You need to take a very important trip out of state and you cannot bring your baby with you. What should a breastfeeding mom do? Simple, ship your breast milk! And here’s a simple guide on how to ship breast milk and keep it fresh.
The best method is to ship your breast milk overnight on dry ice or gel packs. Dry ice will freeze the milk and will ensure its freshness. Use gel packs if you want your breast milk to be refrigerated. FedEx and UPS do not provide dry ice so you will have to look for it elsewhere. There are numerous online companies that sell dry ice so you would want to check on them. Keep in mind that most dry ice retailers only sell the ice, not the packaging, so you should speak with someone at your overnight shipping company about how to package your breast milk properly. The most common container used for this type of package is Styrofoam boxes that are placed in a larger cardboard shipping box.
Pump your breast milk and store in plastic or glass bottles with a sealable top, or in a sterile, sealable bag. Store your breast milk in amounts that you use every day to avoid wasting it. For example, if your baby eats 4 ounces in a feeding, put 4 ounces of breast milk in the storage container.
When your milk is packaged, place the containers in the Styrofoam box along with the dry ice or ice packs. Use packing material if necessary to prevent the containers from shifting during transit. Address and label the box with “dry ice” and take to your shipping company.
Make sure that there is someone at the breast milk’s destination to receive the shipment!
Dry ice will vaporize at a rate of five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest so you should pick up the dry ice as close to the time that you need it as possible. Bring an ice chest to hold the dry ice and to slow that rate down.