoid spoiling. While the thought of tossing out your hard work can be unthinkable, it’s important never to refreeze milk if it has thawed with a faulty transport system. 

With all the hard work that goes into pumping, storing, and transporting breastmilk, mothers need to find the time to relax. Don’t forget that the Tushbaby Carrier can be used for both nursing and additional pumping support while you’re prepping to store your breastmilk. Simply strap the Tushbaby high around your waist and allow your breast milk pump to rest on the padded seat. This can give you some much-needed free time to relax, read a book, scroll your phone, or even sit back and close your eyes. 

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