New TSA Rules for Air Travel With Breast Milk

New moms in the MOMs group often ask about airline travel with their babies.  It’s challenging to deal with the packing, and the logistics, and figuring out what to do with the car seat, and pouring your mouthwash and shampoo into those ridiculous little 3 ounce bottles.  But for nursing moms, TSA anti-terrorism rules have sometimes made it even more confusing and complicated.  I think we’ve all heard of moms who were told to pour out the expressed breast milk they’d worked so hard to pump, or moms who had to “prove” that their breast milk was real (and not a bomb?  WTF?) by drinking it in front of the TSA Official.  I don’t think there’s anything inherently nasty or wrong with tasting your own breastmilk, but somehow being forced to do it while a snickering Security Dude watched always seemed totally humiliating and just weird and wrong.

But! here are new rules from TSA which seem to clear things up, and which specifically say you don’t have to drink your own breastmilk to get on board.  The new rules say that moms can bring breastmilk on the flight, even if the bottle has more than 3 ounces, as long as she follows a few procedures:

  • Separate these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size and zip-top bag.
  • Declare you have the items to one of our Security Officers at the security checkpoint.
  • Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray. These items are subject to additional screening and Officers may ask you to open a container.

So that’s good.  Breastmilk is still “da bomb,” though. :-)

(Thank you, Ruth Callahan, for directing me to the new TSA guidelines)