When Sasha was born, I knew I wanted to travel with her. I mean obviously, we would travel… I used to be a travel blogger! The idea of traveling while pumping was foreign to me. While I have seen many people travel with babies, I don’t know how many I’ve seen traveling while pumping. About three weeks after she was born, I figured out that our first trip would be to Florida. We were heading there to move my brother into college. I had no clue whether or not I’d be pumping come August, but quickly the questions started to pour in.
Per TSA, a breast pump is a medical or assistive device and therefore shouldn’t count towards your allotment and should be allowed on board and in checked baggage on all domestic US flights! Here’s info on traveling with milk!
So I’ll be honest, I started writing the outline for this post while I was still exclusively pumping. I had planned to keep doing this at least until August. But plans change… Around mid-July, I started to supplement with formula. My supply dropped and I had to do what I had to do to make sure my baby was fed. In planning to travel, however, I think the most important thing I learned was to OVER prepare.
I planned to pack all of my pump parts, extra wipes, extra bottles for the pump, my cooler… ANYTHING I could possibly need. I also made sure to include a travel drying rack and a travel-size dish soap for bottle parts (and would have done so for the pump parts if I was still pumping) on my packing list. I would have brought both my Medela and Elvie pumps!
Since I started supplementing, I made sure to pack extra formula. I needed to be prepared in the event of a delay. I cover more about traveling and formula feeding, here. However, I knew that I was in the United States and could buy more formula at my destination. I packed enough for three feedings in my personal item and placed enough for four more days in my checked suitcase.
Since I stopped pumping two days before the trip, I ended up packing as if I was only giving formula, along with some frozen milk in a cooler, defrosted milk, and a hand pump. I did still bring the travel drying rack and dish soap with me. To hear more about my experience please check out my upcoming post on my experience traveling with a baby for the first time.
FAQ on Traveling While Pumping by Airline
- American (Diaper bags (1 per child), soft-sided cooler bags with breast milk, child safety seats, strollers and medical or mobility devices don’t count as your personal item or carry-on.)
- Delta (specifics on bag policies)
- Jetblue (more on bag allowance)
- Southwest (no electrical outlets on board)
I figured a link to each of the major airlines’ policies would be helpful for new moms. Most airlines will allow you to bring on your pump bag ( a medical device) at no cost to you. Also, if traveling with an infant, the diaper bag for your infant can also be carried on at no extra cost, but check with your airline first.