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Pumping While Driving: How to Safely Pump In the Car

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If you’re a working mom with a long commute, you probably understand the juggling act of balancing work, family, and breastfeeding. 

The good news is, you CAN pump while driving, but let’s make sure you do it safely and efficiently. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best practices for pumping on the go, whether it’s a daily routine or an occasional necessity. 

Let’s dive into these valuable tips!

Check out this post for general pumping on the go, as it’s not specific to pumping while driving.

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12 Tips to Pump While Driving 

1. Utilize Hands-Free Pumping 

If you’ve never considered hands free pumping – your life is about to change. 

Hands free pumping will truly be your new best friend and you’ll wonder why you ever pumped any other way.

The first part of hands free pumping is investing in a really good hands-free pumping bra. *Don’t skimp on this! My first purchased pumping bra did NOT work well, this one has worked really well for me though.

Even if you can’t spring for a totally wireless pump and cups, you need to get a pumping bra that will hold your pump in place the whole time you’re pumping.

With the exception of wearable pumps, a regular bra is not going to cut it, and a hands-free bra is a must. 

Less re-adjusting/holding/fixing your pump = safer driving

2. Invest in a Portable Breast Pump

Now here’s where the real life changing part of pumping comes in: a portable or wireless pump. 

These are game-changers for the busy, multitasking mom who needs to pump quickly and effectively. 

Portable breast pumps free up your hands for safe driving while also giving you a totally comfortable pumping session.

​I recommend two options for a portable breast pump: 

I also find that these pumps are smaller and easier to through in your pump bag – a win win!

3. Prep for the Road

Before you take off, check that your pump parts are assembled correctly and that there are no kinks in the tubing. 

Make sure your pump is positioned properly on your chest, the settings are right, and you’re comfortable.

Put your seatbelt on and be sure that’s comfortable too; you’re going to be wearing it for a while.

You don’t want any unpleasant surprises on the road. 

4. Use Your Seatbelt

Piggybacking off of tip #3, is to always wear your seatbelt. 

It might take a little maneuvering to get your pump set and your seatbelt in the right place, but safety is the most important thing. 

If you feel distracted or uncomfortable while driving and pumping, don’t hesitate to pull over in a parking space. 

Adjust your seatbelt, pump parts, and nursing cover as needed. 

5. Strategically Plan Your Drive 

For a stress-free pumping session, plan your route to include safe stops or rest areas.

These pit stops are the perfect opportunity to recharge your battery pack, store pumped milk in a cooler bag with ice packs, and enjoy a healthy snack or hydrate with a water bottle.

If you’re driving to work, think about your commute time and how adding in a stop or two might effect your arrival time.

You might find you need to adjust your schedule slightly to accommodate for your pumping session.

6. Pull Over If Needed

If something doesn’t feel right, you need to adjust your pump, or you’re ready to stop pumping and put your milk into the cooler – pull over. 

It might feel like a pain, but in the long run, a quick few minutes pulling your car to the side of the road won’t make much of a difference in your drive time, and could prevent an accident from happening.

7. Check Your Privacy

Some moms don’t care about privacy while pumping at all and some moms care a lot. 

Think about how you’d feel if someone saw you pumping without a cover and let that guide you to what type of privacy you’ll want for while driving. 

If you’re craving some privacy during your pumping session, consider using a nursing cover or wearing a shawl or larger sweatshirt. Wearable pumps will allow for more coverage, whereas traditional electric pumps might work best with a nursing cover. 

It’s all about making you feel comfortable and confident while you pump away.

Tip: If you’re going to use a nursing cover, be sure that you’re all situated and correctly wearing your seatbelt before you take off.

8. Unhook Your Pump Safely & Stopped

Let’s address the obvious – never attempt to remove your pump parts or pour breast milk while you’re driving. 

You could spill some of that precious milk you worked so hard to pump or end up in an accident. 

Wait until you’re parked in a complete stop to handle your milk collection bottles or transfer milk to storage bags or bottles.

9. Store Your Breast Milk Properly

When you’re pumping while driving, it can be tempting to just set your breast milk aside and grab it later. 

​But it’s important to remember to not forget about the safety of your breast milk for baby. 

Once you’ve parked, add your breast milk to a proper cooling container like the Ceres Chill or put it in bottles/containers and add it to your cooler bag.

​Be careful where you set your milk bottles and pump parts in the car while pouring – I’ve learned the hard way that breast milk bottles are MUCH more tippy in the car.

10. Keep Snacks Handy

Long drives can make you hungry, and as a pumping mom, you need all the energy you can get. 

Store healthy snacks within arm’s reach in your cup holders for quick, convenient snacking while you drive. 

11. Stay Hydrated

Pumping and nursing is a lot of work and you need to stay hydrated. The first thing you do before heading to your car should be filling up your water bottle and bringing it with you.

I love these for staying cold, never spilling, and fitting in my cupholder.  

12. Longer Trips and Willow Pump

For longer trips or an all-day workday, consider a wearable breast pump like the Willow pump, or other more affordable wearable pumps. 

These offer you a great range of motion and discreetness that can be a huge time saver. 

Just be sure to plan for extra bottles and a milk bag to store your pumped milk.

13. Use Time Management 

If you’re going to be on a longer drives where you spend a lot of time in the car, consider the following tips: 

  • If possible, plan to leave based on when your first pumping session. That way you can be all set to go and avoid having to pull over in a parking lot to get set up. 
  • Use the auto shut off on pumps – most pumps will auto shut off after 20 or 30 minutes. Use this to your advantage so you don’t have to stop and turn the pump off. While the pump will still be connected to you, it won’t be pumping any longer and you can wait to completely unhook until you’re in a good stopping location.
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Is It Okay to Pump While Driving?

You might be wondering if it’s okay to pump while you’re behind the wheel. 

Well, the short answer is yes, you can do it, but it comes with some important safety considerations. 

Your little one’s safety and yours should always be the top priority.

Here’s the deal: If you’re going to pump while driving, make sure you’ve got a hands-free breast pump in your arsenal. These nifty devices let you pump without taking your hands off the wheel, ensuring a safer ride. 

Remember to plan your route with pit stops in mind, and if you ever feel like your attention is drifting from the road or your seatbelt isn’t playing nice with your pump, don’t hesitate to pull over.

How do I know if I’m having a let-down while pumping?

Oh, the magical let-down, right? 

You’ll often feel it when your body kicks into milk-making mode. Look out for those telltale signs like tingling, warmth, or a sudden flow of milk. 

Some moms say their breasts feel fuller, or the sound of the pump changes. Just know that it might take a few minutes into your pumping session for this milk-making moment to happen, so be patient, and it’ll come.

Don’t forget, that if you feel you need to check, pulling over is always an option.

Breast Pump Car Adapter

Wondering about breast pump car adaptors?

These handy gadgets are like your breast pump’s secret weapon when you’re on the road. They let you power your electric pump using your car’s electrical outlet, which can be a game-changer for those long drives or commutes. Just double-check that your car and pump are compatible before you invest in one.

Better yet, consider getting a wireless breast pump that you don’t have to connect to a big battery pack or car. 

And just in case your wearable runs out of battery, I’ve easily connected my Momcozy wearable pump to my car’s USB port with a universal charger and it’s been super easy. 

Pumping on Vacation

Vacation time! It’s all about relaxation, right? 

But if you’re a pumping mom, you might wonder how you’re going to pump AND still enjoy your time away. 

Well, the good news is that with a bit of planning, you can enjoy your getaway and continue pumping. 

Make sure you pack your trusty portable breast pump, grab a couple extra pump parts, and bring along a cooler bag with ice packs to keep your liquid gold chilled.

Research your accommodations (and airports/airlines!) to ensure you have access to a fridge or a power source if needed. 

And remember, you’re on vacation, so schedule your pumping sessions around your fun activities and take some well-deserved “me time” too.

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Using a Breast Pump While Driving

First things first, remember that you’re doing an amazing job!

Pumping while on the go isn’t the easiest thing, but it’s a great option for busy moms on the go who are hoping to multitask during their pumping sessions. 

And pumping while driving is just one more way to keep your baby fed and your milk supply going strong. 

Remember, safety is the most important part to remember, so always follow the best tips and practices to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Whether you’re on a long road trip, your daily commute, or anything in between, pumping on the go can be a breeze when done the right way. 

Keep rocking those carpool lanes, and make the most of your time behind the driver’s side window – you’ve got this! 

For more tips on pumping, check out:

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