Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pulled Over While Pumping...And Other Fun Adventures

Did you know pumping while driving is a thing?   I was a bit clueless when I started my journey into breastfeeding, pumping, and pumping at work. I did not know women did this.  I would not have thought it even possible and perhaps (definitely) a little gross.  But, necessity is the mother of invention after all.  And only a mother could have invented this one.  Plus, men could never take multi-tasking to this level. (Am I right or am I right?)

When I had my first baby, CJ, I was working at a job that required overnight travel at least once a month, usually for just a night or two.  And, when I went back to work I was exclusively breastfeeding.  So clearly there would be a lot of pumping required to keep it up.  And pump I did.  So much that I started calling my breast pump the "best friend I never wanted."  It was a happy day actually when I was able to retire that contraption.

At this point, after breastfeeding and pumping for two kids for 12 months (plus) each, I would like to consider myself a bit of an expert.  Definitely an expert in pumping while travelling.  All of that pumping and travelling though created lots of opportunities for me to now have interesting stories to relate - so I will just share a few of the best.

For my first trip back to work CJ was 10 weeks old.  Yes, I left my 10 week old at home with Daddy.  You see, Daddy is perfectly capable and responsible and I was literally gone for 28 hours requiring just a 2 hour flight.  I jam-packed a lot in those hours as you can imagine.  The highlight of this first trip was realizing that I would need to pump and drive since there would be no where else (and no time) to do it.  (Why that thought didn't occur prior to the trip I don't know.)  Next was realizing I didn't have anything to cover myself with while pumping and driving.  Let's just say I definitely noticed a few men in large trucks noticing me.  It was a learning experience. (Lesson learned: bring your nursing cover to pump and drive!)

Many months down the road in this experience, I landed at an airport I had never been to before, hopped in the rental car, hooked up the pump, and headed to my meeting.  Leaving the airport the road was under construction plus I had no idea where I was going so was a bit distracted, in my defense.  Before I knew it there were lights flashing behind me.  Yep- I got pulled over for speeding in a work zone.  Crap.  I could immediately tell the police officer was definitely one of those old school cops.  Luckily, I did have my cover this time.  Remember, pumping was currently in progress but it just didn't seemed appropriate to say, "sorry officer, hold on while I disconnect my breast pump."  So, I played the "lost" card and strangely he barely questioned me. Meanwhile, I noticed that the guy he pulled over right before me was in fact getting a ticket.  I still have no idea if he realized what was going on underneath that cover but if it got me out of a ticket I am completely ok with this.  I can only imagine what he went back and said at the station that day to his fellow officers. I was just glad to get out of it and if the pump was why that's even better.

Another fond memory (although not about driving) is the time I was departing my home airport with pump and ice packs in tow.  In going through security, as was usually the case with the pump, my items were flagged for inspection. While many TSA officers I encountered had no idea of TSA policies for breast milk and pumps, this one was especially clueless.  He could not possibly understand why I was travelling with a breast pump yet with no baby and no pumped milk.  I explained numerous times I was departing on my trip and the baby was home with it's Daddy.  He repeatedly asked me again where was the baby and why wasn't it with me? Where was I going? Why didn't I have pumped milk? And on and on.  Seriously, I think he questioned me for 10 minutes.  I basically ended the conversation on him, said thank you for the concern and went on my way because he wasn't letting it go.  Of all my experiences with TSA, and their were several doozys, this was definitely the worst.

Side note: What is with the older male business traveler always using the family restrooms at airports!  Seriously. I cannot tell you the number of times I had to wait to use these restrooms to pump and out walks a single, older male dressed in a suit.  Gross.

Please tell me I am not alone in these experiences - do you pump and drive? I can't possibly be the only one these crazy things happen to. I would love to hear your hilarious adventures so feel free to share!  Pretty please?
The usual view from the driver seat


  1. On NUMEROUS occasions I've had to pump and drive. Coming from an early morning dentist appt, I got stuck in bad snowstorm traffic heading to work. I was ready to explode- luckily I had all my pump stuff with me and set it up while driving. Skillz, we have them. Always had a baby blanket stashed in the back in case I forgot my nursing cover, but most of the time I just didn't care, haha.

  2. Good for you! I learned after my forgotten cover experience and bought a second cover exclusively for the pump. I was not going to be stared down again. It definitely takes a special skill, or degree of desperateness, to pump and drive!