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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    0 Thread(s)

    Packing advice for a pumping mom

    I'm gearing up for my first business trip post-baby and I'm trying to figure out the best strategy for hauling my work clothes, laptop, pump, and cooler for breast milk without checking a bag. Any moms out there have advice? I have an Aeronaut 45, a Western Flyer, and a Pilot to work with, and I'm not opposed to buying something new. I already bought and returned the Parental Unit- it just did not work with my 5'2" petite frame.

    Normally I cram everything in my Aeronaut, but I think I will not have room for my pump and I definitely won't be able to fit my cooler in there. I'm taking 5 days worth of clothes (probably 1 blazer, 5 tops, 2 pairs pants and a skirt), a set of workout clothes, 1 pair of dress shoes and 1 pair of running shoes, assorted underthings, and I use a Spectra 2 pump.

    Thanks in advance for your advice. Also open to advice for successfully navigating TSA with expressed breast milk. I know I'm allowed to take it, but I have heard many horror stories about people being forced to open/dump pouches.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    0 Thread(s)
    My only experiences pumping while traveling for work were a little different - I always traveled with my baby too so I didn't even attempt carry-on only and didn't need to fly with pumped milk, and I was carrying just Symphony parts and a backup hand pump rather than a full electric pump. But a few tips/ideas:

    Stuff sacks are nice for wrangling pump parts and making sure nothing gets left behind.

    Keeping individual bags/bottles of expressed milk to 3oz or less will make things easier at security (they probably won't have to test each bag/bottle like they would if over 3oz).

    Bring some extra ziploc bags in case they take away your freezer packs (you can get ice for them after security). Or just use bags of ice instead.

    If you can manage your Aeronaut as a shoulder bag or fit all your clothes and shoes in the Western Flyer, I would carry a separate backpack for laptop, pump, parts, and cooler bag. That would also work well for your daily carry, assuming you're pumping throughout the day and not just at night. The discontinued but still possible to find used (wink wink) Smart Alec is a great choice for this, as the big open shape accommodates non-slender items like pumps and cooler bags.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Twin Cities Burbclave
    0 Thread(s)
    It's been many years since I traveled while breastfeeding (my daughter is 16 now!), and I only ever did it once without my daughter. I ended up checking my clothing bag because there was no way I was going to check either the pump, or the frozen breastmilk, or my laptop bag with my EDC stuff. You may be able to arrange to not check anything, though. Tom Bihn is great for packing and organization, but I wasn't aware of TB in those days. :-)

    A few things:
    1. I froze the milk in 4-ounce containers in the mini fridge in my hotel room. Today, I think the biggest size is 3.4 ounces of liquids aboard, so maybe keep it around 3 ounces.
    2. I too put ice in ziplocks and packed my little cooler - the one that came with the breast pump, so it really is very small - full of milk and baggies of ice cubes (from the hotel ice machine).
    3. Yes I had to explain to the screeners what it was. They let me through with it, just fine.
    Last edited by CathyWeeks; 06-04-2018 at 09:13 AM.

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