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August 15, 2014

Breastfeeding Moms: Have You Ever Pumped in the Car?

Baby oh baby the places ive pumpedAugust is National Breastfeeding Month, and AskPatty recently interviewed Y.N. Farkus to discuss her humorous book “Baby Oh Baby The Places I’ve Pumped.”

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!

Breast_pump-thinkstock-179637100In her book, Farkus poetically shares the foibles and humiliations of one mother as she struggles to maintain a veneer of normalcy while pumping milk for her baby and holding down a job. As the senior vice president of a large non-profit and mother to three cuties under the age of seven, Farkus said she recognized that she was not the only one going through these challenges, and wanted to normalize the process of pumping for any nursing woman in the workforce.

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.

Starbucks_soffee_cupKeep 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.

Breast_pump-thinkstock-450297503Move 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.”

Breast_pump-thinkstock-478288131You 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 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.

Published by Winters Publishing Group, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting  or



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