Anyone else listen to Brian Setzer in your youth? Back in the day, I used to bop all over the place doing things like go dancing, watch movies, eat dinner…jumping and jiving was all in a Saturday evening. Who cared if I made 3 stops before heading home for the night?
These days, when I have more than one place to be, it means I might have to pump and drive in order to maintain my supply and avoid mastitis. And that would be a totally different sort of wailing, right?
Pumping and driving is higher order milk production madness, involving a lot of pre-planning and careful logistics. In addition to the regular pumping-on-the-go logistics of cooler bags and parts and bottle inventory, pumping while driving involves some forethought about outfits, and possibly even route changes.
Our car is a standard shift, so I have that layer of complication to work around as well.
First, I needed to make sure my pump’s battery adapter worked properly. I’d be in a fine kettle of fish if I hooked up my flanges only to discover I had no working power source for my pump! My car no longer has a functioning lighter-outlet or I’d invest in a car adapter.
Next, I needed to find a combination of nursing tank and shirt that allowed me to hook up my pump while minimizing the amount of breast that would be visible to passing cars. In this situation, a hands-free pumping bra is essential. Obviously, I needed hands free to drive!
I also discovered it was important to fasten my seat belt prior to hooking up the tubing so I didn’t get a kink.
What I did was fasten my hands free bra in the parking lot as discretely as is possible for such a task (so, not very discretely), slip in my flanges, then pull my shirt down as much as possible, and THEN buckle my seat belt.
I had to set up the pump on the passenger seat, because of the gear shift, and the tubing was just long enough that it all worked out. I got everything going before I began driving because I didn’t want to have to adjust any dials on the move.
Between the shifting and the traffic, I actually didn’t really notice the pumping. I was able to turn off the pump at a red light and disconnect everything when I reached my destination.
Of course, it’s horrifying that women have to pump and drive. This sort of multitasking is awful, but it feels necessary in this country without paid parental leave. Sometimes, there are just a lot of places I need to be without much time in between appointments. I’m thankful I have access to equipment that helps me feed my baby and keep my body healthy during these unfortunate days.
Have you had to pump and drive? Leave us a comment to share your best tips.