Whether you have an upcoming business trip or a weekend getaway, traveling while pumping is something most moms dread—but the good news is you don’t have to! Nope. You don’t ever again have to feel that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach or be uneasy about taking a trip.
Make a Checklist
You will be surprised with how much time and energy a checklist can save you. Make a checklist a couple days in advance that way you’re not scrambling at the last minute to throw one together, that defeats the purpose of making a checklist.
Create a general checklist of all the things you need to pack---from your toothbrush to the charger for your iPad. Create a separate checklist for your breast pump—write down all the parts you’ll need (don’t forget extra batteries and/or a backup charger!). As you pack, check everything off the list. You’ll be able to clearly see everything you have and anything that’s missing—that you have forgotten.
Organization will make your life oh so much easier. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to pull out and rifle through everything in your bag to find that little 3 oz bottle of hand sanitizer or that breast pad? Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. When you’ve finished using something, put it back in its place—no matter how tempting it is to just toss it in the bag---don’t do it!
Our Kaylaa breast pump bag has internal pockets, separate pump pockets, and a secure zipper to keep things from tumbling freely around. You’ll have easy access to your pump and anything else you might need.
If you are flying and you are nervous about having to pump during the flight, ask the flight attendant if you could have a private word with her. Let her know you’ll have to pump during the flight and if there is a good location that you could do so. Most flight attendants will be more than accommodating. Chances are they too have been in your shoes.
Going through security isn’t fun or comfortable for anyone but for a mother who is pumping, there might be some added inconvenience. Planning and preparing for this ahead of time will make it much less stressful. Here are some things that you should know ahead of time:
- Security will probably inspect the breast pump and swab it for prohibited substances. They might also externally swab breast milk containers and/or bags.
- You might receive an additional pat down. It’s just another security measure to ensure the safety of everyone flying---practice some deep breathing mantras or dab on some lavender essential oil to calm yourself.
- If you are told that you can’t bring your breastmilk aboard the plane, ask to speak to a supervisor or senior security agent. This is not at all common but something you should be aware of just because it *could* happen and you should know your rights. Mothers that are flying with or without their children are legally allowed to carry breastmilk in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces. Any other liquids and fluids like your Starbucks Frappuccino you’ll have to toss but breast milk falls under the category of being a child’s nutritional food. Make sure to let the security agents know right away what it is. You are absolutely not required to open the containers and taste the breast milk.
Traveling by car is definitely easier than traveling by plane but it does come with its own set of challenges. If you are the driver, you will need to be able to find safe locations to pull off on to the side of the road or at a rest stop location. Things you should consider before departure include:
- Purchasing a dual breast pump, where you are pumping both breasts at once, is a huge time-saver---especially when you are traveling or on a time crunch. If you are not the driver and are comfortable manually pumping, you can purchase a manual pump for the long stretches of time spent in the car. Manual pumps are great when space is an issue and you have the time to pump.
- Use Google and Yelp to find places to stop ahead of time. It will save you time and the stress of having to find a place while you are on the road. Read the reviews, they will give you invaluable insight into the cleanliness of a place.
- Keep everything you need in one location. The worst thing you could do is having your breast pump in one location and bottles and bags in the trunk. Having a breast pump bag that’s large enough to hold breast pump parts and also have insulated pockets to keep your breast milk cold isn’t just a good idea—it’s an absolute necessity.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and wipes. If you have to go into public restrooms, you’ll definitely want sanitizer and wipes.
It's Worth It!
Traveling is a concern and challenge for many breastfeeding mothers but with a little preparation beforehand, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. It can be a rewarding experience and it will be worth it. Just think of the smiling, squirming, happy to see you, wide eyed bundle of joy anxiously awaiting your return!
If you can breastfeed and pump at home, you can do so while traveling. Just be confident, relaxed, and plan ahead. Organization is crucial to enjoying stress free travel while pumping. Don’t underestimate your superpowers! You got this—and don’t forget our ultra stylish Kaylaa breast pump bag is here to support you on every step of your journey!