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Shipping Breast Milk

It may be intimidating. You definitely do not want all that “liquid gold” to go bad in the shipping process. Here is what I did when I shipped breast milk.

Pumping is a full-time job. I pumped about every 3 or 4 hours for a few months. I had so much stored that we purchased a deep freezer (which comes in handy now). It was less than $200 at Home Depot when we purchased it in 2016. I would freeze the milk in the deep freezer for at least a day before shipping. A good tip is to freeze the bags flat in the freezer after getting all the air out. This made it easier to pack and ship the bags. If you don’t have a deep freezer, putting the milk in the back of your freezer will work too since it’s the coldest part.

I used a cardboard box for shipping that snuggly fit the Styrofoam cooler I purchased at Wal-Mart. If there are a lot of gaps between the cooler and the cardboard shipping box, stuffing it with newspaper helps. This keeps the milk from shifting in transit.

When the box was ready to be packed, I used ice packs to outline the perimeter of the Styrofoam cooler and would lay the milk bags in rows and stack them about 4 bags high before adding a layer of ice or another ice pack. Sometimes I would pre-pack the milk bags into larger freezer bags. This served as another layer of protection for the milk bags. So if they leaked, the milk may still have another chance and also helped avoid spilling all over the other bags and creating a sticky mess! Although the ice takes up a large amount of room it ensures that the milk will get there still frozen; overnight.

At this point, the precious package is ready to ship. Always ship overnight! The ice and ice packs only last so long. Even dry ice will last only a day and it’s more expensive. Be careful about handling dry ice properly to avoid burns.

There are so many other methods to shipping breast milk including services that you can Google that specializes in this task. It is more expensive, but that is a conversation you need to have with your recipient. And don’t worry if you are on vacation. As of now, you can carry breastmilk on a plane. It requires a little more time with security and most likely a pat down so add that extra time into your arrival at the airport. Also, if you freeze the milk before you arrive at the airport, it is considered a solid and does not require as much time as bringing the milk on cold. Your flight length and travel time should also be considered when traveling with your breast milk.

If you decide to pump for your surro babe, please consider adding this into your contract. You can include breast milk and pump supplies, shipping supplies and fees. If you have any questions, call us! Our superior staff will walk you through this process.

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