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Pumping in the Car Checklist for Breastfeeding Moms on the Go

Mom's helping Mom's. Parenting is challenging, rewarding, chaotic and always a surprise around every corner. Mom of 3 boys, teacher to many!

Pump & Go! Go! Go!


Mom Life is a Busy Life

Let’s face it, moms are crazy busy on top of keeping up with the demands of a newborn, the pumping game is a whole job of its own. When it comes to traveling in the car for a pumping mom who needs to pump every few hours to keep supply up, there will come times when pumping in the car happens. Here is a quick checklist for pumping and car trips.

Pumping in the Car Checklist

  1. Electric Adapter
  2. Cooler Bag or Cooler (Ice Packs Recommended)
  3. Milk Storage Bottles or Bags
  4. Sanitizing Wipes
  5. Pumping Bra
  6. Nursing Cover
  7. Utility Tote or Pump Bag
  8. The Pump

Never Pump and Drive for road safety reasons. Find a discrete location or comfortable parking spot.

1. The Electric Adapter

Owning an electric adapter for pumping with an electric pump like the Luna, Spectra, Medela, and others is a lifesaver for pumping mothers! If your pump comes with a battery pack this may not be necessary. A working Mother may very often have to pump in the car. Sometimes even longer shopping trips the need to pump on the road arises. The adapter will plug into your pump and then into the auxiliary power outlet in the car.


2. Cooler Bag or Cooler

It is important to keep your milk frozen or refrigerated if not using right away. Having a cooler or cooler bag for these times will help ensure the safety of your milk. Freshly pumped breast milk can be at room temp for about 4 hours if the temperature is at 77 degrees or colder. In the refrigerator, milk is good for about 4 days.

When purchasing a pump there is often the choice of a breast pump cooler bag. Some bags are over the shoulder bags and some are built like a backpack. The backpack style is easier on mom’s shoulders when carrying the baby gear. Motif offers its own backpack style pumping bag with an insulated cooler lining with enough space to carry your pump bottles and other items.


3. Milk Storage Bags or Bottles

It is important to bring bottles with a sealing cap and ring, or milk storage bags to keep your milk safely sealed and free from contaminants.

Lansinoh and Medela both make milk storage bags that are readily available at most convenience retail stores like Target, Walmart, CVS, or Walgreens.

I have personally used both of these brands for storing milk, and while they both work great I prefer the Medela bags. I feel like they are thicker and are less likely to get holes during storage as compared to the Lansinoh.

Amazon has a surplus of other choices as well. In a pinch feel free to use a ziplock to store milk.


4. Sanitizing Wipes or Spray

It is important to keep the pump and pumping accessories as sterile as possible to ensure your milk stays uncontaminated. Giving your pump pieces a good wipe with these sanitizing wipes that are specifically made with you and your newborn in mind when out on the road will make washing and cleaning the pump pieces later a breeze and leave less likelihood of bacteria buildup if washing right away is not an option.

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I have used these wipes and felt like they were lifesavers when away from home to give my pieces a "prewash."

Medela also makes a sanitizing spray for your accessories. It is not recommended to use sanitizing wipes or sprays that are not specific to the pumping lifestyle. That means no Lysol or Clorox wipes, these are not the same and contain harsh chemicals that your baby does not need to be exposed to yet.


5. Pumping Bra

The Pumping bra helps make the process of pumping more hands-free pumping session, otherwise, you end up holding the bottles and breast shields as they fill up for a good fifteen to twenty minutes.

Some very creative thinkers have made their own pumping bra alterations such as cutting holes in a sports bra, like in this youtube video.


6. Nursing Cover

The Nursing Cover can offer added protection from peering eyes. It can easily cover while nursing a baby or while pumping. While this is not entirely necessary it can give added comfort and discretion.


7. Utility Tote or Pump Bag

There is an option when purchasing a pump to buy a pump bag, this is typically not covered by insurance and can be bought separately.

Having a large bag or utility tote to throw all of your supplies around and haul back and forth can make this checklist that much easier and keep everything all in one place.

I have one like this utility tote and I absolutely love how convenient it is to toss everything I need for an outing into it and go.


8. Pump

Don’t forget to bring the pump! Mommy’s brain is a real thing and it can be easy to remember to grab all the accessories but forget the pump! This is on the list just for the reminder!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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