Pumping and Driving – A Working Mom’s Dream

pumping-while-drivingOkay, time to get REALLY personal… True story here.

After I had my first baby, I went back to work when he was 4 months old. I was determined to make the whole working and breastfeeding thing a success and that required me to pump several times during my work day.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get unlimited breaks at work (though, I did ask but that didn’t fly) so I had to get creative. One day I eyed my hands-free pumping bra and a crazy thought popped into my head, “what if I pumped while driving to and from work?”

I honestly couldn’t think of any laws that I would be breaking assuming I wasn’t flying topless down the freeway (and I don’t mean the top on my car – I drive an SUV anyway) and as along as I was using my hands-free pumping bra.

Most of my morning commuters would probably have no idea I was letting it all hang out underneath my “Hooter-Hider”, AKA breastfeeding cover. They might think, if anything, that I had a strange fashion sense.

pumping-while-drivingSo, I took the plunge. I hooked the girls up to the milk machine with my morning cup of Joe in one hand and the other safely on the steering wheel. I pulled out of my driveway and started my hour long commute.

At first, I marveled at my sheer genius but as time passed I felt something else…I felt…like a criminal!

This had to be illegal, I thought! I’m such a stickler for the rules that I fought the urge to seek out the first officer I could find to turn myself in for…something (still not sure what).

I did make it to work fine and actually pumping while driving saved me a lot of time and stress. So, I decided to gather more info to ease my unease as I NEEDED to make this part of my daily routine.

I had lunch later that day with a friend. When I mentioned my criminal activity earlier that morning, she stared at me in horror. I knew it. I knew something was wrong with it. So to put a stop to my guilt, I scoured the internet looking for laws related to pumping and driving.pumping-while-driving

I found – NOTHING! Other than lots of other moms who actually do this. There is absolutely no law against driving while breast pumping specifically that I could uncover. There is, however, distracted driving and you could be cited for that if you aren’t careful.

So with this new information, I made the decision to make pumping and driving part of my morning and afternoon commute. Sorry to all the truck drivers out there who no doubt got a great angle and eye full from where they sat. I’m sure it made their day or not but either way, I honestly couldn’t give a flying nipple because this was a huge time saver!

So, if you are a working Mom (or just a very busy Mom – though maybe not suited for driving the carpool) you need to look into pumping and driving! It will honestly save your sanity. I know how hard finding time to pump at work is and utilizing your commute time is a no-brainer!

What you need in order to Pump and Drive:

  1. Breast_pumpAn electric pump. Sorry but a manual pump won’t do in this situation. The point is to be SAFE and driving while manually pumping is definitely not.
  2. Hands-free pumping bra. This is a must!
  3. Nursing cover. Or not. If you are comfortable with it all hanging out, tinted windows or not, then go for it. I’m a prude, so a nursing cover wasn’t even a question.
  4. Have the tops to the bottles you are pumping into handy and a plastic zip lock bag to put your pump parts into until you can get to a sink to wash them.
  5. If your pump doesn’t have a battery pack, then you will need a car adapter.

Here are some Pumping While you Drive Tips:

  1. Put your seat belt on before you hook up to the pump. It’s hard to get the seat belt on without disrupting the position of the flanges. This makes for a great mental image, right?
  2. Turn the pump on and get the correct speed and suction set BEFORE you start driving. Again we are aiming for safety first.
  3. Drive like a boss. Don’t think about the pump but rather how awesome of a multitasker you are and just how awesome in general you are. The point is to not be distracted by the pump, thus, you can’t get cited for “distracted driving,” follow?
  4. pumping-while-drivingDepending on how long your commute is, you may need to turn off the pump after about 20 minutes. Resist the urge to unhook everything. I say this for a few reasons – first, it’s not safe to do while driving and second, you risk spilling the bottles of milk everywhere. Unhook when you get to work or pull over, trust me, it’s not worth the risk.
  5. When you do unhook, do it SLOWLY! Take extra care. You don’t want to spill and for some reason, we automatically turn into a spazz when full bottles of breast milk are concerned.

So there you have it. Pumping while driving is awesome and awkward (for everyone else) but trust me, you won’t know how you ever lived without it.

Are you a working mom? Check out our Working and Pumping page!

Have you ever pumped while driving? Leave your comments here and share your stories or pointers!




Also See – 

sarah wells-annie-breast-pump-bag

Read: Review of Sarah Wells Pump Bag – Why all Moms Need a Stylish Bag!

medela-pump-parts

Read: Need Pump Parts or Accessories? Find Everything You Need Here!

checklist

Read: Need a Sample Breast Pumping Schedule? Get One Here!

 

 

10 comments

  1. Overwhelmed Mom says:

    I was wondering which pump would be best and most convenient for on the go? I have a Spectra S2 and feel like it’s too big or bulky to have in the car.

    • Heather Grace says:

      The Spectra pumps are lightweight but I agree, not compact. If you want something that you can literally pop in your purse or a small bag, the two I would check out are the Medela Freestyle or the Spectra 9. They are similar in suction strength but you will find the Freestyle has a lot more to offer in terms of controlling the pump settings. Both are extremely compact and because they run off of rechargeable batteries, they would both work great on the go. That is what they are intended for! You really can’t go wrong with either one. I haven’t found anything that out does these pumps at that size. Hope this helps!

  2. Viljoen says:

    I have to admit that I am not familiar with breastfeeding at all. LOL

    I have seen these pump in the local stores and it looks like a brilliant idea for lactating moms. The thing is that you have to get the milk out because if you don’t, then you are more susceptible for mastitis.

    I know this from the dairy industry. Do early moms need to test for mastitis on a regular basis?

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Vijoen! Yes, you are right that being too engorged with milk can lead to mastitis. Mastitis is inflammation of the breast and can lead to a bad infection (typically caused by a clogged milk duct or engorgement). The symptoms are usually very obvious (high fever, extreme pain in breast, redness to breast, etc) so no, there is no routine test for women for mastitis. It would be treated once identified though.

      I recently wrote a page on how to know if you have mastitis and how to treat it. You can read that here – http://thepumpingmommy.com/clogged-ducts-mastitis-

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. Dara says:

    I just got a car adapter for my Medela pump a coupld of months ago! I was out all day shopping with my sister, and definitely needed to ump while away from the baby. The most logical time to pump was while we were between stops, in the car!
    Granted, I wasn’t the driver, and it was challenging! I felt like some sort of exhibitionist while handling myself in full view of fellow drivers, no matter how covered I was.
    You’re so right about turning into a spazz when handling milk is concerned! I turn into a real butter-fingers.
    Fun article! You’re really funny!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Oh yes, being able to pump in the car, driving or not, is a MUST! But you are right that it can feel like something straight out of National Geographic’s! Thank you for checking out the article. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Steph says:

    This is SUCH a great idea! I’d never even have thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for all the tips on how to get it done… Also, “couldn’t give a flying nipple”, lol, you’re hilarious!

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