Monday, March 29, 2010

The Adventures in Pumping

I have promised many people that I would write this blog post, so here it is: "How Shannon manages to pump in her Ford Fusion"

First, its interesting to note that my Ford Fusion is a company vehicle. Im not quite sure that they intended for me to conduct breast pumping in the front seat however, I do. So there.

Anyways, I knew early on that if I was going to continue breastfeeding, I would have to pump in my car. My job requires me to be on the road, sometimes for the whole day, so it was inevitable. To prepare myself, I made sure I had the following:

1. Power inverter: Im talking about one of those big power things that you plug into your cigarette lighter and then you can plug things into it. I use this for work anyways (to run my laptop and printer) If you dont want one of these, Medela also sells a car charger.

2. Small cooler and ice packs: Medela gives you a small pouch to put milk in with the ice packs but I often use a small cooler if I am going to be gone for the entire day.

3. Extra storage bottles

4. Lanisoh Cleansing Wipes (I actually started buying the Target Up and Up brand of these. They are in a purple pouch and you get 80 for $3.) I use these to clean off my pump and myself

5. Plastic bag for pump parts- I actually use the Medela Steam Bags to store my parts in during the day and then when I get home, I just clean them, fill bag with water and sterilize

6. Hands free pumping bra. I prefer this for days when I have to pump and drive. You can actually check out for instructions on how to make your own.

7. A poncho

Whaa?? A poncho. Yes, thats right. A poncho. I prefer one of those old school sweater style ponchos and thank god I kept a few because they come in handy. Because, trust me, the worst thing that can happen is that you are in the middle of pumping in what you think is an empty parking lot and someone pulls up next to you and looks over and you are in the middle of breastpumping. Its just uncomfortable for everyone. Trust me, I know.

I can tell you that pumping in your car is not super comfortable, but its 100% possible. I do try to avoid pumping and driving, however if I have an hour drive and it comes up during my pumping time, I do what I have to do. I also try to stay IN the truck lane and not NEXT to it. I don't need to be the source of entertainment for any of the truck drivers.

My biggest suggestion is to get a "pumping station" set up. I have an extra bag that I bring with me that has all of the above mentioned items in it. That way, when its time to pump, I can pull all of the items into the front seat and get it all set up. Its much easier if its all organized.

If anyone has any questions about pumping on the road, feel free to email me at I will do my best to answer them!


browneyes_24b said...

I commend you for perfecting the art of pumping in the car! It is not an easy task, and I wish I would have tried the poncho trick while I was still pumping!

I know exactly what you mean about the unexpected viewing of your pumping session by people in vehicles that park next to you. It happened to me once and even though I doubt the guy saw anything I probably produce an ounce less from being so startled/surprised! :D

Amy said...

Thanks so much for your comments on my blog about pumping and for this post! You gave me some great ideas that I will tuck away until needed. I also forgot that I have one of those plug adapter things that goes into the cigarette lighter. I registered for a car adapter for a breast pump but I won't need it now that I remembered that I have that plug! Thanks again!

Ro said...

Dude, when I was pumping, I thought about making a hands free pumping bra, too. But mine would have been SO ghetto.

I would have just cut a hole in each cup and put the breast shield "pipe" through the hole.

I'm telling you, GHETTO.

You're doing an awesome job, sweets!

Kismet21 said...

This is great. I am going on vacation next week and will learn to pump in the car. Only way the trip will be possible. Good times. Oh and my hubby made me a hands free bra. Changed my life.

In fact, I am pumping as I type this. Oops I have said too much.

Megan said...

LMAO Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! At least you have it down to a science! You woulda laughed at me while I was trying to RIDE in the car (front and back seat on 2 different occasions) and not expose myself. Here you are able to drive and do it! Those truckers DO give you a funny look when they see fabric covering the chest area and all that. Oh well, the things mothers will do. At least you are pumping and haven't given up on it altogether, right? You are wonder woman!

The Lane Family said...

I could have used all of these awesome tips when I was pumping with the girls. They are awesome!!

I commend you on your willingness to keep pumping and making it work with your job!! You are an awesome Mom and Woman and an inspiration to all of us!!!!

Lindsay said...

You're pretty impressive! ;-)

Mrs. Hammer said...

I am totally amazed by you right now. I think you have officially earned the title supermom. I know of women who tried and it was a disaster but you truely have perfected it.

Beth said...

so glad to know I'm not the only one showing more to the truckers than necessary!
I have pumped in the car (not while driving though, I'm impressed!) and many places that I wouldn't normally want to (public bathroom, for example), but a Mama does what she has to, no?
Kudos to you for making it work. It's well worth the effort.

PS. Love the new blog design!

Sarah C said...

You're a rockstar!