Breastfeeding and pumping challenges that many working moms face – and how to overcome them

Breastfeeding isn’t easy, especially as a working mom. And if you travel a lot for work, there’s even more to consider. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find breastfeeding success – you definitely can! – it may just take a little extra planning.  

Pumping on the road (or in the air, or at a conference…)

First the legal aspect of it: in the US it’s now legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states. Pumping? Well, there are no formal laws about this yet. But with a nursing cover, if you approach it with confidence, you can get away with pumping almost anywhere, from your car to a highway rest stop to a boarding gate. If you travel for work, you might already be thinking ahead to all the other places where you might have to pump – the airport, conference spaces, hotels.

If you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll already have space there, which is awesome. To make sure that your room is properly set up for pumping, you will want to ask your hotel to provide you with a refrigerator (other than the minibar). If the hotel is unable to offer a refrigerator, ask where you will be able to refrigerate your breast milk.

If you’re attending a conference, you’ll want to be in touch with a concierge or organizers to learn more about how you can access a designated lactation room or other space to pump. In the airport or in other such public space, you can pump in any number of waiting areas or the bathroom if you’d like more privacy – family bathrooms can be especially great for this sort of thing. US airports are now required to provide clean, private, non-bathroom spaces in each terminal for mothers to pump or nurse. We recommend looking up the best options in the airports that you will be traveling through before you leave on your trip.

This is really one of those “make it work” moments as a mom, but you can do it. And always ask the people working in these places for help – there may be lactation rooms just hiding around the corner that you wouldn’t have known about unless you asked! 

You’re not sure how to pump on a plane or fly with breast milk

When flying, a battery operated pump can be key. All carriers are different, so you’ll want to check with your airline to learn more about whether or not your pump is considered a medical device, since medical devices don’t count toward carry-on limits. Some carriers ask for notice to approve electronic medical devices for use during flight. If you have a pump that you need to plug in, not all planes include easy access to outlets. Now the good news: You can pump on an airplane at your seat or in the restroom (though if you opt for the latter, you just may want to tell a flight attendant what you’re up to). If you pump at your seat, you may want to get comfy with a nursing cover, but own your pumping and be confident in your choice. Lots of people have pumped on flights before, and the plane noise will drown out most of those usual noisy pumping sounds. 

And when traveling with breast milk, you’ll want to keep in mind TSA requirements and instructions: fortunately, the usual limitations and requirements for carrying liquids on a plane don’t apply to breast milk, so milk can just stay in your Milk Stork Pump & Tote or Freeze & Tote if you choose to bring it as a carry-on. You’ll need to notify TSA that you are traveling with breast milk, and they will inspect the cooler and the breast milk, so it’s a good idea to leave yourself extra time for this process. 

You can also pack your Milk Stork cooler in your checked baggage, but it’s important to know that it may be x-rayed and inspected without your knowledge. 

It is recommended that you print out the TSA policy on breast milk and have them ready in the security line just in case your TSA agent is unfamiliar with what is allowed

You’re not sure how to store your breast milk

Much like if you’re storing milk at work, when on the road you’ll want to keep your milk chilled. Milk Stork’s refrigerated coolers are available in 34 and 72 oz options, allowing for a minimum of 72 hours of breast milk refrigeration if you use the Pump & Ship option, and up to 60 hours of refrigeration if you use the Pump & Tote.  Milk Stork’s frozen milk coolers are available in up to 48oz or up to 180oz and can keep the frozen temperature for up to 96 hours. 

Breast milk lasts about 4 days when stored in a refrigerator, so if you’re at a conference, but your Milk Stork cooler is back at the hotel, it’s a good idea to find a refrigerator to store the milk in until you get back to your hotel.  

The Milk Stork cooler works best if you do not open it after packing your milk, so if you’ll need multiple pumping sessions to fill up your needed amount of breast milk, it’s important to have access to a refrigerator, cooler, or freezer until you’ve pumped enough to fully pack. 

Milk Stork makes business travel easier

Whether you want to tote or ship your breast milk while on the road, Milk Stork has you covered. Your employer has partnered with Milk Stork to allow you and other employees to tote or ship your breast milk at no cost to you while you travel for business.

You can tap the button below to learn more about Milk Stork and get started with placing an order today.

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