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Pumping while driving is a multi-tasking skill many breastfeeding mamas hope to develop. The ability to pump and drive on your commute to work seems like the perfect way to make each pumping session more efficient.
You may be thinking that this is a task you have never tackled before and that may make you a little nervous. There are questions you need answered first.
Such as, is pumping in the car legal?
Is it safe and how do the mechanics of this arrangement work and look?
You’ll get the answers to those question and more. Read on mama, if you want to be fully informed about pumping while driving!
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Is it Safe to Pump while Driving?
Let’s get this looming question answered first. Is it safe to pump breast milk while driving?
Well, the answer depends on you.
Do you feel capable and confident in your ability to wear a pumping kit and not let it distract you from the road? As long as you can maneuver your vehicle effectively while wearing your pumping kit, then yes.
Pumping while driving should be totally safe.
I would recommend that you do a test run before you actually attempt to pump and drive. This means, sit in your car in the usual position you drive in with all of your pumping gear on and plugged in to make sure you have full range of motion.
If this feels comfortable to you, then give yourself the green light!
Safety Tips when Pumping and Driving
In order to eliminate any dangerous interference when pumping and driving, there are some precautions you should take for added safety.
- While driving, avoid looking at or fiddling with the pump or attached pumping kit. Do your best to not check the flow, readjust, massage or move the flanges around. Pretend as if you are not pumping at all.
- Wait until you are stopped to make any adjustments or change the pump’s settings.
Is Pumping while Driving Legal?
Here’s another commonly Googled pumping question, is it legal to pump and drive?
The short answer is yes.
There are no laws on the books that state otherwise.
However, according to the DMV it is prohibited in many states to use any device that could be a distraction while driving. This could be any visual, manual or cognitive distraction.
As long as you are using a hands-free pumping kit system, you should be good to go.
The Supplies You’ll Need to Pump in the Car
- Breast Pump: I recommend a portable and compact breast pump for ease of travel and saving space. Here is the one I recommend and you will receive 10% off your entire order via the link.
- Pumping Kit/Bottles and Flanges: You can use the native pumping kit that comes with your breast pump or get a system like Kiinde Twist which allows you pump straight in to a screw top pouch for spill-proof breast milk storage. You can use this like to see if you would be eligible for a compensated Kiinde Twist system through insurance.
- Breast Milk Cooler: Once you’ve finished pumping, your breast milk needs to be stored. If you don’t have a breast milk cooler, my personal favorite is the Cold Gold by Sarah Wells. Mostly because I love the unique and pretty patterns of her collections. You can use this link to see the Cold Gold in Berry Bloom on Amazon.
- Hands-Free Pumping Bra: As you know by now, this is an essential when it comes to pumping in the car. I recommend a very secure pumping bra with a double layer of material to really lock and hold those flanges into place. The Simple Wishes hands-free pumping bra is my recommendation.
- Nursing Cover: For the mamas who like to be discreet while pumping, a nursing cover is nice to have. This is especially true if you decide to buzz through the Starbucks drive-thru for a Pink Drink. Imagine the looks you would get. Use this link to get a nursing cover for $35.00 off with the code LOVEOURLITTLES.
- Ziplock Bags: If you are using your commute to work to pump in the car, then it is a good idea to bring a sanitary bag to store your pump parts in. Once you have your pumping kit placed in a ziplock bag, store it in the fridge for one more use.
- Bottle Caps: Don’t forget to bring extra caps for your bottles full of breast milk.
- Nipple Lubricant: To avoid painful and damaging friction, always keep a nipple lubricant with your pumping kit. Organic coconut oil is great option.
Can You Use Medela Pump in a Car?
Some of you may be curious if you can use your Medela pump in a car and if so, how.
This was the pump I exclusively pumped with for the first few months before I developed a breast pump obsession and purchased three more to try.
The nice thing about using a Medela for pumping while driving is the backpack it comes in. This is optional, but I recommend the backpack for those of you who can get a free breast pump through insurance.
The Medela Pump can easily be used for pumping in the car with an inexpensive car adapter. I purchased mine off of Amazon and it works perfect with my Medela.
You simply plug your Medela into the car adapter and pop the other end into your cigarette lighter.
Leaving Your Breast Pump in a Hot Car
If you live in a very hot climate or it’s the middle of summer, you may wonder if it’s ok to leave your breast pump in a hot car.
This a great question.
Breast pumps are not cheap and they provide a very needed service. So NOT damaging them is ideal.
To learn your breast pump’s temperature range for use and storage, check your pump’s instruction manual. There should be some material and guidelines on this subject.
If you can’t find anything concrete, consider leaving some windows cracked and park in the shade. Most importantly, do not put your breast pump in direct sunlight.
Pumping in the Car Steps
If you’d prefer to watch a video of me explaining these steps, see the full video below. Or, scroll past to keep reading.
Warning: video quality is poor due to how I had to film, (I explain more in the video) and I was very tired after being up with a toddler ALL night – I’m sure you all can empathize with me!Now, let’s get into the step by step process of how to pump milk when driving and the best approach to take for assembling your pumping in the car set up.
- First, put on your hands-free pumping bra.
- Second, put on your seat belt and make sure all mirrors and your seat are in the right position.
- Step three, assemble your pumping kit.
- Step four, place your pumping kit into your hands-free bra and make sure everything is comfortable and securely in place.
- Fifth step, turn on your breast pump and tune your settings.
- Start pumping and drive.
- Lastly, when you are pulled-over and finished pumping, turn off your pump. Next, carefully remove your pumping kit and place the full bottles into the cup holders. Remove the flanges and place them in a ziplock bag. Put on the bottle caps and store your breast milk in the cooler.
Using Freemie’s while Driving
There’s one obvious thing we haven’t touched on yet, and that is how to pump in the car less inhibited with a concealable pumping kit option, like Freemie’s.
Every scenario we have discussed has been regarding a native pumping kit with bottles and flanges, but maybe Freemie’s would be the best pumping kit system for pumping while driving
In case you are not fully familiar with Freemie Collection Cups, they are a breast milk collection system that can be placed into your sports bra.
These sound like a perfect option especially for those mamas who aren’t too keen on pumping in front of people. With these cups, you can literally pump anywhere without the unwanted risk of exposing yourself.
Another bonus that comes with Freemies, is the ability to wear a normal sports bra.
No pumping bra required!
This is especially convenient for the moms pumping on their way to work. Once you’re done and at work, no need to take extra time and care to swap out bras.
You can find Freemie’s on Amazon using this link.
Pumping while driving is an excellent way to optimize your time, especially as a pumping mom. When you pump and drive you can make the most of your commutes and busy days running errands.
After reading this post, you should have a better understanding of the mechanics for how pumping in the car works. You now know that it’s not illegal to pump while driving and that it can be done safely too.
Please take a second to share this helpful information with other new mamas and pin it for later.
Also check out this fun Pumping while Driving podcast delivered by two real moms who keep it real in a light-hearted and relatable way!
Please join our Facebook group, Proud Breastfeeding and Pumping Moms!
Watch the pumping while driving video on Youtube.