Do you often have to go to work and don’t have much private time to pump? If the answer is yes, you should consider spending time in your car.
Breast pumping while driving is a crazy idea, but it is possible. There’s no law forbidding mothers from doing this, as long as they know how to stay safe.
So, what are the tips for breast pumping in the car safely? Let’s read on and find out in the article below!
Is Pumping While Driving Safe?
Before setting up pumping while driving, many breastfeeding moms will want to know if it’s legal and safe. You can entirely safely pump while hands-free. Otherwise, the best advice is to save it when you hitchhike with friends or colleagues.
Road safety laws in most states do not prohibit pumping while driving. However, there are different regulations and penalties for distracted driving. You should also look up your state’s driving laws in the distracted driving section for your own analysis.
The key here is to follow the rules and not swerve or swing when out on the street. If you know how to keep everyone around you safe, all things will be fine.
A non-profit organization that promotes breastfeeding, La Leche League, has a similar idea. Diana West said mothers could save time by pumping milk while driving at work.
The idea of pumping breast milk in a car is attractive and feasible. All you need to keep in mind is always to keep your hands on the wheel and pull over if you want to make any adjustments.
How to Safely Pump in The Car
It’s perfectly normal to pump in a car, but you need to do it with a few notes. You need to pay attention to eight rules if you want to pump while driving or parking.
1. Use An Electric Breast Pump
When pumping while driving, do not use manual pumps; the main reason is that you need to keep your hands free to drive safely. Therefore, an electric and battery-powered breast pump will be the best choice in this case.
You need to prepare a car adapter or battery pack ready if your device doesn’t have a battery. It will be a little inconvenient during the charging process.
You should also choose portable devices. If the size of the product is too bulky, it may interfere with the driving process or feel uncomfortable for you.
2. Keep Your Cup Holders Empty
Once you’ve placed the pump right where you sit and plugged it in, pay attention to the cup holder. The trick here is to make sure they’re empty.
The main reason is that you will need a space to put the full milk bottles and keep them in place. The other reason is that you don’t want to spill any of the drinks in it accidentally.
Many absent-minded mothers have poured Coke or coffee into cup holders. As a result, it will take them a long time to clean up the mess after arriving.
3. Get A Cooler
When you plan to pump before moving, make sure you have an ice pack and cooler. You can also check the breast milk storage guide to get its gist.
Breast milk needs to be kept as cold as possible until you put it in the fridge for storage. Use Ziploc bags or gallon-sized wet bags to store equipment parts for hygiene purposes.
However, it wouldn’t help if you did not store the pump parts in wet bags or the refrigerator. This action will cause moisture to build up inside the parts and cause mold, which is harmful to health.
4. Bring A Car Adapter
Unless you only plan to spend 15 to 20 minutes pumping breast milk, a direct plug will have a more substantial effect than one in the battery setting mode.
The breast pump will have more potent suction and a better milk supply. Therefore, mothers who drive long-distance vehicles should consider using it.
It’s worth noting that choosing a car adapter to match your pump’s specifications. They are usually of two types:
- 9 volts (Medela PISA and other 9-volt devices).
- 12-volt (Spectra Plus and all other 12-volt devices).
To check which adapter your device is compatible with, look at its front or look for information on the packaging.
5. Put Hands-Free Pumping Bra On
Wearing a hands-free bra will make pumping much easier and more convenient. After all, you can’t hold a milk bottle for 20 minutes continuously while driving on the highway.
Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage when you’re not prepared. Instead of trying to wear this bra in the car, you can put it on first. You should wear it under a zippered hoodie or a button-down shirt. This action will help you unhook easily once done.
A few other great ways to use the device discreetly and easily are nursing tops, button-downs, and double-layer tops (raise the top and lower the collar).
6. Put Your Seatbelt On
You shouldn’t do one thing while driving: Don’t start pumping without your seatbelt on. Many nursing moms often make this mistake. They parked the car in the parking lot and then started pumping while driving.
Your safety concerns aside, the main reason is that it can damage the device. If you try to install the seatbelt while connected to the device, it may cause the cords to tangle, loosen or break. Instead, make sure to tie the knot before hooking your chest to the bottle.
The best position is the front belt at chest level, between the bottles, and the thigh belt under the bottles.
7. Don’t Adjust The Pump While Driving
Of course, not every breastfeeding mom can get used to the feeling of using a breast pump when traveling or driving. They will need time to prepare mentally.
In addition to relaxing and turning off the device after you’re done, try not to play with it during the trip to be on the safe side.
You should start the engine before driving and wait after stopping the vehicle from removing the bottles and equipment from your chest.
8. Wear A Nursing Cover (In Public)
If you plan to use the pump while driving, a nursing cover may not be necessary. Anyway, most people won’t notice when the car moves. However, you should consider shielding when you intend to stop and use the device in a parking lot. It will save you from unnecessary trouble.
If a nursing cover is inconvenient and interferes with your activities, use a removable car window sunshade. It will be difficult for others to see you from the outside.
If you still have questions about breast pumps in the car, find the answers below.
How Many Watts Does A Breast Pump Use?
A breast pump typically consumes about 24 watts peruse. To that extent, you can use any type of AC adapter.
Instead of paying attention to watts, pay attention to your device’s voltages. Two common types are 9-volt and 12-volt pumps.
You can get a high-end pump like the Medela Freestyle Flex that has up to 2 hours of battery life if you’re on a big budget.
How Should I Sit While Pumping?
Just like when you breastfeed directly, the ideal pumping position is to maintain a straight back. If you stoop, it will cause pain and discomfort in your body.
The most optimal position is upright, shoulders extended, feet on the floor, arms relaxed, and in a relaxed mood.
You can also use breast immobilizers like a breast pump or nursing pillow to provide extra support for your body.
Choose comfortable chairs or use extra pillows. While you can’t lean back, they will take some pressure off your abdomen and back during the procedure.
Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand how to pump in the car. The key is to be well prepared and doesn’t forget to keep yourself safe.
If you have mastered this method, you will realize its great benefits. Don’t forget to share your personal experience below, so other moms can refer.
Thank you for reading!