Monday, March 5, 2007

TSA Prohibition on breastmilk on airplanes

So tomorrow I have to go on a business trip to Chicago. My son is 7-months old, and I am still breastfeeding. Being a working mom, that also means I am pumping. According to the geniuses at the Transportation Safety Administration, breastmilk can only be brought aboard a plane if the baby is travelling with you. That is just crazy because for the most part, if you have the baby with you, the breastmilk can be contained in the breast for ready access by the baby. It wouldn't be in bottles of other containers. This is so frustrating. So..for my 2-day trip I have to bring a cooler and check my pumped milk. It also means that any milk I pump before I get on the plane tomorrow I have to drop off at home or daycare before I leave.

Nevermind the part about keeping it cold. So, i bring my pump with freezer packs on the plane to Chicago. Then I get a fridge in my room for the milk (which I don't want to freeze, because if it defrosts it has to be used within 24 hours, where if it is just kept cold is good for like 2 weeks) and try and keep the freezer packs cold in the little freezer. Or, ideally, I can put them in the hotel freezer. Then I check out on Thursday morning, putting my bags of milk in my cooler bag with the frozen packs...and am in a training class all day. So I pray my bags of milk stay cold, meanwhile pumping new milk that I am adding that will decrease the temperature in the bag. Then I take the whole thing (that is still barely cold), put in my hard-top cooler bag and insert in my luggage, which I will have to check in Chicago. I don't want to even think about what happens if they lose my luggage. Arghhh.

I had someone in my office actually suggest that I just don't pump while I am there, and pick up when I get back. I didn't have the energy to explain why this wouldn't work.

But I will do it, for my little guy. Who could resist this face?

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