Breastmilk Travel Tips

Frozen milk in shipping cooler

If you’re traveling this holiday season, a breastfeeding routine can make those plans a bit more complicated. We’re here to help! Below are some basic tips and information about airport security, as well as advice from moms with breastmilk travel experience.


Advice from Moms

“Some hotels allow you to put your milk in their real freezers in the kitchen so they freeze solid!” – Kristen M.

“Some airports will stop you if your ice pack is not fully frozen. Leave a bit of extra time for security.” – Kristian H.

“Allow a little extra time when flying because security will pull you aside because of the liquid. And most places will gladly give you a bag of ice to keep your milk cold or warm water if you need to warm it.” – Heather P.


Frozen breastmilk in travel cooler


Pumped breastmilk stored in a small, insulated cooler with frozen ice packs will stay fresh for 24 hours. Keep these storage guidelines in mind: freshly expressed milk is safe at room temperature (60-85 degrees Fahrenheit) for 4 to 6 hours. Refrigerated milk should be used or frozen within 24 hours. Breastmilk can be frozen for up to 3 months in a regular freezer and up to 6 months in a deep freezer.


Air Travel

As an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the TSA/Transportation Security Administration has the following regulations regarding traveling with breastmilk:

Breastmilk, along with formula and juice, can be carried in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces and don’t need to fit within a quart-sized bag. They should be separated from other liquids, gels and aerosols that are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 mL).

Inform the TSA officer that you are carrying breastmilk in excess of 3.4 ounces.

Breastmilk is typically screened by X-ray. The FDA states that there are no known adverse effects from consuming food or drink screened by X-ray. However, if you do not want it to be screened by X-ray, inform the TSA officer and alternative steps can be taken to clear the liquid.

Ice packs and other accessories used to cool breastmilk are allowed in your carry-on. They are subject to the same screening as described above if they are partially frozen or slushy.

For more information, please visit the TSA website

If traveling internationally, research the regulations at each international airport you visit. Different countries have varying policies regarding breastmilk.