Airplane Travel, Breastmilk and Formula: How to Bring Your Milk Through Customs

By Amanda Archibald

March 13, 2020

My name is Amanda and I am The Mama Coach in Vancouver, BC. I am a mom to one beautiful little girl, a Perinatal Registered Nurse, an IBCLC Lactation Consultant, a Sleep Consultant and a Prenatal Instructor. I can’t wait to help you reach your goals as a family.

When traveling with Breastmilk or Formula you may feel a little anxious or have some questions! What can I bring? How much? What does the process look like? With spring break right around the corner and then summertime travels not far off we wanted to help ease the stress associated with traveling and feeding your little one!

Airplane Travel, Breastmilk and Formula: How to Bring Your Milk Through Customs

Before You fly:

  • It may be good to check the guidelines at both your country of departure and country of arrival. I will be providing Canadian and American (TSA) guidelines below
  • Pump and freeze milk in 2 – 3oz baggies prior to travel, bring along as much as you will need for the duration of the flight and any layovers (plus extra!! – nobody wants to cry over spilled milk)
  • For Formula, I would recommend getting the ready to feed version of your brand to ease the ability to make and give formula on the plane
  • Freeze your icepacks so they are ready to go and prep a cooler
  • Call ahead to your hotel to ask if they have a fridge in your room!

At the Airport:

    • Tell the security inspector at the checkpoint that you have breastmilk or formula. Remove it from your bags or cooler and place in a separate bin for inspection
    • Both American and Canadian Security allows more than 100ml or 3 ounces of breastmilk or formula to be carried on as an exception because it is considered liquid medication.
    • They also both allow frozen icepacks used in the cooler bags to be brought along with the milk
    • Milk, Formula and ice packs will be subject to extra screening at checkpoints. Security cannot ask to taste your milk but they can ask you to open the bottles as a part of the testing

You are also able to travel with breastmilk even without a baby with you, for example, pumping while you are away or on a business trip is allowable and tested and screened in the same way as above.

Airplane Travel, Breastmilk and Formula: How to Bring Your Milk Through Customs

Although it can feel intimidating I believe they have tried to make the process as easy as possible for parents traveling with young babies and their milk!

If you have any questions about this, please reach out to your local Mama Coach! Happy Travels!

Share this Article