A Super Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Shipping Breast Milk
A key point to discuss when matching with Intended Parents is whether or not you will be pumping breast milk for the baby/babies after delivery.
While not everyone can or will want to pump milk, it is an important decision to be made between the surrogate and Intended Parents. Many surrogates do want to pump, as it’s just another way to help out, gives the baby/babies many health benefits, and benefits the surrogate’s body as well.
There are many ways you can go about pumping for your surrogate baby: you can use a pump you may already own, obtain a new one, or have your Intended Parents rent a hospital grade pump for you. When pumping all necessary supplies should be provided or reimbursed by the parents.
If your Intended Parents are local you can set up dates and times when you can meet up to give them the breastmilk. With long distance Intended Parents it is still possible to provide breast milk to your surrogate baby! Instead of a local drop-off, you’ll need to be shipping your breast milk to their home.
Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you might think! Take a look at the tutorial below on how to properly package a shipment of breastmilk so it arrives frozen!
For each shipment you will need the following items:
- Large cardboard box for shipping
- 30 quart Styrofoam cooler
- Packing Tape
- Packing material or newspaper
- 2 Packages of “blue ice” we recommend Igloo MaxCold artificial ice
The coolers and blue ice can be found at your local Walmart or Target in the camping section, or on Amazon. The boxes and tape can be found in the packing and shipping dept.
Once your milk is pumped and distributed into the breastmilk storage bags, place in a deep freezer for at least 24 hours. This will ensure that the milk stays frozen while in transit. If you don’t have a deep freeze, place the bags towards the back of your freezer, where it is the coldest.
The day of shipping it’s best to bundle the individual bags of frozen milk into a couple of gallon sized Ziplock bags. We recommend this is in case one bag of breastmilk leaks, the zipped bags won’t allow the one leaky bag to ruin your whole shipment.
Get your cardboard box taped and ready to be filled.
Place a sheet of blue ice in the bottom of the Styrofoam cooler.
Crumble up some newspaper or packing paper, making sure you create a layer that covers the blue ice cubes. You do NOT want the ice touching the bags of milk.
Place the bags of breastmilk on top of the layer of crumbled newspapers or packing papers.
Add another layer of crumbled newspapers or packing paper.
Top off your cooler with another layer of blue ice cubes.
Put the lid on the cooler and tape around all of the seams with the packing tape. Make sure you have a good seal.
Place the taped up cooler inside the cardboard box and fill any empty spaces surrounding the cooler with newspaper. This will create a nice insulated barrier.
Once in place, seal up the cardboard box. Now you are ready to ship! You will need to ship via OVERNIGHT delivery.
Helpful Notes: Intended Parents can easily open a UPS or FedEx account to make shipments easier. To open an account, the Parents will provide billing information to UPS or FedEx, whichever is preferred, and will then be given an account number which the surrogate can choose to bill for shipping costs at the time of shipment. This helps avoid surrogates paying out of pocket for shipping and waiting for reimbursement.