Question: I am traveling in a month with a one month old baby from New York to Peru. I have had a problem with my breast milk production so every ounce of my expressed breast milk is precious. I was thinking of pumping and freezing it but I am terrified of the travel time. Maybe freezing it is not the best idea in this case?
Answer: I have traveled with a cooler with ice-packs along with me as a carry-on (about 36- 40 ounces total between 4-5 bags or bottles) when I have had to pump and have a stash ready for baby because I have to work when arriving at my destination. This is allowed by TSA; you can have more liquid than the standard 3.4 oz contained within a one quart bag if it’s for baby or medical reasons. Just be sure to keep the milk in a separate container from your other liquids in your carry-on and DO NOT send it through the x-ray- hand it over to a security officer and let them know what it is.
You can keep your milk refrigerated up to one week (8 days) before using it, so if you plan on using it within that time that would be a better option. Once you freeze your milk and thaws you have to use it within twenty-four hours, which complicates things. For a long flight keeping previously refrigerated milk in a cooler with ice-packs might keep it cool, but frozen milk is likely to thaw by the time you arrive.