Haaaaallelujah!!! You guys can’t begin to imagine how ecstatic I feel as I write this post. I really hope that the information I’m about to share can help other moms. I’m sharing tips on how I am able to work & travel thousands of miles away from my baby yet still continue to give her breastmilk, maintain my milk supply and how to pack the breastmilk to bring that liquid gold home, successfully.
My pumping gear is all set for my flight from Abu Dhabi to Manila. Medela Freestyle Breastpump + Charlie Baby Bag was key. Yes, you can pump on the plane and bring the milk you pumped during the flight and layover. Everything else, has to be checked in!
To tell you honestly, I couldn’t find the information I needed online on how to pack and travel with breastmilk for a long haul flight. I had so many questions like: How do I pack it? Do I check it in? Can I bring a pump on the plane with me with no baby? How will the milk stay cold for 19 hours? Where do I buy dry ice? Do i freeze it? If I freeze it and it melts even just a little, that milk has to be consumed within 24 hours. And the list went on… I just thought it was too risky and such a hassle!
Pumping in between shoot locations in Switzerland. I had 5 guys and a girl in the van with me. No shame!!!
So I was planning to do something that I know most breastfeeding moms would’ve done: Pump, store and save enough for my baby so yaya can still feed her while I’m away. Then while traveling, continue to pump to maintain supply but dump it to be saved from the hassle.
I’m telling you guys now. DON’T DO IT!!!! Bring that liquid gold home. That’s exactly what my friend Kai Prieto-Moreno told me a few hours before my flight. I just followed all her advice since she did it already before. She even hooked me up with the Techni Ice (Thank you Kai!!!). Simultaneously, I was bugging Maricel from The Parenting Emporium for that extra push. While an hour before the flight, my parents were scrambling to get me a collapsible cooler that I could pack in my luggage. haha! And you know what… I’m sharing all the steps because I’m living proof that: IT CAN BE DONE!!!
This is the collapsible cooler my parents got for me + the 3 sheets of Techni Ice that I received from Kai.
The Pro Freeze photo was taken today. Notice the cubes are puffy because the gel has been activated already. Originally it was flat and as thin as paper!
While I was preparing my Charlie Baby Bag before my flight, I found a sheet of the ProFreeze which I never figured out how to use. I remember receiving it in a loot bag that Beng from The Parenting Emporium gave me. Typical me, I just stuffed in my bag. Thank God!!!
Here’s what the Techni Ice looks like activated, frozen and packed in the cooler. I took this photo in Switzerland a few hours before the flight. Oh and FYI… my husband & the concierge couldn’t find dry ice anywhere. So 3 sheets of Techni Ice + 1 feet of Profreeze + collapsible cooler + newspaper plus A LOT OF PRAYERS was our only hope.
I stuffed all the corners and filled in the gaps with newspaper to keep the cold air contained.
For more details, WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!
And since it took me a few hours to figure out how to activate the gel of the Techni Ice and ProFreeze, I made another video to help you out below:
I couldn’t not document this. LIQUID GOLD!!!
Breastmilk will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I kept the first batch in the refrigerator so my baby can consume it within 24 hours.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: consume the oldest milk first. First one in, first one out!
I put the other batches in a deep freezer to prevent it from spoiling. According to studies, breastmilk can be kept in a deep freezer for approximately 6 months.
TIP: I let the Honeysuckle Breastpump Bags freeze flat and put kitchen towel paper in between so the bags won’t stick together.
And here’s how I arranged it the day after.
To maintain my supply, I continued pumping every 4 hours. I had these HoneySuckle bags with me so I didn’t have to carry so many bottles. It’s such a space saver!
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If I can do it, you can too!!!
Til my next post…
- Cat Arambulo-Antonio