Breastfeeding Moms: Have You Ever Pumped in the Car?
You knew that once you had a child nothing would ever be the same. But in your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine strapping on a breast pump in a car or trying to sneak bottles of pumped milk through airport security? I did!
During our phonecall, we shared our comic stories about being a nursing mom in the workplace, and specifically situations where we had to take our breastpump to work -- or into the car -- with us. Ms. Farkus was kind enough to share some tips to help ease the process of pumping in the car. "People are so serious about this beautiful act. I just wanted to open it up in more ways, to make it a little light-hearted," she explained.
Keep It Cold:
"First of all," she said, "on warm days, you'll need to have some way to keep your milk cold afterwards." Farkus recommends a Venti-sized Starbucks coffee cup filled with ice. If you don't have (or forget to bring) a freezer pack, you can easily get a large-sized beverage cup filled with ice wherever you happen to be. You can drop your milk-filled bag inside the icy cup and take it wherever you need to go without anybody wondering what you're holding.
Keep It Covered:
"Keep a light sweater in the car," recommended Farkus, "so you can discretely cover up." You may not always be able to park in a dark corner of a parking structure to express your milk, so having a sweater is helpful. Farkus explained that she often had to use her breast pump when parked in open lots or on busy streets, and having a sweater to cover up made what she was doing less obvious to passersby.
Move To The Back Seat
Trying to maneuver around the steering wheel and the center console, and the controls in the driver's seat can be complicated. "Keep a pillow in back seat of the car," recommended Farkus, "so that regardless of whether you're nursing or pumping, you can be comfortable in the back seat of the car."
Consider the View:
"Depending on the situation," Farkus explained, "you may also want to tuck a shirt or burp cloth into the side window for added privacy. I drove a small Hyundai, and I discovered that truck drivers were much higher than I was, and had a much better view than I realized!" And that explains her reason for writing the following verse:
It was rather traumatizing, but I remember nonetheless,
When I was in the back of a car putting the pump to the test.
Well, a trucker pulled up with a look of disgust.
I guess that’s not what he meant when he yelled, “Show me your bust.”
You CAN Take It With You:
We also discussed what it's like to travel with our milk, especially when flying. According to TSA regulations, breast milk for infants or toddlers is considered a "medically necessary liquid," and is therefore permitted to be brought on board an aircraft, regardless of quantity.
Visit TSA.gov to learn more about declaring and screening your breast milk while traveling.
The life of a milk-pumping mother is uniquely challenging and often hilarious. Her cute book “Baby Oh Baby the Places I've Pumped” illuminates the hysterical underworld of pumping mothers. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, you may want to consider giving this book as a gift to friends who are expecting.
Baby oh baby the places I’ve pumped.
Not once have I minded the hoops that I’ve jumped.
And I’ll pump anywhere, anytime just for you,
And I’ll do it with love till the time that you’re through.