Planning a trip abroad? There are a few things you should consider when travelling with your breast pump. Here's what you need to know.
Flying with your breast pump
Your breast pump is a portable electronic device. If you’re travelling by plane it’s important to be aware of airline regulations regarding portable electronics. Check your airline’s regulations and also regulations of your destination and departure airport.
If you have a rechargeable breast pump like the Spectra S1, S9 Plus and M1, it has a lithium battery in it and falls under CASA regulations in Australia regarding portable electronic devices, which means you should keep your breast pump in your carry-on luggage only.
The Spectra S1, S9 Plus and M1 all have lithium batteries under the 100Wh rating, which puts them in the same category as your laptop, cell phone, and other portable electronic devices. You don’t normally need to declare these prior to travelling, however, its good to know the technical specification of each pump’s battery in case you want to verify or need to answer any questions. Like most portable electronic devices, the type of battery in your Spectra breast pump will be printed on the back or bottom of your breast pump, like in the photo above.
- Spectra S1: 1.11V 2000mAh Li-Polymer
- Spectra S9 Plus: 7.4V 900mAh Li-Polymer
- Spectra M1: 7.4V 900mAh Li-Polymer
Travelling with expressed breastmilk
If you’re planning on travelling with expressed breastmilk, be sure to verify with your departure and destination airports and airlines for any regulations regarding breastmilk – and print them out, in case a problem comes up or the security agent is unfamiliar with the policy.
In Australia, breastmilk will need to be in resealable storage bags up to 100ml, no more than 1 litre total in your carry-on luggage. In some places, like the United States, breastmilk isn’t subject to maximum quantities (like other liquids) but it will need to be taken out of your carry-on luggage and screened separately. Remember that every country, every customs agency, and every airline might have different regulations, so it’s important to verify ahead of time so you know what to expect.
There is typically no limit for putting breast milk in checked luggage, however – and you can consider freezing it and mailing it. Check for breastmilk mailing services in your destination area, or consider finding a local breastmilk donor group.
Powering your breast pump abroad
Most countries operate mains power at 220-240 volts, with some exceptions at 100-127V (mainly all of North America, some parts of Brazil, Japan, and Saudi Arabia). All Spectra breast pumps except for the Dew 350 are dual voltage, meaning that as long as you have the correct international power adaptor, you can charge or power your Spectra breast pump abroad.
Although voltage is fairly universal, power outlets are not. You’ll most likely need to purchase an international travel adaptor. These small, portable adaptors usually come with several different plugs, like the one pictured below, allowing you to plug it into your local power outlet, and then plug in your Spectra breast pump. Before you depart, make sure you verify which plug type your destination uses, and that the travel adaptor you purchase accommodates that plug type (click here for an interactive plug type world map).
Countries that use the Australian power plug
Your Spectra breast pump comes with an Australian power adaptor, known as a Type I plug. This will actually work in several countries outside of Australia, including New Zealand, China, Argentina and Papua New Guinea – click here for a full list of countries that use the Australian plug.
Powering the Dew 350 in the United States
The Dew 350 is not dual voltage, meaning it will only operate in regions on 220-240V mains, such as Australia, Asia, Europe, and Africa. If you’re travelling abroad, it’s good to verify what voltage your country of destination uses ahead of time.
To operate your Dew 350 in North America, Japan, or another 100-127V region (in orange or brown in the map above), you’ll need to purchase a step-up conversion box. These are not your regular international power plug adaptors, but rather boxes that build up charge to put out more power than goes in. So, if you’re travelling to the United States for example, you’ll need a step up converter that uses the 100V power in the United States to build up enough charge in the box to put out the 220V to power your Australian Dew 350.
Not using a step-up conversion box can cause irreparable damage to your Dew 350. You can purchase a power converter at most major online retailers and home electronics stores.
Furthermore, if you have a Dew 350 purchased in the United States, it will be rated at 100-127V, and therefore you’ll need a step-down conversion box if you’re using it in Australia, Europe or another 220-240V region.