It’s another Mommy Monday and I just realized that I never posted my review of the Milk Stork! If you travel for work and are breastfeeding, this service is awesome with only a couple of drawbacks, like price and their choice of storage bags.
When I was approached with the opportunity to go to LA for 3 days to shoot this Michelob Ultra video, I couldn’t say no. I was very stressed out about what to do with Tommy. After thinking about bringing him with me for a hot second, I decided the best decision would be to leave him in Boston with Nick and his mom. My biggest fear was that Tommy would refuse to drink from a bottle and be a hungry little monster.
I stored enough milk for exactly 3 days. No more. I bought formula as back up, too. However, I knew if I didn’t save the milk that I pumped in LA, I would have no more reserve for the next work trip. I wanted to bring home my supply. But HOW!?
Enter Milk Stork.
Someone recommended it on Garden Moms, a Boston forum for moms sharing ideas, asking questions and more. I had never heard of it before (aka this post isn’t sponsored and I paid for the service).
There were basically 4 options. First, you had to choose how much milk you wanted to store, 34 or 72 ounces. Next, you had to choose if you wanted to bring your milk with you on the plane or ship it via FedEx overnight called Pump and Ship. If your trip was long, you could do multiple shipments via FedEx. I debated doing a shipment of 72 ounces and carrying on 34 ounces of milk.
In the end, I opted for the Pump and Ship 72 ounce option.
I called my hotel ahead of time to let them know a package would be arriving for me. Since I was scheduled to land at 2 am Monday morning, I had my box delivered to my hotel on Monday. When I got back to the hotel at 8 pm after a full day of shooting, the box was sitting in my room.
I opened it up to find a bunch of storage bags by NUK and a styrofoam cooler. The top of the cooler appeared to have a cold pack that was waiting to be activated. To see the box in action, check out my video on my Facebook page.
I was pumping during the day and putting my milk in storage bags that I bought at Target, just the generic brand made without BPA. I had a refrigerator available and brought a cooler lunch bag from home to transfer the milk back to my hotel. I kept ice in a ziplock bag and would keep replenishing it once it had melted.
That first night, my milk froze in the hotel refrigerator! You’re not suppose to freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, drink and this is exactly what was going to happen if I shipped my milk home. After freaking out a little, I decided it would be fine but tried to keep an eye on the frozen stuff.
Fast forward to the final day of shooting… I was taking a red eye home on Wednesday. I decided to transfer my milk into the NUK bag. I filled the bags as much as I could, which in hind sight was stupid. I was trying to put more than 72 ounces into my cooler. I didn’t want to have to throw any out!
I closed the top of the box to see if it would fit and all of a sudden it started leaking everywhere!!!!!!
WTF. I was getting my hair and makeup done and the crew was waiting on me. I transferred back the milk into my storage bags after realizing it was the stupid NUK bags causing the leaks. I also didn’t fill up the bags as much. I had about 20 ounces that wouldn’t fit. I decided to leave behind the milk that froze.
I then debated if the top was on correct for like 10 minutes before activating the cooling pack and sealing the top. Again, watch my video on Facebook to see what I mean.
I could have left the box with the hotel concierge to have FedEx pick it up, but I had one of the production assistants bring it personally to FedEx. They asked a bunch of questions about what was actually keeping the milk cool but then were cool with the shipment.
I kept my mini cooler with me to keep the milk that I’d pump that day. Going through security, I was TSA pre-check and they didn’t even test the 16 ounces I had. I kept adding ice to the bag and dumped it out right before the Xray belt. I added more ice, once I got through security.
I got on an earlier flight and landed in Boston around 2am. Around 9am, the FedEx box had arrived, still cold and no leaks!
I would say my first experience was a success.
Tips to know:
- Use your own storage bags. The ones provided leaked but they may have figured this out already as I used the service in early August.
- Don’t overfill the bags as they may leak. There literally is no extra room in the cooler – maybe in the Tote but I don’t know.
- It can be expensive. For the 72 ounce Pump and Ship option, I paid $188, of which $30 was shipping. It is cheaper to do the Tote option and bring your milk through TSA but then again, you’ll probably have to pay for a checked bag to have enough hands to carry everything. See the other prices here.
- They are still in “beta” so the website is a little wonky.
- Pumping while you travel is stressful, trying to keep it cold at all times adds another layer.
In conclusion, if you have the money and desire to save your pumped milk, Milk Stork is a really nice option. I have yet to introduce Tommy to formula and while I’m not against it, I like knowing that I have a back up supply of breast milk if something were to happen to me or I have another work opportunity. Some women dump the milk and that’s totally fine! I just wasn’t ready to do.
Have you used this service before? Is there a similar one? Leave your comments down below to help out a fellow mom!
This post was not sponsored in any way. I paid for the service in full. I have no affiliation with Milk Stork.