• Tue, Oct 17 2006

Rules for Traveling with Pumped Breast Milk

[Please note that the rules have changed since this post was written. See the comments for updated information!]

A mother who travels without her baby and needs to pump may be confused by the latest changes in airline restrictions on what can be packed in carry-on luggage. Andi Silverman of Mama Knows Breast examined what the rules are for taking expressed breast milk on an airplane. Basically, if you are traveling with your baby, you can carry on pumped breast milk (or formula) and ice to keep it cold. If you are traveling without your baby, you are limited to one quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag holding three-ounce containers of breast milk. Any additional milk must be transported in your checked luggage or shipped home separately. Read Andi’s article here for a detailed explanation.

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  • Callie

    I will be soon be traveling for work and gone for 3 full days. I plan on pumping and bringing back all my milk in my checked suitcase. Does anyone have any advice or experience with carrying a pump on board without any liquids? Do the airlines have a problem with this? Thank you for any replies, if you have them.

  • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela

    Callie, I can’t imagine it would be a problem to take the breast pump with you on the plane. Here’s the link for the Transportation Security Administration’s list of permitted and prohibited items:


    Just to be sure you can call or email the TSA Contact Center:

    Phone: 1-866-289-9673 toll-free
    E-mail: TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov

    Have a good trip!

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  • ecompo

    What is considered a “reasonable quantity” of milk allowed to be carried on board? I have a 2-day (36 hour, really) business trip coming up. Will I be able to carry-on all of my pumped milk from this time, or will I need to check it? Either way, any tips?

  • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

    Ecompo – the rules were recently changed again. See the comment about “Airline Travel with Unlimited Breast Milk,” above or here:


    Basically you can take any amount of breast milk on the plane as long as you declare it first at the security checkpoint for inspection. You might want to print out a copy of the new rule to take with you, just in case the security officers are not familiar with the rule.

    Have a good trip!

  • http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm laura pisani

    This regulation has changed.

    “Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint… 1. Separate these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size and zip-top bag.
    2. Declare you have the items to one of our Security Officers at the security checkpoint.
    3. Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray. These items are subject to additional screening.
    …You are allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, or processed baby food in your carry-on baggage and aboard your plane.”