There are few things worse than watching your precious breast milk go to waste. Beyond the typical spill episodes that result in ounces of liquid gold on your floor, some moms have to pump while their traveling or away from their baby (and risk their breast milk going bad before they get home) and some may have such a great stash in the freezer that they won't get a chance to use it all. But knowing how to ship your breast milk can help all moms, whether they're traveling or looking to donate.
No matter how you decide to ship it, the Stanford School of Medicine recommends shipping only frozen breast milk. It also suggests using dry ice to keep the milk cold and to wrap that ice in newspaper, lining the bottom of your styrofoam cooler. Add another layer of newspaper, and then put your breast milk in. Try to put bottles or loose bags of breast milk into a larger bag so they don't fall all around the styrofoam cooler and pack in as many as you can fit. Pad those bags with crumpled up newspaper and your milk is safe.
If dry ice doesn't sound like your thing, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots has some suggestions, too. The website is catered towards bad*ss military moms that pump breast milk while deployed to send home to their baby, and they recommend following the same newspaper trick, but wrap up your bags of breast milk in an extra bag, and then layer them with newspaper in the styrofoam cooler. If you ship overnight, your breast milk should remain cold enough to be safe.
One thing to keep in mind — shipping breast milk isn't cheap. If you overnight it, you're going to pay a pretty high fee, but if you use dry ice, you're also going to have to pay for the extra weight. There also may be stipulations about shipping dry ice, so it's best to contact the carrier you're planning on using, such as FedEx, to find out their regulations.
And if all of that is just too much to consider, reach out to Milk Stork. The company is a delivery service that will send you the materials you need to package your breast milk, keeping it cold, and have it shipped to your home through express shipping. Totally convenient, safe, and fuss-free.