Has anyone traveled internationally while having to pump?

I might have to do a work trip to France at the end of August. My baby will be 4.5 months by then. I’m currently breastfeeding and hope to still be at that time. If I’m away from her for a few days for this trip, I’ll have to have a lot of frozen milk. I’m wondering if anyone has had to pump while on an international flight and any tips or tricks you might have? I assume I’ll have to pump in the airplane bathroom (gross) and while I’m there and will have to dump The milk since I don’t have a freezer in my hotel room but I would think on the plane trip home I’ll be able to save the milk. Also, what are the regulations with pump parts through security and the milk on the way home? Thanks!

  • Nisha
    Jun 28, 2018

    Your company should pay to ship your milk. I pumped on my work trip and left it in a cold bag (with the ice pack) in the hotel fridge. Milk is stable like that. A day before I could leave I requested to keep my milk in their freezer. I ordered one of those cooler bags from Kiinde. I did not pump in the plane as it was gross. I pumped in the lounge before and right after I landed

  • Nisha
    Jun 28, 2018

    Also carry a manual pump just in case. Make sure your electric pump works in European voltage and carry converter. Don’t stress and it’s a work trip so have some fun. You can always power pump when you are back to maintain supply

  • Nisha
    Jun 28, 2018

    I also carried a note form my pediatrician saying it was necessary for me to carry my pumped milk. Airport authorities did not ask but I had the document just in case

  • Divya
    Jun 28, 2018

    Your hotel should be able to store milk for you in their freezer. That’s what I did and I saved all the milk I pumped and brought it home with me.

  • Sonia
    Jun 28, 2018

    I traveled to Paris with a pump and milk.There is no problem with the pump going through security,they will have to test the milk one by one though in both France and the US which can be frustrating...

  • Sonia
    Jun 28, 2018

    Also I did buy on the go battery for the pump since the European voltage is different

  • Sarah
    Jun 29, 2018

    Divya- how did you bring all the milk home with you? Was it frozen and you just brought it in your carry-on? Sonia- if I can get the hotel to freeze the milk so I can bring it back, how would the airports test the milk then?

  • Sarah
    Jun 29, 2018

    Another dumb question - I’ve only pumped at home and once in the car. For those who pumped while on a work trip (or vacation for that matter), where did you pump since you can’t be in your hotel all the time?

  • Divya
    Jun 29, 2018

    It was stored in the hotel freezer, I transferred to one of my carry containers from Medela that had an ice pack in it (which I also asked them to freeze beforehand). And I just carried it on the plane. You just go through additional security. They do a swab test. I’ve never had any issues, just allow for a little additional time for security. So by the time I got off the plane the milk was semi frozen and I gave to my LO right away and froze some. The milk is more resilient than you would think. Doesn’t really go bad that quickly.

  • Katie
    Jun 30, 2018

    Sarah first off don’t feel like you have to pump in the airplane bathroom. If people are bothered by what you’re doing, that’s their problem not yours! If you can maybe a window seat so you can turn into the window so you feel like you have a bit more privacy and use some kind of coverup so you feel comfortable. And I definitely recommend a battery powered or a rechargeable breast pump while you’re out and about. I used one when I went to England and I was able to charge it wherever because it had a usb cable so it could go into any plug.

  • Maureen
    Aug 04, 2018

    I did this when my baby was 5.5 months for 8 days. I’d recommend taking the Medela manual pump, and if you can, the spectra S9 or something similar. That way you don’t have to plug in much. Check electric conversion too for charging. I pumped in my seat — asked for a window seat and just put my blanket over me. Since milk can stay in the fridge for up to 8 days, I recommend taking the ice packs but not freezing the milk. Use fridge at hotel. That way it won’t all thaw during your return flight and have to be used right away. And make sure your cooler is big enough to bring it all home! I didn’t end up dumping hardly any. And if your baby is eating overnight, wake up and pump at night to keep up your supply. That was hard for me. And my supply was not quite the same when I returned.

  • Brittany
    Apr 22

    Hey Maureen! How did you get all the milk home if you didn’t freeze it? I’m flying home from Rome after ten days and I’ve been told I have to check it frozen or I can’t bring it home. I’d have to find some dry ice for the plane ride home. We are going to Paris, Lucerne, and Rome for 10 days, and I’ll just keep the milk chilled in the hotel fridge in each city and use gel packs when transporting from country to country by train. My big worry is on that plane ride home from Rome - I don’t know where I’ll get dry ice in Rome either.

  • Brittany
    Apr 22

    Also - where did anyone pump while sightseeing? I’m really worried about this.

  • Brittany
    Apr 22

    AND - your supply took a hit, but did it come back once you were home nursing again?

  • Liz
    May 23

    Has anyone shipped milk home from an international location? Traveling to London for a week and will need to send home in middle of trip. Any advice appreciated!

  • Sarah
    May 23

    There are services that do that but it would personally make me nervous- what if they lose the shipment for some reason? Do you have the option of freezing the milk (check With your hotel) and putting it in a collapsible cooler in your checked luggage or just using it as a carryon? I pumped in Copenhagen and had the hotel freeze the milk. I wasn’t gone a week but I had milk to freeze. Then I just put it in my carryon bc it wasn’t a huge amount.

  • Liz
    May 23

    Yes I could travel with the milk, but I won’t have a stash large enough to last baby the whole week!

  • Anonymous
    May 23

    I’m not sure, I think internationally your best option would be World Courier but it will be EXPENSIVE. I’ve never ever lost a package with WC and they have delivered for me all over the world. They also deliver temperature sensitive things and will add ice, etc. but it will cost you.

  • Liz
    May 23

    Thank you! I will contact them to get pricing.

  • Cassie
    Jun 19

    Also Milk stork is going international I think! Of course it isn’t cheap!