Breastmilk and air travel

I recently had an opportunity to attend a conference/networking event in Arizona.  I have not been on a plane since before my son was born!

Even though my son is a year old, I am still nursing him.  This means I still have times where I need to express milk.  The hotel that I booked had a refrigerator with a little freezer so I knew that I had a place to store my expressed milk.  I was more concerned about being able to bring it on the plane, since there is that 3oz rule.  I researched it before I went to the airport and everything I found said that my best course of action was to declare it to a TSA agent before I went through security.  I even asked the TSA agents at both airport security checkpoints about what I should do.

So I am in Arizona, soaking up all this knowledge and meeting new people and making new connections and expressing my milk for my son.  I really didn’t want to pump and dump so I was praying that the TSA agent on the flight home would not give me a hard time. I’m in line at security and I go up to the TSA agent and I declare that I have breast milk in my carry-on.  He asked who needed the milk.  I replied, my baby!  Then he asked me, “Where is your baby?”  I said, At home, waiting for me and his milk!   I was worried he would make me get rid of my milk but fortunately he did not.  Although I did declare again before going through the x-ray machines that my carry-on had bags of breastmilk but the TSA agents at that point did not question me further.

What did I learn? That it is really up to the TSA agent’s discretion whether or not I can bring breast milk onto the plane.  So next time I travel with or without my baby, I need to be prepared to pump and dump.

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