Manning Family Milkify PCS Journey

From Freezer to Freedom: A Military Family's Breast Milk Journey

PCSing with Breast Milk: a Unique Dilemma

Originally published in July 2023 by NBC News4 Washington, today we highlight the story of a military family who faced a unique challenge while stationed in Hawaii. 

Meet the Manning family!

Captain Matthew Manning is an active duty Apache pilot with the U.S. Army. His wife Priya is a Realtor specializing in military relocations. 

So when the Manning Family received PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders to relocate from Hawaii to Maryland, one would think there would be no family better prepared to make the move. Except for one major piece of precious cargo: a “stash” of over 1,000 ounces of frozen breast milk in their freezer.

The Manning Family faced a unique challenge: how to move an entire freezer full of breast milk, and keep it safe, over a journey spanning nearly 5,000 miles?

For a family that is often on the move, this frozen milk was more than a luxury - it was a key component of their baby’s nutrition. Given the distance involved and the need to keep the milk frozen, this was a daunting task.

This wasn't merely about moving a household; it was about preserving a lifeline for their child. As they prepared for this major transition, the family searched for a solution that could safeguard the integrity of their breast milk, ensuring that every drop would continue to nourish their baby in their new home.

A Game-Changing Solution: Milkify

The turning point came when Priya discovered Milkify while scrolling Instagram. More than a breast milk freeze-drying service, we like to call ourselves your “breast milk concierge”, ready to tailor our service to your family’s specific needs. 

Milkify stepped in with our specially-engineered medical-grade coolers, designed to keep breast milk frozen for several days (without any dry ice or ice packs). Through our partnership with FedEx, we delivered the coolers to the Manning’s home in Hawaii in less than 2 days.

Each cooler came with a prepaid Priority Overnight shipping label to get the milk to our facility in Houston and a full set of instructions for safely shipping the breast milk. Priya loaded her milk into the coolers and shipped her milk to our facility. Then the family boarded a plane to their new life on the East Coast.

A Military Mama’s Best Friend

As any parent who’s moved to a new city probably knows, relocations are rarely easy or simple. Coordinating the delivery of furniture, wardrobes, family heirlooms and important documents is difficult enough – not to mention finding new schools for the kids, learning new traffic routes, getting acquainted with new grocery stores and neighborhoods… in short, moving a family across the country is a daunting task!

But there was one thing the Manning family did not have to worry about – their frozen breast milk. 

That’s because while they were busy looking for a new home in Maryland, the team at Milkify was hard at work, gently removing the water from each bag of frozen milk through our patented freeze-drying process. 

When the process was done, we held onto the shipment until the Manning family was ready to receive it. Once we had the green light, we shipped off the breast milk powder to their new house. This level of personalized service is what every parent can expect from working with us. 

But most importantly, their breast milk was now a convenient, nutrient-dense, shelf-stable powder. It had all the benefits and convenience of formula, except it was 100% Priya’s own breast milk.

Captain Manning summed it up best: “Regardless of where we are in time and space, regardless of where my spouse is, where I am – my baby can have what's hers”

Milkify: Pioneering Breast Milk Preservation

The concept of freeze-drying breast milk is not new – in fact, it has been around for nearly 100 years. Milkify innovated in two ways: (1) being the first company to offer freeze-drying as a service to consumers, and (2) doing so in a safe way, where the milk never comes into direct contact with equipment (to prevent contamination). 

Today, Milkify stands out as the only breast milk freeze-drying service in the world that is certified to freeze-dry breast milk under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) – the same set of quality standards the FDA promotes for human milk donor banks. 

With a team of moms who are highly trained in sterile handling and food safety best practices, Milkify is the industry leader trusted by doctors, parents, and service members around the world. 

Pedro Silva

About the author

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