Pumping Breastmilk While Driving: What You Need to Know!
Pumping while driving is a multi-tasking skill worth learning how to do! As an example, using your commute to work is a great time to squeeze in a couple of extra pumping sessions.
You may be thinking that this is a task you have never tackled before and that may make you feel a little nervous…
You might be wondering if pumping in the car is even legal? Is it safe to pump while driving 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!
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosures here.
Is it Safe to Drive While Pumping Milk?
Let’s get this looming question answered first, is it safe to pump breast milk while driving?
Well, the answer actually 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!
Pumping and Driving Safety Tips
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 common 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.
Supplies Needed for Pumping in the Car:
1. 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.
2. 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 link to see if you would be eligible for a compensated Kiinde Twist system through insurance.
3. 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.
4. 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 favorite hands-free pumping bra.
5. Nursing Cover
For the mamas who likes 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. Use this link to get a nursing cover for $35.00 off with the code LOVEOURLITTLES.
6. 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.
7. Bottle Caps
Don’t forget to bring extra caps for your bottles full of breast milk!
8. Nipple Lubricant
To avoid painful and damaging friction, always keep a nipple lubricant with your pumping kit. Organic coconut oil is a great option and my preferred natural lubricant for pumping.
Can You Use a 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 Pump in Style for pumping while driving is the backpack it can come in. This is optional, but I recommend the backpack for those of you who can get a free breast pump through insurance.
The Medela PISA can easily be used for pumping in the car with an inexpensive car adapter. I purchased mine at Amazon and it works perfect with my Medela pump.
You simply plug your Medela PISA into the car adapter and pop the other end into your cigarette lighter.
Can You Leave 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 breast 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.
Best Breast Pump Option for Driving
There’s one obvious thing we haven’t touched on yet, and that is how to pump in the car without any restrictions of a native and sometimes VERY bulky pumping kit.
Which would be by using a wearable breast pump, such as the Willow Pump.
In case you are not fully familiar with the Willow Breast Pump, it is a wearable pumping system that can be placed directly into your bra and under your shirt.
This sounds like a perfect option especially for those mamas who aren’t too keen on pumping in front of people. With this wearable pump, you can literally pump on the go anywhere you want without the risk of exposing yourself.
Another bonus that comes with a pump like the Willow, is the ability to wear a normal bra!
This is especially convenient for the moms pumping on their way to work. Once you’re done pumping, no need to take extra time to swap out bras.
If you aren’t ready to invest in a premium wearable pump like the Willow, here is a comparable wearable pump that is much more economically friendly!
Download this freebie full of everything you need to rock out your pumping at work breastfeeding transition!
Conclusion for Pumping in the Car
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!