Due to various circumstances, you find yourself traveling as a nursing mom. In some instances, you may travel with your baby or leave them.
However, in all instances, you’ll need to pump, and for this reason, you travel with breast milk by car.
Let’s face it; breastfeeding is the most convenient way for the baby and mother to bond. For this reason, it requires maximum privacy for both the mom and the baby.
Unfortunately, things become tough while you lack privacy or schedule to breastfeed your baby as a nursing mom. This may happen due to;
- Despite nursing, you’re the driver.
- You aren’t alone with your baby in the car, so you lack privacy.
- A country’s public breastfeeding tough regulations.
Since breastfeeding involves exposing a very private part of your body, it turns out to be a very overwhelming factor for moms.
To help you out, I have a clear guide on how to travel with breast milk by car to feed your baby comfortably.
Factors to Consider on How to Travel With Breast Milk by Car
Before you hit the road for that trip, there are various factors you may need to consider. Have a look;
1. Are you traveling with your baby or leaving them at home?
Traveling with your baby may be easier for you to store milk. According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), freshly pumped breast milk can remain fresh for up to four hours at room temperature.
For this reason, if you get a chance to pump your breast milk and store it in a milk collection bottle, it can remain fresh for up to four hours in case your baby needs to be fed.
2. How much milk are you traveling with?
You’ll need a larger milk storage area if you have a long journey. More so, if you don’t have the baby with you to feed on the most milk.
3. How long will the milk need to be stored in the car?
Since breast milk can only remain fresh for barely four hours at room temperature, you’ll need a milk cooler to extend its lifespan or a freezer to keep it fresh for even more than one day.
What You Need to Travel With Human Milk in the Car Comfortably
If your journey exceeds four hours, your baby cannot feed on all the available fresh milk, or your baby isn’t around, you’ll need to invest in efficient storage equipment. The main types of equipment are;
- Milk collection bottles
- Milk collection bags
- Breast milk cooler
- Freezer packs
- Pen and stickers to note the day and time you pumped the milk.
- You may need a breast pump.
Other than storing fresh milk for four or fewer hours before feeding your baby, there are special breast milk coolers you may need if this estimated time exceeds. There are various coolers you may choose;
- Breast milk cooler bag
- Portable car fridge
- Breast Milk Cooler Bag
Storing breast milk in this cooler bag with ice packs will keep it fresh in the car by maintaining the temperature 39 degrees and below. These carrier bags are very efficient if you don’t have access to a car refrigerator.
Luckily, most sellers include several reusable breast milk storage bottles and ice packs in the bag. You don’t have to purchase them separately.
However, when storing your milk in this typical bag, you should follow these detailed tips to ensure it doesn’t go bad.
Tip 1: Line the base of the cooler bag with smooth paper.
Tip 2: Label your milk bags according to the time pumped and place the bags or bottles in the cooler. Labelling helps know which was pumped first for earlier use and last for later use.
Tip 3: Ensure your cooler is full. If you don’t have much milk, fill the freezing water into the bags and pack on the remaining space.
Tip 4: Pack the bag as tightly as possible to avoid bottles and bags opening if you take a rough road. Ensure no air spaces too.
Tip 5: Place another paper on top of the milk and place your ice packs or dry ice. Separating the ice from the milk bags protects the bags from opening and spilling the milk in case of friction.
Tip 6: Keep the bag closed until you get to your destination. Regularly opening the bag may increase the temperature inside.
Tip 7: Keep the bag out of direct sunlight. Ensure you keep it far from hot car areas like around the engine.
Portable Car Fridge
If you are traveling in a spacious car, a portable car fridge is the best option to keep your frozen breast milk. You only plug this cooler fridge into the car power outlet and place it in a safe place.
However, it’s important to note that frozen human milk shouldn’t be refrozen after thawing it. Only ensure the actual temperatures are maintained until you’re ready to use the milk.
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FAQs about Carrying Breast Milk
Can Babies Drink Cold Breast Milk?
While breastfeeding delivers warm milk for the baby, babies can drink cold milk too. In fact, cold milk can relieve pain in teething babies. However, during extremely cold seasons, you can use a bottle warmer if you consider feeding your baby with warm milk. Else, place the milk storage bottle in hot water and give it a few minutes to warm.
Does Breast Milk Lose Nutrients When Pumped?
Pumped breast milk carries the same nutrients as the directly breastfed milk to the baby. Note, it’s essential to properly store your pumped milk to maintain its antioxidants and nutritional value. Unfortunately, human milk may lose its nutritional value if stored for more than the recommended duration. To keep your baby healthy, feed them with the freshest milk possible.
What Are the International Rules of Travelling With Breast Milk?
There are no restrictions on carrying your breast milk in your carry-on bag internationally. Whether you have your baby with you or not, you can carry any amount of breast milk, provided you pass the security check requirements. However, public breastfeeding or pumping restrictions may vary depending on the country you are traveling to.