flying with baby and pump

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2011
flying with baby and pump
7
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 2:33pm

DH and I will be flying with our little girl to Texas in January.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2011
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 4:57pm
Hi there -- We just flew from Austin to Chicago with our 6-mo-old twins and my pump, supplies, and breast milk. Here's what we did:
I packed my pump and all of our bottles and pump supplies in one bag. I packed bottles of pumped milk in the insulated portion of our diaper bag. Current TSA regulations allow you to carry breast milk, milk, or formula on board in "reasonable" quantities as long as you declare it. So at the security line, I took the bottles out of the diaper bag and put them in a small bin and handed them to a TSA officer. They take them aside and run them through a special screening machine and then return them to you. As for my pump, I didn't point it out or anything -- I just ran the bag through the screener along with everything else.
Once we were through security, I got my husband situated with the babies, made sure they were both fed and relatively content, and then I found the nearest "family" restroom and stepped inside to pump. Family restrooms are one big room, usually with a chair, a diaper changing station, electrical outlet, sink, and handicap access. I pumped for 15-20 minutes and only had someone knock on the door once (in the AUS airport -- nobody knocked in Chicago). I was also able to wash pump parts easily. Then I had an extra two bottles for the plane. I typically pump about every 3.5 hours, so I had to pump first thing when we got to my sister's house, but I wasn't too engorged or uncomfortable yet.
The flight was about 2.5 hours and the babies seemed to eat a lot on the flight, maybe slightly out of boredom or to help with their ears. But they did great.
The only other tip I can think of is to bring your bottle brush, a small dish for holding parts while you're washing them, a hand towel, and your dish soap or castile soap along with you. I put a little castile soap in my "allowable liquids" bag. You should also be sure and bring some extra membranes -- never know when one of them is going to tear.
Oh, and I packed our bottle drying rack in my big suitcase so I had that to use at my sister's. Seems silly, but it really helps us because we're going through so many bottles.
Let me know if I can tell you anything else. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 11:27pm
The previous poster had lots of great tips ... I just wanted to add one more ...

When I flew with my pump etc, and my 5 month old son in the states, I don't remember what airport I was in but in my terminal there was no 'family' washroom, so I ended up having to pump just on the counter in one of the big main washrooms. It was fine because I had a nursing cover with me, so I wasn't completely exposed. I recommend taking one of those with you if you have one. I did get many, many funny looks from all the women filtering through the bathroom too ... lol. I felt like I needed a sign taped to my forehead to let them know what I was doing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2011
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 4:00pm

Thank you, ladies.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 8:34pm
I didn't need to pump on the plane, but I wouldn't have hesitated to do so ... go for it! What else are you going to do? Lol ;)
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 9:09pm
I've never pumped on the plane, but a lot of ladies on here have.

I had similar flying experiences to the first poster. I put my pump through the regular x ray thing with our other carryons. I packed plenty of milk in the munchkin bottle cooler--has cold packs in it, they don't care. Plus 2 extra bottles of milk. On one trip, she drank 40 ounces! (her normal top amount was around 28 ounces--pack extra milk!) Some places checked the milk by vapor testing it, some places just looked at it, and some did nothing with the milk, just gave it back to me on the other side. From a security standpoint, flying wasn't any harder than w/o milk. And, a few of the airports had "family" security lines--much faster and kid friendly.

I pumped in the "family restroom". Dirtier than I would have liked in all places, but better than being engorged!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2011
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 10:52pm
I have pumped on a plane. It was nighttime so the lights were dim. I sat in the window seat and my husband was on the aisle (only a two-seat row). With the hum of the plane I don't know if anyone noticed. I just used my cover! I have also pumped in an airplane bathroom when I was flying alone. I asked the flight attendant for permission when I boarded. Not really permission, but just to give a heads up really.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2011
Sun, 12-11-2011 - 12:25am
I recently pumped on the plane to Hawaii.(5 hour flight) It was a little tricky since I was by myself so I waited until my lo was fast asleep and I just pumped with her on my lap. I just covered with a nursing cover and I don't think anyone even notice with all the plane noise. I was lucky to have an empty seat next to me. I went through airport security just fine with 30oz of breastmilk. After 7 month of pumping its become second nature. I would recommend taking a boppy pillow on the airplane, my lo slept very comfortably with it.