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Travelling with frozen breast milk

(22 Posts)
JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 18:52:07

Hi,
This is my first post and I'm really hoping someone can help me.

Next week I am travelling by car from Yorkshire to Edinburgh. During my stay in Edinburgh I'll be going for a spa day with my sister.

I have a 14 week old and will be away from him for approx 7 hours. I have been expressing and freezing milk for my husband to feed him while I'm gone.

The issue is I am worried about how to keep it frozen during the journey. Does anyone have any experience of traveling with frozen breast milk? What's the best way to do it / what should I put it in to ensure it stays frozen?

Any thoughts or advice very much appreciated!

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Fri 24-Oct-14 20:08:06

Why does it need to stay frozen? Can't it gently defrost in a cool bag ready for use? smile

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 24-Oct-14 20:13:46

Are you aware OP that EBM is fine at room temp for up to eight hours? If you're only going to be away from your baby for seven hours, it really doesn't need to stay frozen.

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 20:17:25

I'm driving up on the Thursday and going to the spa on the Saturday, so it needs to stay frozen from when I leave Thursday morning until it's needed Saturday afternoon.

Sorry should have made that clear in the first place!

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 24-Oct-14 20:21:41

Once milk is defrosted then you do need to use it within a day really, I think you are going to struggle to keep it frozen in the car. However, if the pace you will be staying has a fridge then I'd pump and keep in the fridge at home then use a really, really good cool box with LOTS of ice packs in and take your milk up in that and then transfer straight to fridge when you get there. Milk is fine in the fridge for 5 days. Or can you not express while there on the Thursday night and in the day Friday and keep in the fridge to use rather than taking milk with you?

If the place you are staying doesn't have a fridge then I'm not sure of the answer other than your dh mooching around the vicinity of the spa and bringing baby to you for a feed when necessary.

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe Fri 24-Oct-14 20:30:38

Feed your baby the previously frozen (defrosted on the journey) milk on the Friday, express all the feeds you would have given on the Friday into bags to go in the fridge, Dp feeds the baby on Saturday with the fridge full of expressed feeds. Simples!
Appreciate expressing on the Friday is less convenient than just feeding but still think it's the best option.
Enjoy your break!

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 20:33:18

I'm staying at my Mum's so there is a fridge / freezer there. I'm from Edinburgh but living in Yorkshire. Me, baby and husband are heading up to visit family and I (hopefully) will be going to the spa.

The trouble is I have always struggled to get a decent amount when I express so have been slowly building up a supply in the freezer. I don't think I'd be able to express enough on the Thursday evening/ Friday for the 2, possibly 3 feeds needed while I'm gone.

I had considered having my husband bring the baby to the vicinity of the spa but would rather not do this if possible. That would involve an awful lot of hanging about for them!

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 20:50:20

Thanks for the replies!

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe that is a great idea, I just worry I wouldn't express enough on the Friday to do him while I'm gone

Usually I only get 1 ounce, 1.5 if I'm lucky each time I express. Also it only works in the morning, I don't get anything if I try at night. Very frustrating. But I guess if I am not feeding the baby as well I would be able to get more?

Ironic how stressful going to the spa is!

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 24-Oct-14 20:51:04

i really don't think you will get it there frozen but if you take tues and wed and thurs morning milk in cool box with ice packs so fridge temp then put in fridge and express Friday too that gives you 4 days of milk to be used on the sat, is that enough? Your dh could either take you and you feed right before you go in or meet you there later so you feed before going back to your mum's so realistically takes it down to 2 feeds expressed milk so 8oz? Probably less really but best have plenty.

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 24-Oct-14 20:53:42

Have you tried all the tricks? express off one side while feeding baby on the other. hand express vs pump etc. different people find different pumps work, do you have friends who have pumps you can borrow to try? though only use hand pumps that can be fully cleaned or if electric use closed system, don't share an electric pump that isn't closed system.

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 21:10:35

I haven't tried all the tricks to be honest. I've never really understood how to express on one side when feeding on the other, because the baby is in the way!? He lies across me on a pillow if that makes sense? So I wouldn't be able to access the other side? That probably sounds really silly. We had a lot of latch problems in the beginning and I struggled a lot with positioning, so when I found a position that worked (him lying across me - cross cradle I think - on a pillow) I'm terrified to change ! I haven't had cause to be away from him until now so have always been a bit half hearted with the expressing if I'm honest.

I do wonder if I'd be better with a different pump but they're too expensive to keep trying different ones!

I just don't know what to do for the best. Thanks so much for the suggestions and advice though I shall have a think about it.

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 24-Oct-14 21:14:50

You sound perfectly normal to me. It seems ingrained in us that we should be expressing so we can leave the baby, give it a bottle etc. tbh most people i know didn't really bother.

of course if you really want to go to the spa then great if you can work it out. But if it causes you stress is it worth it? Can you go for a single treatment so you don't have to worry about expressing then have a nice lunch with your sister and baby too?

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 21:29:55

I know what you mean. People are forever saying to me why don't you express more so you can leave him and/or have a drink.

I just said to my husband that I might just give it a miss as it's causing me more stress than it will relieve! He is keen for me to go though and have a nice time. He bought me the voucher you see, afternoon tea is involved too so I would really love to go.

I think I will travel with the frozen milk in a cool bag with ice packs and if it stays frozen great. If not I will express as much as possible on the Friday and Saturday morning and just see what I end up with. If I can express enough great, if not I will think of something else for us to do. Maybe a massage or manicure closer to my Mum's. The spa is about an hour away from there so wouldn't fancy going all that way for just a treatment.

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 24-Oct-14 21:35:44

Sounds like a plan. see how it goes but don't put pressure on yourself. Not wanting to leave baby and express and all the rest of it is normal, normal, normal. That time doesn't last long, at 6 months solids start, around 8 or 9 months they can cope with food and water for a good chunk of the day and bf when you are at home. breast feeding becomes remarkably adaptable further down the line.

i rather miss those months of taking my baby wherever i went smile .

JustbeNormal Fri 24-Oct-14 21:45:40

Thanks for taking the time to offer suggestions , I really appreciate it

nyldn Fri 24-Oct-14 22:37:01

can you overnight mail it to your mother's packed in dry ice so it goes from freezer to freezer?

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe Sat 25-Oct-14 21:55:12

Worst case you could take some formula in a carton with you to only be used if all your expressed milk ran out whilst you were at the spa.
It would give you peace of mind that your baby wouldn't go hungry and just one formula feed wouldn't interfere with bf or do any harm.
You shouldn't feel any pressure to leave the baby for more time than you are comfortable with, just do what feels right for you.

JustbeNormal Sun 26-Oct-14 08:51:20

Thanks , that is a good idea as my main worry is he will be hungry and there won't be enough expressed milk.

Having said all of this, I expressed this morning and got 3 ounces! First time ever I've got more than 1.5. So maybe we will be okay after all.

Thanks again for the replies.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Sun 26-Oct-14 09:06:21

You can have a drink without expressing. smile

Couple of cartons for emergencies sounds a plan. Bear in mind worst case is a hungry annoyed baby, not long term physical harm.

JustbeNormal Fri 31-Oct-14 06:31:45

Well the milk stayed frozen!
I packed it in a cool bag with these and it stayed frozen for 7 hours.

www.argos.co.uk/m/static/Product/partNumber/3402186.htm

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Fri 31-Oct-14 09:00:44

Yeay!

IAmASkeletonLover Fri 31-Oct-14 13:20:04

fantastic

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